Clergy abuse victims leafletting & news conf Wed 3/20 @ 1:00 p.m. in Alton


Victims to leaflet church where accused priest was ousted


With little attention, cleric was suspended 6 months ago


A 2nd predator priest, now deceased, also worked there


SNAP: ‘Bishop must do outreach to seek others in pain



Six months ago, a priest was quietly suspended after being accused of sexually abusing a child. Clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will hold a brief sidewalk news conference and then leaflet around a Catholic parish and school where he worked and reportedly molested.


Wednesday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m.


Outside Immaculate Conception-St. Mary's Church, 519 East 4th Street in Alton, IL (618 465 4284)


Three/four members of a support group called SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the nation's largest self-help organization for clergy abuse victims


Last September, a credibly accused predator priest who worked in Alton, Fr. William M. Brown, was quietly put on leave due to an allegation that he sexually abused a child. Since then, church officials have disclosed no further information about him nor revealed where the alleged abuse occurred.

SNAP however, is in touch with a Missouri man who reporting having been repeatedly molested by Fr. Brown at Immaculate Conception-St. Mary’s parish.

From 1995-1997, Fr. Brown worked at Immaculate Conception-St. Mary’s parish in Alton (part of the Springfield IL diocese). He was then transferred to Boston where he worked for another 26 years.

Fr. Brown is also associated with a Colorado-based Catholic non-profit called the Spitzer Center. A native of Germany, Fr. Brown grew up in California and studied in Massachusetts.

The second accused predator priest who was at this parish is Fr. John Steven Rabideau. When he was accused of molesting three boys, he fled the country. In 2004, Fr. Rabideau was an active priest in the Philippines but two years later, he was arrested in Colombia and extradited to Michigan. He pleaded no contest to abuse charges and was sentenced to 5-10 years in prison.

Neither cleric has attracted much attention in the Alton area and no local media covered Fr. Brown’s suspension last fall.

SNAP wants Catholic officials in Alton and Springfield to alert their flock about both men and beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes, especially by Fr. Brown, to contact law enforcement.


Photos of both priests can be found at  Fr. Brown is alive. Fr. Rabideau died in 2014.

Neither priest is on the Springfield diocese’s official public list of credibly accused child molesting clerics.

Both accused priests belong to a Boston-based Catholic religious order known as the Oblates of the Virgin Mary (OMV). About six weeks ago, the head of that order, Fr. David Nicgorski, was suspended after several nuns accused him of sexually manipulating and coercing them in spiritual direction and, in one case, accused him of committing sexual assault.” He has also been accused of hearing confessions invalidly in a diocese where he was prohibited from ministry.

The head of the Springfield IL diocese is Bishop Thomas Paprocki, 217 698 8500, [email protected]. Last October, SNAP filed a formal complaint against him with the Vatican because of his ‘secrecy and callousness’ in abuse and cover up cases.


David Clohessy, 314-566-9790, [email protected]

Showing 1 comment

  • Michael McDonnell
    published this page in Media Events 2024-03-19 12:42:08 -0500

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant