Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Growing Trend: In but really out.

Dear Gateway families,

I've been in the Legion for 23 years. It's been a very fulfilling time in my life, particularly the time spent at Gateway Academy.
Through pray and discernment, I've asked for the opportunity to work in a parish and have been assigned in the Diocese of New Jersey. I remain a member of the congregation of the Legion of Christ, and am grateful for the years I have worked in the many apostolates of the Legion.
I am thankful to all of you for allowing me to be a part of your life. I ask that you keep me in your prayers and know that you will always be in mine.
God bless,
Fr. Thomas Maher, LC

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

This worries me -- why are they leaving if they're still so grateful and everything?

brian said...

Well, in reality when a religious priest joins a diocese there is a period of probation when he remains a religious while he works in diocesan ministry until the diocese decides they really want him and formaly "incardinate" him into the diocesan clergy. It is stacked to favor the options of the diocese. They can use the guy for three or four years and then say no and the community has to take the guy back unless he has to take him back, UNLESS he has found another bishop willing to try him out.

brianop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brianop said...

Ummmm...there's something fishy here. In the State of New Jersey, you have the Archdiocese of Newark and the Dioceses of Paterson, Metuchen, Trenton and Camden. There is no "Diocese of New Jersey." Perhaps Father is just trying to protect his privacy...we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

I wish Fr. Maher well. We were novices together. Fr. Stephen Fichter should be a good resource for him as he adjusts to life as a diocesan priest.

Molly Callahan said...

He is going to a parish with only one priest. The parish includes a naval base and another service base ( I forget which branch). I wish him well. I knew him at Gateway Academy and he was the least Legion like Legionary I have ever met. I know he has been struggling with all of this. I hope he finds peace and healing.

Anonymous said...

God Bless Fr. Thomas. I knew him for the time he worked in California. He is a good solid priest and will be an asset to any diocese. He is especially good working with youth. I am not surprised that he left.

Anonymous said...

Funny that - when Fr. Jeremy Spillane LC was being incardinated into a Florida diocese he was caught soliciting sex with a minor in an FBI sting.

The Legion was adamant that he was NOT a Legionary at that time and therefore cannot be counted as an LC abuser (forgetting that they had sent him away from Madrid for taking photos of the boys in the showers of the LC school were he was director), but the Diocese in Florida told me at my request that Fr. Spillane was not yet incardinated into their Diocese.

So are you still a Legionary or not when youre in process of incardination?

Confused! (Not really)

Aaron

Anonymous said...

This is similiar to what is happening with Fr. Jonathan Morris at Old Orchard Parish in New York. We were told by a Legionary that he was in retreat at that parish to write a new book. However, his name appears on their church bulletin without the LC after his name and he recently spoke at the Catholic Leadership Conference in Florida, again without the LC after his name in his credentials. Maybe he is writing a new book but I bet he never goes back to the Legion.

I believe both Fr. Thomas and Fr. Jonathan have left the Legion for good.

Anonymous said...

I sense Fr. Richard Gill is fading into the background, no longer leading the New York RC... is he on his way out too?

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that Fr. Richard Gill is at Old Orchard parish in New York too. I discovered all of this by going to Fr. Jonathan's website and following all of the links. It eventually will lead you to a church bulletin that came out mid-summer announcing Fr. Jonathan's arrival and welcoming him in the same manner that they did Fr. Richard Gill. I'm sorry I've don't have the time right now to find the exact link but if you Google Old Orchard or Fr. Jonathan you will eventually find it.

I would say that both men are out of the Legion although they may be described by the Legion as "taking time out".

Anonymous said...

Found the bulletin -- go to link:

http://www.oldcathedral.org/pdf/BULLETIN-2009-06-28.pdf

Mentions Fr Richard Gill, Fr Roderick Ermatinger and Fr Jonathan Morris.

Anonymous said...

I knew Fr. (then Br.) Jonathan Morris in the Novitiate. I hope he is out. He was hardcore LC all the way do surprised and a bit skeptical....probably hedging his bets. The LC's that leave need to make it clear they have left, none of this nonsense!

Anonymous said...

By the way, the bulletin is not factually correct.... Fr. Morris has NOT been a priest for 15 years. He was in the novitiate mid-1990's.

Anonymous said...

To add to the confusion, follow the link below which announces the new assignment of Fr Francis Snell. He too is not listed with the LC after his name, although other religious with their assignments are listed as such. Go figure???

http://www.catholictranscript.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogsection&id=11&Itemid=58

Anonymous said...

This was also in the above announcement:

"Reverend Joseph Brickner, L.C., New to the Archdiocese, Customary faculties granted, Novitiate and College of Humanities, Cheshire. Effective August 21, 2009."

Anonymous said...

I found a copy of the LC constitutions if anyone is intersted!

http://www.unitypublishing.com/NewReligiousMovements/Constitution%20--%20LegionariesofChrist.htm

Anonymous said...

So what's the deal with Theology on Tap?:

http://www.totnyc.org/

Fr. Jonathan Morris just spoke there last week and has LC after his name. Or could it be a bone he's throwing to them - or maybe just trying to bide his time while not raising red flags? (LC runs NYC TOT)

~?

Anonymous said...

Where the heck is Cassandra Jones? It has been nearly 2 months since the last Cassandra Jones message! Has the Legion shut "her" down? Has "she" just stopped caring? Is "she" writing a book, and therefore keeping all "her" pearls of wisdom to "herself"? I hate to sound like a crybaby, but I have really depended on hearing from "her" now and then.

Anonymous said...

And while I'm at it, where has Ed Ritter been? Is he too busy entertaining AV guests to pop in and offer any news or perspectve on the current happenings?

Anonymous said...

Fr. Karras found Cassandra choking on an illegitimate copy of the Constitutions -she had to go on leave & went off on holiday to the Bermudas (hoping to do some research on Normita's inheritance). Ed Ritter is hiding under his bed at Regina Apostolorum waiting to film Alvarito coming in wearing his baby-dolls.
Dan Brown

Anonymous said...

Versaldi will be here 27th and 28th. Busy.

Anonymous said...

Was that last comment from our friend Ed Ritter, and if so, how are you?

Another exLegionary said...

Check it out:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/26/nyregion/26priest.html


Another parishioner, Dr. Neal T. Collins, an oncologist, said he wondered if Mr. Feliciano had suffered some sort of head injury or brain tumor, provoking the attack. “He was much more than a janitor,” said Dr. Collins, 50. “He was like family.”


A lot of that going around...

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is off topic. But what the heck? I googled “Legionaries of Christ”, and found a new article at Catholic Culture.
If I go to Catholic Culture to this link (http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=4418) here is the story:
“John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter offers a portrait of Cardinal Franc Rodé, the prefect of the Congregation for Religious. Cardinal Rodé, Allen notes, is now a central figure in two investigations being conducted under the auspices of the Vatican: one into the life of women's religious orders in the US, the other into the Legionaries of Christ. The cardinal does not speak directly of either probe, but offers a few clear hints about his own attitudes.”

Sounds good, I’m interested in hearing what John Allen has to say, but even *MORE* interested in hearing what Rode has to say for himself, so I click on the link to the National Catholic Reporter, but I can’t access this story about Cardinal Rode because it says “you are not authorized to access this page”. I can’t report this problem to Catholic Culture (who quoted the link in the first place) *UNLESS* I make a donation to Catholic Culture (a condition for posting comments at CC)
Just enough of a tease to make one think there is a story, yet we can’t *GET* the story.

Does *ANYONE* know what the story is?

Anonymous said...

Those involved in the LC/RC have a fear in leaving it. That is understandable since they have so much invested into it and their own identity. But they must remember that leaving the LC/RC is NOT leaving the Catholic Church, but embracing it more fully. The LC/RC has no clothes.

Anonymous said...

True, we must not forget that it takes years for an LC priest to leave and continue to be a priest.

The leaving priest MUST keep the Legion sweet or else they will make the transition a misery, dragging it out.

The Legion has - in my opinion - three aims with this process:

1. Until the process is complete you are still a Legionary and so we can use you in our numbers strategy.

2. They want to exercise as much as they can the control they have over their subjects. A priest departing is a priest that says or wants to say: you don't own me anymore, I am not part of your system. The Legion does not like this at all because the ONLY WAY it knows how to deal with people is a CONTROLLING WAY.

3. Denial. If they forget about it and don't think about it, it will go away - you will stay in the Legion.

Many times I think there is a lot of immature/adolescent reactions by the LC folk, like recently I requested something from the Legion and by law they had 40 days to respond. They responded on the 40th day asking me to verify my I.D. It seems so childish.

If you leave the Legion and want to continue your priesthood or if you want to stop being a priest you can expect a long protracted process, and you better keep the LC happy during it.

They certainly pick and choose their christ-like imitation.

Anonymous said...

Well then the best solution is dissolution. In more ways than one.

How soon will we know anyway? Aren't they finishing up the AV?

Woody said...

I hear the AV will not be finished until March of 2010 or so.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry if I am off topic, but there is something that I still do not understand. On Wikipedia, on the french version, (certainly filled by some RC... and not updated!), there is still this statement:

"Sur les 10 accusateurs, l'un s'est rétracté (Miguel Diaz) en affirmant qu'il s'agissait d'un coup monté de toutes pièces pour porter atteinte à la Légion. Quatre autres anciens légionnaires ont également déclaré sous serment qu’ils avaient été abordés pour participer à ces accusations mensongères"

translation: "among the 10 accusers, one retracted (Miguel Diaz) saying it was a whole plot staged to undermine the Legion. Four other Legionaries have also testified under oath that they had been approached to participate in false accusations."

Does someone knows a little bit about this? would it be possible that the Legion invented such a lie?

Who is this Miguel Diaz? Did he truly exist? Did he changed opinion, now? Did the Legion invented this Miguel Diaz and the 4 other guys to "undermine" the accusers?

THE FRENCH

Anonymous said...

Miguel Diaz Riviera was one of the original molestation victims mentioned in the 1997 Hartford Courant article. Shortly before the story went to print, he retracted his accusation against Maciel. Either he lied when he accused Maciel, or he lied when he retracted his accusation, and alleged he had been coerced into accusing Maciel. Diaz’s retraction and claim of coercion was all the doubt the Legion needed to neutralize the other accusations.

I am not familiar with any facts relating to the 4 other men who claimed to have been approached to make a claim of abuse. Anyone else?

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken all four were/are on the LC payroll. There was an extensive debate and presentation of certain relevant information on the www.exlegionaries.com website which the legion closed down in a court case.

This case was settled because those being sued could not afford the costs of the legal battle.

The victims continue to speak out and try to prevent further harm.

Diaz and the other four have been silent since the Legion used them in their counterdefence to the Hartford Courant in 1997.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Thomas, you were one of my greatest inspirations. I realize you have taken certain vows, but I think it would be in your best interest to leave the order.