Heames permanently replaced, fill-in leaves diocese
The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw announced Monday a permanent replacement of former priest Denis Heames will begin as pastor on July 1 at St. Mary's University Parish.
Heames was placed on leave for "boundary violations" related to his priestly conduct. A lawsuit was filed against him in January, claiming battery, defamation, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent supervision and retention. The Diocese of Saginaw and St. Mary's are also named in the lawsuit. A university investigation found Heames sexually harassed a Central Michigan University student working as his "media intern."
Rev. Thomas J. Fleming will take his place. Fleming was previously the pastor of Prince of Peace Parish in Linwood. He was ordained in 1985.
Thomas Held, who filled in after Heames was placed on leave in July, requested to be released from the Diocese of Saginaw, according to a press release. He will join Companions of Christ the Lamb for the Diocese of Marquette, beginning in July.