The Diocese of Baton Rouge issued a statement May 30 on the arrest of Father Desmond Ohankwere MSP, a former pastor at St. Catherine of Sienna Church in Donaldsonville.

Father Ohankwere was pastor in the parish from October 2014, to July 31, 2018.

The diocese was made aware of some questionable expenditures at the parish and, along with its insurance company, began an investigation in February of this year. The insurance company was notified because losses from theft are covered by the diocese’s policy.

Ascension Parish civil authorities were also notified and joined the investigation. Father Ohankwere was indicted in May by an Ascension Parish Grand Jury and was arrested May 29 in Texas.

The total amount of questionable expenditures has not yet been determined because a forensic review of the parish’s books is ongoing. The diocese continues to cooperate with Ascension Parish authorities in the investigation.

Father Ohankwere is a member of the Missionary Society of St. Paul.  At the time of his arrest he was pastor at St. Gregory the Great parish in Houston. He was ordained for his missionary society on July 1, 1991.