MO--Another predator priest is exposed

MO--Another predator priest is exposed

For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 2, 2015

For more information: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Director (314) 566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Another predator priest is exposed

He worked in three area Catholic dioceses

Cleric was in Belleville, Springfield MO & Springfield IL

Church investigation into his alleged crimes is re-opened

Sex abuse victims to bishops: “How many others are you hiding?”

For at least ten years, a priest quietly lived and worked in two Illinois dioceses and one in Missouri. Last week, Catholic officials disclosed that they are re-opening an investigation into accusations that he sexually abusing a boy and a girl in South Dakota.   

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, learned last week that Fr. J.  Vincent Fitzgerald spent time in the Belleville, Springfield MO and Springfield IL dioceses. The group is urging these three bishops to “aggressively use church bulletins, parish websites, and pulpit announcements to find others who saw, suspected or suffered” child sex crimes by Fitzgerald.

In 2010, Fr. Fitzgerald was sued for reportedly assaulting two children in the late 1960s at the Tekakwitha Indian Mission in Sisseton, South Dakota.

http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/twin-cities-archdiocese-reopens-case-priest-accused-sex-abuse

According to the Official Catholic Directory:

--From 1995-2002, Fr. Fitzgerald lived at St. Henry’s Oblate Residence 60 N. 60th in Belleville. The residence is run by a Catholic religious order called the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, to which Fr. Fitzgerald belonged. (It’s the group to which just-retired Cardinal Francis George of Chicago also belongs.)

(In 2006, an admitted predator priest, Fr. Real Bourque, was found at the same facility.)

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2006/05_06/2006_05_23_Pawlaczyk_AdmittedChild.htm

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/assign/Bourque_Real_OMI.htm

--In 1988, he was in Mansfield, MO at Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese.

--From 1952 to 1953, Fr. Fitzgerald was in Godfrey, IL at the St. Joseph Novitiate (in the Springfield in Illinois diocese), and

In each place, SNAP strongly suspects that, at a bare minimum, Fr. Fitzgerald said mass in parishes for ill or vacationing priests and fears he may have assaulted kids in them.

Fr. Fitzgerald was in the news last week, when a Twin Cities judge ruled that two Minnesota bishops must release his records and when Twin Cities Catholic officials re-opened their investigation into him.
http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/twin-cities-archdiocese-reopens-case-priest-accused-sex-abuse

“Catholic officials in Missouri and Illinois use Google,” said David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP’s director. “They know this priest – and others – are proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters who have hurt kids elsewhere and m0ay have hurt kids in both states. Yet they stay silent instead of using their vast resources to try to help police, prosecutors and victims secure justice and protect others and expose cover ups.”

“Reaching out to victims who are still trapped in silence, shame, confusion and self-blame is cheap, quick and effective,” Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP's outreach director. “It can help victims break their silence and get help. It can help police and prosecutors pursue those who commit and conceal child sex crimes. But few Catholic officials have the courage and compassion to take this simple step to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth.”

“For decades, US bishops have promised to be ‘open’ about predator priests,” said Dorris. “But like these two Belleville bishops, most church officials continue their patterns of recklessness, callousness and deceit. We hope Springfield MO Bishop James Vann Johnston, Springfield IL Bishop Thomas Paprocki, and Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton will prove us wrong, act responsibly, and warn their flocks about these three priests and offer real help to their victims.”

A photo of Fr. Fitzgerald is available at BishopAccountability.org. Ordained in 1950, he also worked in seven Minnesota towns: St. Paul and Buffalo (in the St. Paul archdiocese), Squaw Lake and Northome in the Diocese of Duluth), Naytahwaush, White Earth and Kelliher (in the Diocese of Crookston).

He also worked in South Dakota (Sisseton in the Sioux Falls diocese), and Oregon (in Salem in the Portland archdiocese).

http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2013/11_12/2013_11_21_CrookstonTimes_CheersAnd.htm

At least one of Fr. Fitzgerald’s victims is represented by St. Paul attorneys Jeff Anderson (651 227 999, 0, 612 817 8665 cell, jeff@andersonadvocates.com) and Mike Finnegan (651 227 9990, mike@andersonadvocates.com).

 

Father James Vincent Fitzgerald, o.m.i. -Ordained 1950

Assignments per Catholic Directory

1950- Not Listed

1951- Not Listed

1952- Godfrey R.F.D., IL. St. Joseph Novitiate (Diocese of Springfield in Illinois)

1953- Godfrey R.F.D., IL. St. Joseph Novitiate (Diocese of Springfield in Illinois)

1954- Godfrey R.F.D., IL. St. Joseph Novitiate (Diocese of Springfield in Illinois)

1955- Buffalo, MN: King’s House (Order Retreat House) (Diocese of St. Paul)

1956- Buffalo, MN: King’s House (Order Retreat House) (Diocese of St. Paul)

1957- Buffalo, MN: King’s House (Order Retreat House) (Diocese of St. Paul)

1958- Northome, MN: St. Michael’s (Diocese of Duluth)

1959- Salem, OR:   (Diocese of Portland)

1960- Salem, OR:   (Diocese of Portland)

1961- Salem, OR:   (Diocese of Portland)

1962- Salem, OR:   (Diocese of Portland)

1963- Salem, OR:   (Diocese of Portland)

1964- Salem, OR:   (Diocese of Portland)

1965- Salem, OR:   (Diocese of Portland)

1966- Salem, OR:   (Diocese of Portland)

1967- Salem, OR:   (Diocese of Portland)

1968- Sisseton, SD: Indian Mission (Diocese of Souix Falls)

1969- Sisseton, SD: Indian Mission (Diocese of Souix Falls)

1970- Northome, MN: St. Michael’s (Diocese of Duluth)

1971- Northome, MN: St. Micahel’s (Diocese of Duluth)

1972- Squaw Lake, MN: St. Catherine (Diocese of Duluth)

1973- Squaw Lake, MN: St. Catherine (Duluth); Kelliher, MN: St. Patrick’s (Crookston)

1974- Squaw Lake, MN: St. Catherine (D. of Duluth); Kelliher, MN: St. Patrick’s (D. of Crookston)

1975- Squaw Lake, MN: St. Catherine (D. of Duluth); Kelliher, MN: St. Patrick’s (D. of Crookston)

1976- Squaw Lake, MN: St. Catherine (D. of Duluth); Kelliher, MN: St. Patrick’s (D. of Crookston)

1977- Squaw Lake, MN: St. Catherine (D. of Duluth); Kelliher, MN: St. Patrick’s (D. of Crookston)

1978- Squaw Lake, MN: St. Catherine (D. of Duluth); Kelliher, MN: St. Patrick’s (D. of Crookston)

1979- Squaw Lake, MN: St. Catherine ( Dul.); Indian Parishes and Missions (Foreign Miss.)

1980- Squaw Lake, MN: St. Catherine ( Dul.); Indian Parishes and Missions (Foreign Miss.)

1981- Squaw Lake, MN: St. Catherine (Diocese of Duluth)

1982- Squaw Lake, MN: St. Catherine (Diocese of Duluth)

1983- Squaw Lake, MN: St. Catherine (Diocese of Duluth)

1984- Naytahwaush, MN: St. Anne’s (Diocese of Crookston)

1985- Naytahwaush, MN: St. Anne’s (Diocese of Crookston)

1986- White Earth, MN: St. Benedict’s (Diocese of Crookston)

1987- Not Listed

1988- Mansfield, MO: Immaculate Heart of Mary (Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau)

1989- Not Listed

1990- Not Listed

1991- Not Listed

1992- St. Paul, MN: Oblate Provincial Offices (Diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis)

1993- St. Paul, MN: Oblate Provincial Offices (Diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis)

1994- St. Paul, MN: Oblate Provincial Offices (StP); Belleville, IL: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, St. Henry’s Oblate Residence (Diocese of Belleville)

1995- Belleville, IL: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, St. Henry’s Oblate Residence (Bel)

1996- Belleville, IL: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, St. Henry’s Oblate Residence (Bel)

1997- Belleville, IL: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, St. Henry’s Oblate Residence (Bel)

1998- Belleville, IL: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, St. Henry’s Oblate Residence (Bel)

1999- Belleville, IL: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, St. Henry’s Oblate Residence (Bel)

2000- Belleville, IL: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, St. Henry’s Oblate Residence (Bel)

2001- Belleville, IL: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, St. Henry’s Oblate Residence (Bel)

2002- Belleville, IL: Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, St. Henry’s Oblate Residence (Bel)

    

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