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Thursday, July 10, 2014 12:01 am

HE’S BACK

Father Thomas Donovan, perhaps the planet’s best-known practitioner of non-sexual self-bondage, is back at work as a priest, this time at St. Peter Parish in Quincy. Donovan got himself in a bind in November 2012, when he called 911 from the rectory of St. Aloysius here in Springfield to request help in freeing himself from handcuffs. Officers who responded to the wee-hours call found the cuffed priest wearing an orange jumpsuit and gag. Bishop Thomas Paprocki subsequently concluded that Donovan, who promptly went on a leave of absence, had engaged in non-sexual self-bondage in response to the stresses of priesthood and was seeing a therapist. This month, Paprocki announced that a parishioner asked him if Donovan could return to Quincy, where he was first assigned to work as a priest in 2005, and so he is now back in the pulpit. Paprocki in a written statement says that a review panel created by his predecessor George Lucas last September concluded that Donovan doesn’t pose a danger to anyone and that his “gradual return to priestly ministry is appropriate.” Donovan was then assigned as chaplain for consecrated women who belong to Sisters of Saint Francis of the Martyr St. George in Alton, where he lived in the order’s provincial house and also provided ministry at a local hospital.

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