Oblate predators in MO & IL
FACT SHEET about credibly accused Oblate predator priests in IL & MO (7/8/2015)
Records about seven predator priests who worked in this area are being released as part of a lawsuit settlement. More litigation against their church supervisors is pending, so more information about them will be disclosed in the months ahead.
Six of them are being “outed” for the first time.
Each one was deemed “credibly accused” by his church supervisors.
Each also worked in Minnesota (largely in the dioceses of Duluth and New Ulm)
Each worked in several states.
Each belongs or belonged to a Belleville-based Catholic religious order known as the Oblates.
Each worked - sometimes for decades - in the St. Louis archdiocese, the Belleville diocese and/or the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese.
Six of them worked in the Belleville diocese: Fr. James Vincent Fitzgerald, Fr. Thomas Meyer, Fr. Emil Twardochleb, Fr. Michael Charland, Fr. Orville Munie and Fr. Paul Kabat (More details below.)
Two of them worked in the St. Louis archdiocese:
--Fr. Robert J. Reitmeier (In 1982, he was pastor of Holy Guardian Angels Parish.)
--Fr. James Vincent Fitzgerald (In 1969, he was at St. Michael’s Community in St. Louis.)
Two spent time in southern Missouri (in the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese).
--Fr. James Vincent Fitzgerald (In 1987, he was pastor at St. William’s parish in Gainesville.)
--Fr. Michael Charland (From 1959-63, he attended seminary at Our Lady of the Ozarks in Carthage.)
Here are details about each of the predators and their work histories in Missouri and Illinois:
Fr. James Vincent Fitzgerald
--In 2009, he died at Dammert Nursing Home in Belleville
--In 1992, he was at St. Henry’s in Belleville
--In 1991, he was at St. Patrick’s parish in Belleville
--In 1988, he was at the St. Henry’s Oblate Residence in Belleville
--In 1987, he was pastor at St. William’s parish in Gainesville (in the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese).
--In 1969, he was at St. Michael’s Community in St. Louis
--In 1961, he was the director of Kings House of Retreats in Henry IL
--In 1951, he was at St. Joseph’s Novitiate in Godfrey IL and chaplain at Alton State Hospital IL
--From 1941-43, he attended St. Henry’s College in Belleville
(He also worked in California, Texas, Florida, Minnesota and South Dakota.)
Fr. Thomas Meyer
--From 2007 to 2012, he was at St. Henry’s Oblate Residence, Belleville
--From 1998 to 1999, he was pastor at St. Leo the Great Parish/IHM Parish in Mansfield, MO
--From 1990 to 1998, he was pastor at Sts. Peter & Paul parish in Alton, IL
--From 1982 to 1983, he was at King’s House of Retreat in Belleville
--From 1973 to 1977, he was on staff at St. Henry’s Seminary in Belleville
--From 1971 to 1972, he was at St. Henry’s Seminary in Belleville
(He also worked in Minnesota and Wisconsin.)
Fr. Robert J. Reitmeier
--In 1982, he was pastor of Holy Guardian Angels Parish in St. Louis
(He also worked in Massachusetts, Minnesota, South Dakota and Chicago.)
Fr. Emil Twardochleb
--In 1969, he was at King’s House of Retreats in Henry, IL
--In 1964, he was the organist at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in Belleville
--In 1941, he was at St. Henry’s College in Belleville
(He also worked in Canada, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.)
Fr. Michael Charland
--In 1977, he worked weekends as Spiritual Director for Teens Encounter Christ in Sparta, IL
--In 1973, he was assistant principal and counselor at St. Henry’s Prep Seminary in Belleville, IL
--In 1965, he was at Immaculate Heart of Mary Novitiate, Godfrey, IL
--From 1959-63, he attended seminary at Our Lady of the Ozarks in Carthage, MO
(He also worked in Minnesota, Mississippi, Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Canada.)
Fr. Orville Munie
--In 1972, he was pastor of three IL parishes: St. Anne’s in Toluca, Holy Cross in Mendota and St. Isidore in Bethany.
--In 1964, he was pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Campus, IL
--In 1940, he was vocation director at St. Henry’s Seminary in Belleville
--In 1931, he was at St. Henry’s Seminary in Belleville
--In 1939, he was a professor at St. Henry’s Seminary in Belleville
(He also worked in Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota.)
Fr. Paul Kabat
--From 1960 to 1964, he was at Our Lady of the Snows in Bellville
(He also worked in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.)
We call on Catholic officials in each diocese – Belleville, Springfield-Cape and St. Louis – to aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by these clerics or cover ups by their church colleagues.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.