Another Missouri SNAP leader passes

For the third time in less than a year, Missouri SNAP has lost a dear, loyal and caring member. On Dec. 29, Kathy Woodard of St. Louis passed away. Her obituary ran in the Post-Dispatch on Jan. 11.  

In the early 1990s, Kathy was the first person to attend a SNAP support group meeting in St. Louis, in the living room of my tiny apartment at 4023a Botanical. (She also became our oldest son’s first babysitter.)

Around 1992, Kathy joined a small, brave group of SNAP members who leafleted outside the US Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in New Orleans. On that trip, SNAP also rented a room in the hotel where the bishops were meeting and invited all of them to sit down with us. None showed up.

Kathy was also one of the first to sue a St. Louis predator priest, Fr. John M. Kilcullen (now deceased) who molested her during her childhood.

Identified as “Jane Doe,” Kathy filed a lawsuit to warn parents about Kilcullen and to find and help others he assaulted. In a stunningly mean-spirited act, Catholic officials “outed” her by name in the St. Louis Review (while protecting Kilcullen by not mentioning his name). They also claimed that Kathy’s family didn't support her allegations.

It was one of the cruelest moves we've seen St. Louis archdiocesan officials take against abuse victims.

( Here’s a similarly mean-spirited one by Archbishop Robert Carlson from just last year: )

Please remember these two instances the next time you hear and read about Catholic officials pledging to be “compassionate” towards victims.

And please remember Kathy’s family and friends. She has two sons whom she loved dearly. She was a gentle, compassionate and dedicated survivor who helped many others struggling to recover from childhood horror.

You are loved and missed, Kathy.

(The other two Missouri SNAP members who passed away recently are Kay Goodnow of Kansas City who was abused by Fr. John C. Baskett and Tom Mullen of St. Louis who was abused two local priests.)    

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