View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

More on an accused priest, then some positive news

A few weeks back I responded to a request from our local daily for someone to become the blogger for Gates, the suburban community in which I live. I responded with two e-mails, a phone call, and, in response to request during that phone conversation, another e-mail detailing my background.

Nothing yet. Meanwhile, Gates still does not have its own blogger.

As I wait to hear back from them, Gates has been in the news.

Sadly, one of those items involves a priest allegedly involved in sexual improprieties (I'd reported on this earlier). The local weekly had a few more details.

The priest, 80-year-old Father John Steger, was accused of inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl twice, once in April, once in May. The exact nature of that touching is not explained.

The weekly goes on to note that the police chief has received some calls from people "who think they have information." The article says the chief declined to say whether these calls involve possible witnesses or alleged victims.

Father Steger has been placed on administrative leave by the diocese.

Meanwhile, his arrest has unsettled the community. He is the founding pastor of his parish, he's a commisioner with the town fire district and a chaplian with the fire department. The police chief has been a parishioner at Father Steger's parish.

The whole situation is sad.

On a more positive note, the town hired a new finance chief. Annie Sealy will leave Nazareth College to become one of the highest ranking black female department heads in the entire county. Blacks comprise 12 percent of Gates' population.

Town Supervisor Ralph Esposito says she got the job because of her qualifications, not her race. That's as it should be. Still, it is heartening to see this happen.

Finally, on May 16 the Gates Chamber of Commerce honored a number of people in the community, including Sam Palma, who was named Outstanding Citizen of the Year.

I've known Sam for a number of years through serving on the Friends of the Gates Public Library Board with him, and being members of the same parish, St. Theodore's.

I also taught at Mercy High School for five years with his daughter-in-law, and her husband (his son) is the director of the permanent diaconate in the diocese.

Sam has been a member of the Friends for 20 years, organizing the successful used book sales among his other contributions. He has been active in other groups and the parish.

Good man. Good sense of humor too. He deserves the award.

I'm sure he enjoyed all the fuss, but I suspect he's more concerned with getting the next book sale organized.

And asking me to volunteer for it, of course.

2 Comments:

Blogger sdRay said...

My name is Ray and I just started a new blog about sex confession. Its a place where you can chat about sex confession confidentially. I hope you will come and check out www.MySecretConfessionSpace.com. Thanks for letting me post on your site.

11:01 PM  
Blogger sdRay said...

My name is Ray and I just started a new blog about secret sex. Its a place where you can chat about secret sex confidentially. I hope you will come and check out www.MySecretConfessionSpace.com. Thanks for letting me post on your site.

6:54 PM  

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