Two more alleged predators were in Columbia
Two more alleged predators were in Columbia
One, ousted last week, was at MU Newman Center
The other, ‘outed’ last month, was at a local parish
A third priest, just publicly accused, worked nearby
SNAP wants University officials to “do real outreach”
Group also wants mid-MO bishop to update accused list
Holding childhood photos and signs at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose
--that a just-ousted publicly accused priest worked in Columbia.
--the name of another publicly accused abusive priest who worked in mid-MO, and
--the name of a third publicly accused abusive priest who worked nearby.
None of them are on the Jefferson City diocese’s list of accused clerics.
They will also prod
--University of Missouri officials to “aggressively reach out to ex-staff and students” who may have been hurt by the just-ousted accused priest, and
--mid-Missouri’s Catholic bishop to do the same.
Tuesday, March 19 at 11:00 a.m.
Outside Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 105 Waugh St. (corner of Locust St.) in Columbia
Two – three victims and advocates who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a St. Louis man who was the group's former long time executive director and was abused by a mid-MO priest
1---Last week, on Friday, mid-Missouri Bishop Shawn McKnight suspended an accused predator priest. He’s Fr. Geoffrey A. Brooke Jr. who was at the Newman Center on the University of Missouri campus (573 449 5424) and later at Immaculate Church in Jefferson City ([email protected],573 635 6143). According to church records, he also “provided weekend fill-in supply work” at various parishes in mid-Missouri and spent four years in Rome.
He also worked in Washington DC with the Catholic News Service.
SNAP wants University of Missouri officials to “aggressively reach out” to current or former college staff or students “who may have been hurt by Fr. Brooke during his years in Columbia.”
(NOTE: another accused predator priest, Fr. John Whiteley, also worked at the Newman Center from 1983-1991.) http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Whiteley_John.htm
2---Last month, Catholic officials in Louisiana revealed that Fr. Louis Senesac was a credibly accused child molesting cleric. SNAP has discovered that he worked in at least one mid-Missouri church: St. Mary’s in Glasgow (40 miles northwest of Columbia).
Fr. Senesac who died in 1966, was a priest of the Clerics of Saint Viator (847 398 1350). He was removed from active ministry in the Alexandriadiocese. He was in Glasgow from 1958-60 but the allegations against him were deemed credible by Louisiana church figures only this year.
3) In December, the diocese added three names to its of 33 credibly accused abusive clergy.
SNAP has learned that one of them, Fr. Melvin J. Lahr, worked at Sacred Heart parish in Columbia and also helped bring the Teens Encounter Christ movement to the diocese.
(In December, SNAP revealed that another credibly accused predator priest, Fr. Fred A. Lenczycki worked at a different Columbia parish: Our Lady of Lourdes Church.)
According to a blogger who was a Jeff City seminarian, Fr. Lahr also worked in Hannibal, Bourbon, Salisbury, St. Martin’s Canton, Russellville and Boonville (where he was both a parish priest and a chaplain at Boonville Training School for Boys).
Fr. Lahr is believed to be a Jeff City native who is still alive.
SNAP wants current and former mid-Missouri Catholic church staff and members - in Columbia, Jeff City, Glasgow and elsewhere - to seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered any crimes or potential crimes by all three priests.
And SNAP wants Bishop McKnight to add both Fr. Lahr and Fr. Senesac to the diocese’s “credibly accused” list and aggressively reach out to “anyone with information or suspicions about the three clerics.”
It’s especially important to do so, SNAP says, because:
--Law enforcement has been increasingly aggressive, creative and successful at pursuing even older sex crimes, so it’s possible that Fr. Brooke or Fr. Lahr might be prosecuted, and
--Missouri’s attorney general is currently investigating how Catholic bishops across Missouri have dealt and are dealing with clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, [email protected], Don Asbee 573 864 1459