A rally in support of Rev. Michael Swierz, who was placed on administrative leave by the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown was held at St. Patrick Parish in Hubbard.  

Earlier this week, Father Swierz resigned in response to an ongoing internal investigation, stemming from what the diocese describes as an issue that occurred while he was at St. Rose Parish in the late 1980's. 

Father Swierz has been placed on administrative leave, which means he can't function as a priest in any capacity anywhere else until the investigation is complete. 

Father Swierz served as priest for St. Patrick Parish in Hubbard, the President of St. Joseph the Provider School and Dean of Trumbull County. 

Members of St. Patrick Parish, staff members and staff and faculty of St. Joseph the Provider School in Youngstown held a rosary rally in support of Father Mike. 

"Father Mike has been a blessing to us, he's been a blessing to a lot of people throughout the diocese. During our fire, he kept us together as a parish community, turning our parish center into our worship space, and kept us together as a close knit community," said St. Patrick's parishioner Chris Conway. 

Members of St. Patrick Parish also sent a letter to Bishop David Bonnar and Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, asking them to release the details of Father Mike's investigation. 

The following statement was provided by Dennis Biviano, Public Relations and Media Specialist for the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown:

"On June 17, 2024, the Most Reverend David J. Bonnar, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown accepted the resignation of Reverend Michael A. Swierz from the pastorate of Saint Patrick Parish, the Presidency of Saint Joseph the Provider School and as Dean of Trumbull County. Father Swierz has been placed on administrative leave because of admitted actions that constituted violations of Diocesan policies. The actions at issue occurred while he was at St. Rose Parish, Girard, Ohio in the late 1980's. The investigation into these matters is ongoing and Father Swierz is cooperating in the investigation. The Diocese will not provide further comment on either the investigation or Father Swierz's situation at this time."

It's unclear how long the investigation will take but the diocese told 21 News the results will be made public.