Father Gilbert DeSutter was ordained in 1954 and incardinated into the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis by Archbishop John Gregory Murray. DeSutter’s first assignment was in 1954 at St. Mark’s in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he worked until 1956. He was then assigned to Annunciation in Minneapolis until 1964 and worked at St. Peter’s in Richfield, Minnesota, from 1964-1968.
Father DeSutter became a religious counselor at St. John Vianney Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1968 where he stayed until 1973. From 1973-1976, Father Gilbert DeSutter was assigned to Immaculate Conception in Faribault, Minnesota.
From 1976-1983, DeSutter worked at St. William’s in Fridley, Minnesota, followed by St. Michael’s in Prior Lake from 1983-1993.
In 1993, the Archdiocese was notified of alleged sexual abuse of a 12- to 13-year-old altar boy while DeSutter worked at St. William’s in Fridley. DeSutter underwent a psychological evaluation in 1989 followed by a second evaluation in 1992 after the report of sexual abuse.
In 1992, a young adult male parishioner reported that DeSutter kissed and groped him during counseling sessions. In 1998, the Archdiocese sent a letter to parishioners about Father DeSutter stating, “in 1989 there were accusations and concerns about inappropriate behavior on his part.” Father DeSutter’s contact with minors was restricted, but he was allowed to do administrative work before retiring in 1994. DeSutter was eventually allowed to lead public services in parishes when other priests were unavailable.
By 2002, Father Gilbert DeSutter was rumored to have moved to Arizona and the Phoenix Diocese included DeSutter’s name in a newsletter indicating that he was not authorized to exercise public ministry. In 2002, vacationers from Minnesota discovered DeSutter saying mass and giving sacraments at a hospice in Mesa, Arizona.