Editor’s Note: To protect the identity of certain students who attended St. Thomas Seminary
In Hannibal, Mo., pseudonyms have been used when necessary.
Robert Stack as Eliot Ness
TV is that every so often you catch a glimpse of the unvarnished truth: personality, peccadillo, belief, attitude.
of the United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop (USCCB), broadcast on the Eternal
Word Network (EWTN) is a case in point. The
USCCB sessions may have been held in affluent
Bellevue, Wash., overlooking Lake Washington
and exclusive enclave of Mercer Island. But the
peaceful grace of the Pacific Northwest did not
pervade these meetings.
Edmund Cardinal Szoka
Archbishop of Detroit
of the so-called National Review Board
in the same manner. He read off their
names, but did not stand to greet them
as they approached the podium. He made
no attempt to be gracious or solicitous
these folks nor did he stand to thank them
for their service. The travesty of the
moment could not be ignored: normally
the service of volunteers in such a sensitive
capacity is acknowledged respectfully
(maybe even with a plaque or certificate
of thanks). But they did not even rate a
slap on the back or a wish for good luck.
It was the bum’s rush from this crowd.
Bruce Gordon as mobster
Frank Nitti in the television
series The Untouchables.
archbishop of Detroit, Edmund Cardinal
Szoka, instruct the members on the danger
of including the word “oblige” in the Charter for the Protection of Children
and Young People. He cautioned that
any language obliquely hinting at mandate reporting of child abuse or sex crimes increased the level of liability of the church.
The ensuing debate about the word
"oblige" was equally startling in that
it revealed that the American bishops
still maintain that they can act outside
the law and that that are, in fact, above of the law. Like the reliance of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Taliban on Sharia, the American bishops believe Canon Law excludes them from accountability toward society and accommodating children, parents, and the civil authorities who have established the means to prevent, investigate, and prosecute sex crimes.
Szoka, an attorney and canon lawyer, demonstrated his skill at obstructing justice, which he may describe as risk mitigation. But all in all, the entire experience reminded me of The Untouchables in which the FBI battles the notorious Purple Gang of Detroit.
Black-and-white TV only adds to the sensation when we realized that there is little difference between the mob meetings called by Frank Nitti, always an attempted to outwit Robert Stack's Elliott Ness. Sad, but true. A classic episode, The Speculator, is uncanny in its resemblance to what EWTN broadcast recently from Bellevue.
Msgr. Charles H. Patterson
St. Thomas Seminary
to the Josephinum.
I attended my first Jefferson City diocese
priest-seminarian party in December 1971,
seven months after graduating from
St. Thomas. Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe
hosted the event at STAS between
Christmas and New Years to take
advantage of the kitchen and sleeping
facilities. Cocktails began around 5:00 p.m.
with premium liquor (no wine or beer for
this crowd). The banquet menu was
top-drawer country club cuisine: T-bone
steak and all the accoutrements. By 8:00 p.m., the event was
in full swing, cigars, after-dinner drinks, poker. Some of the
participants took advantage of the basketball court and bowling
alley in the gymnasium.
had collapsed. Others hurried for the bathrooms to regurgitate and
On 27 July 1957, Patterson was appointed as the first rector of the newly established St. Thomas Aquinas Preparatory Seminary in Hannibal, where he also taught. He signed on after Msgr. Louis W. McCorkle completed the capital and organizational structuring.
Patterson served as rector until 1960 when he was named vice chancellor and vocation director for the Diocese and leader of the Diocesan Matrimonial Tribunal. He served in these capacities until August 1970. O’Connell succeeded Patterson as vocation director in 1970 and was named rector that same year.
Patterson met McDade in New York. McDade was a Broadway chorus boy at the time
the student with financial support. Patterson was a generous patron, outfitting McDade with an extravagant wardrobe: Doug is the only clergyman I’ve ever known to wear a Roman collar with a cat-suit.
I still have the black cashmere Hardy Amies sweater that McDade gave
to me (Hardy Amies is a London courtier favored by Elizabeth II and the late Queen Mother).
Patterson was at the lakefront retreat the night McDade drowned in less than 10 feet of water. Other party guests included the Rev. Nacho Medina, the Rev. John Fischer and his best buddy the Rev. George Kramer. The Rev. Fred Barnett was present, too.
The Art of Fine Living
Midnight Cowboy had its seminary
premiere at Cardinal Glennon in
Cardinal Glennon College,
for example, the faculty
and administration approved
a private screening of Midnight
Cowboy. And in the fall of
1971, many students trekked
to the American Theatre to see
Hair and Jesus Christ, Superstar,
despite John Cardinal Carberry’s
public statements advising Roman
Catholics to avoid contamination.
And, so, seminarians, dressed in civilian clothes, crossed picket lines of faithful Catholics, kneeling on concrete, praying the rosary, to enjoy a touring Broadway musical.
The administration at Cardinal Glennon College also provided alcohol for
under-age students. We often held weekend parties, known as Gauds (short for Gaudeamus or Let Us Rejoice), replete with kegs of beer and pizza, with particular faculty members providing bourbon, vodka, scotch. By 2:00 a.m. on Saturday night, the Glennon student lounge looked like a trashed fraternity house during homecoming.
Robert W. Finn
Bishop-Kansas City, Mo.
he graduated to Old Fashions, Single Malt,
and canapés. Some graduate students at
Kenrick dabbled in narcotics: marijuana
mostly, with a little amyl nitrate as the
preferred inhalant chaser.
For example, Robert W. Finn, the current
bishop of Kansas City, Mo., was considered
to be the resident hippy and pot-head at
Kenrick Seminary. A loner, Finn preferred
his stash, love beads, and the literary arts
to Lauds and Vespers (even though he seems
to have immersed himself in the canonical
hours today as an Opus Dei cultist). He seemed to like the idea of his mild resemblance to John Lennon with shoulder-length hair parted in the middle, a mild rebel of the cloth.
Cardinal Glennon Students
Flocked to the Musical
Hair in 1971
at Kenrick, I thought it strange that Finn
absented himself from class photos for the
newsletter or did not like to participate in
public events. But, then, I credited his
attitude to shyness.
co-dependent culture. There is a priest
who is pastor of prominent North Kansas
City parish whose leg was broken in a
rape attempt at the Abbey. I believe
the incident happened when he was a
a winter day when I was asked to shovel the
sidewalk in front of St. Pius X Church and the
rectory. Kramer invited me inside when I
finished and offered me a hot toddy: a cup
of rum with a teaspoon of hot water.
than the parishioners. George tends to buy
a new car every year. In the 70s, he made
his way through the Lincoln Continental
Mark IV, V, and VI.
He made a great play of soliciting the parishioners with meetings, specifications, and architectural drawings. Near the final stage of the decision-making process he developed three concepts. One day he showed me the plans and interior renderings for three options. When
he asked me which I preferred, he laughed. I thought I had made a mistake. But no.
Qui se resemble s’ assemble . . .
toujours . . .
1988 contacted me with an extraordinary
tale about Anthony J. O’Connell that
exemplifies the scale of corruption that
infests certain elements of the hierarchy
reassignment surgery in the early 90s,
is a now a transgender female whom we will call “Nora Montag.” She was baptized by Bernard Cardinal Law when Law was bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. Bishop John J. Liebrecht, Law’s successor, sent this student to STAS for his education.
Rev. Manus Daly, O’Connell’s successor
as rector, refused to allow Ms. Montag
to attend alumni events at his alma
mater. Daly’s predilection for young
boys led to his removal as rector.
O’Connell in 1993 in New Orleans.
O’Connell was in town for the USCCB
semi-annual meeting. Ms. Montag was
working as mistress of ceremony at
popular bar in the French Quarter.
customers in Papa Joe’s Champagne
Room until they were ready for their
sexual encounter with the [hustlers]
in the upstairs rooms,” Ms. Montag
says. “O’Connell monopolized my
time and asked me to expose my
dick (she was pre-operative,
Rev. Thomas D. Hereford
served as O’Connell’s
sidekick-in-chief for more
than a decade.
to Papa Joe’s appears to have been the Rev.
Thomas D. Hereford. Hereford transferred to
Knoxville diocese with O’Connell after he
radar for nearly 10 years after his two one-year
assignments in Knoxville: no address, no listing
in the Official Catholic Directory. In circa 2007,
he re-surfaced in St. Louis, working as a priest
for Catholic Charities and other non-profit
organizations in the metropolitan area.
in Divine Worship.
“They draped the window on the door so that no one could look in.”
punished for the intrusion: McNally, O’Connell, and a student were alone in the sequestered area.
Roman Catholic Church in Knoxville and then Palm Beach, he
honed his fundraising and marketing skills on boy bands at
St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary.
and moxie is comparable to that of the nefarious talent agent Louis “Jay” Pearlman, who created the BackStreet Boys and ’NSync; and guided the early recording career of Justin Timberlake.
|The Aquinos: Boy Band of St. Thomas Seminary|
to develop a marketing company that promoted consumer products
using zeppelins. One of these lighter-than-air ships included the
Pearlman then glaumed on to teenage boys to enter the music
entertainment market. Somehow he convinced more investors
to entrust even more capital — as if he were a hedge fund
manager — to develop these all-male teenage singing groups.
His base of operation was in Orlando, Fla., a stone’s throw
from Palm Beach.
In court documents, Pearlman claims to have spent more than
$300 million to promote the Backstreet Boys before the produced
their first Top Ten hit. He claimed similar expenses to launch ’NSync.
Calling Card for The Aquinos|
The second, and last, recording of The Aquinos. |
Bishop O’Connell, 1970
on the larger venues.
St. Thomas students to an Irish band
engaged their 1984 American tour. He
invited the balladeers to STAS to stage
what he called a “traditional” Irish wedding.
You have to wonder at the concept and how
he expensed the event as rector of the
high school seminary.
Maura O’Connell began her
career as a backing vocalist
with Stockton’s Wing.
in 1977, specializing in Celtic revival music
(jigs and reels with some vocals). The
troubadours’ name is derived from a line
in the Bruce Springsteen song, “Backstreets”:
“Slow dancin’ in the dark on the beach at
Stockton’s Wing...” The group evolved
over time as cross-over artists, performing
folk melodies such as Ten Thousand Miles.
to us, seems like they were always and ‘uncle’
or a ‘cousin,’” Nora Montag says. “After working
in the entertainment business for so many years,
I often wonder where he got the money to promote
and pay for these ‘cousin’ ventures.”
“The bus (with Fr. [Dave] Maher at the wheel) was fired up and ready to go, and go, it did! After a long prayer and Invocation of St. Christopher to save us from Fr. Maher’s driving, for three-and-half of the most grueling hours the bus has seen since the trip to see the Pope in 1979.
“But it was worth it. We arrived at six o’clock, in time for supper at Iowa University, where the concert was being held.
“After supper, we tromped off to “Old Brick,” a converted Lutheran Church.
“Now let me tell you of Stockton’s Wing. Stockton’s Wing is a collection of young Irishmen who, quite naturally, specialize in Irish traditional music. There is an entire band consisting of base, tenor, and string sections; but only the five lead players came for their first and exploratory tour. Those who came were Tommy Hayes, Kieran and Mike Hanrahan, Maurice Lennon, and Paul Roche.
“That, coupled with the fact that Kieran, Mike, and Paul are O’C’s first cousins, were the reasons for the trip.
“They provided us with two hours of fantastic music, highlight being Tommy “Mr. Spoons” Hayes, giving a solo on a favorite instrument, the spoons.
“The music was the kind that demands foot-stomping and hand-clapping, along with several gleeful shouts and war-whoops by Fr. Daly – and a steady cliential [sic] the “big eye,” O’C’s camera.
“When the music was over and the last autograph was signed, we loaded onto the bus for home.
“The music was great, and we just couldn’t thank the priests enough for the great time.”
primary fundraisers for the
Diocese. Based on what we
now know about the activities
of this self-acknowledged child
molester, we have to wonder
how much cash he skimmed
from the Sunday collection
plate to promote his personal interests.
except for self-aggrandizement. His method for financing these ventures is as mysterious. It is not inconceivable that he may have convinced a naive angel or two to part with his or her savings.
Maura O’Connell’s Current CD
living in luxury on a colonial
plantation north of Charleston.
The historic residence is the
former winter home Henry
Luce and his second wife,
Clare Booth Luce.
been sentenced to 25 years in
federal prison. He was convicted
28 May 2008 of bilking clients and
investors of millions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme that defies convention: pleading guilty to conspiracy and money laundering.
Her career has arced from a girl-
singer in Stockton’s Wing – an
Irish band that stopped by
St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary
one day in 1984 to giver give
a private concert the students
there – to a recognized international balladeer
in the ranks of Kate McGarrigle,
Emmy Lou Harris, Dolores Keane,
Karen Matheson, and Mary Black.
CD ~ Concert ~ Video
Naked With Friends
16 April 2008
17 Feb 2007
Don’t I Know
Walls and Windows
Down by the Salley Gardens
with Karen Matheson (1998)
Just in Time
Saw You Running
with Stockton’s Wing (1986)
As the archbishop of St. Louis, Burke was just as enamored of boy bands as O'Connell. He cosseted students at Kenrick Glennon Seminary, providing the financing for an oddball group of talent who market themselves as Priestie Boyz: Black Sabbath meets the St. Louis Jesuits.
Raymond Cardinal Burke's Boy Band: Priestie Boyz|
Like O’Connell, Burke enjoys his boy band.
Bishop O’Connell’s Kerb Crawling
According to my classmate Terence, O’C asked him provide a variety of pornography for nearly three decades. Terence sent O’Connell pornography when he was Bishop of Knoxville. O’Connell rationalized these requests: he needed the material to help boys overcome impure thoughts and feeling.
But at the same time, O’Connell like to brag to Terrence about his sexual encounters at the truck stops and public rooms that dot I-40 through Tennessee: Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville, west to east. He thoroughly enjoyed these anonymous assignations and like to describe each scenario is graphic detail.
Terence notes that he was O’Connell’s travelling companion over the years. Terence likes to tell friends that Dan Brown’s novel The Da Vinci Code is true.
Jim McNally has spoken similarly of his travels with O'Connell. In the late 70s, McNally visited Lourdes with O'Connell. He says he had access areas of the shrine off limits to the ordinary visitors because of O'Connell. Surprisingly, McNally is highly critical of the venue. He once called the atmosphere a carnival with barkers taking advantage of the infirmed. He learned a great deal about the Church from this visit. I think the experience disheartening moment in his vocation.
“Bishops have access to Catholic sites that no one else ever gets to see,” Terence says. “I’ve been to make of those same locales described by Dan Brown. It’s amazing how much secret stuff there is out there.”
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Catholic Bishops Uphold 2002 Sex Abuse Policy
Father Joseph Starmann Honored as Child Protection Hero
Father Carmine Sita/Gerald Howard Appears in Booneville, Mo.
Msgr. Robert Murphy: Bishop Finn Replaces Vicar General
Abusive Priests Live Unmonitored Lives in California
Archbishop Jerome Hanus Accused of Pedophile Cover-up
Next Time: Bishop Finn Flips Us the Bird