The Servites are lying to you. They just don’t do it very well.

Friday’s document release from religious orders whose members abused children in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles shines a very bright light on ugly doings at Anaheim’s Servite High School.

I already wrote about the sadomasochist Joe Sharkey. That one was a jaw dropper. Take the time to read it if you haven’t. The Register also covered it here.

But the other Servite file—Brother Gregory Atherton—is uglier. Not because of the graphic nature of the abuse, but because of the cover-up. Not because of the fact that Atherton was sent to treatment for abusing kids at Servite High School, but because the Servites lied then and continue to lie now about his status.

The quotes say it all.

“We’ve put him under a safety plan. He reports to a supervisor. He mostly stays home and does some work like bookkeeping or helping around the house.”

Rev. John Fontana, Provincial Superior of the Servite Order in the United States

Let’s see how the facts pan out.

“It’s a marvelous occasion for us,” said Servite Brother Gregory Atherton, who also attended a national anniversary celebration in June in Chicago. As Brother Atherton spoke after Friday’s Mass, people swarmed around tables nearby to grab slices of vanilla and chocolate cake, decorated with congratulatory words marking the occasion.

– August 22, 2008 edition of the Catholic Sentinel

Three Grotto employees have worked every year: Brother Gregory Atherton, Grounds/Facilities Manager Mark Combelic and Master Puppeteer Celeste Rose. Bonus facts: The three worst years of weather were 1990, 2006 and 2008. Three groups from far-flung locations perform this year: Vancouver BC (St. Charles Borromeo Choir), Anaheim, CA, (Servite High School), and the Philippines (University of the Philippines). emphasis mine

December 2013 Mid-County Memo

So … Atherton is also working with high school choirs?

Around Thanksgiving several of his nieces from the Carolinas visited Damian Kobus for several days. His sister was not able to travel with them nor is Damian able to travel to visit her. The nieces told Gregory Atherton that they were pleased to find Damian doing so well. They were pleasantly surprised with his happy disposition, the 3 quality of his room, the care he is receiving, and the food they and he were served.

December 2013 Servite Newsletter

Brother Gregory Atherton, OSM, has managed to find someone to really care for our aging organ in the Chapel of Mary who can keep it going in spite of occasional glitches. Greg made a recording of his organ solos for the chorale concerts so he can have things a bit easier for himself. The personnel who manage the sound and recording can slip his recording on when needed so Greg can get a break.

– December 2013 Servite Newsletter

Greg needs a break? I thought he was only doing light housework.

The Servites lied. Atherton was not monitored. He is probably not being monitored now.

I repeat: The Servites are lying to you. They just don’t do it very well.



4 thoughts on “The Servites are lying to you. They just don’t do it very well.


    Finn wronged? Who knew?

    Fr. Lockwood: “One of the most disturbing things I have seen in my years as a priest is the glee and meanness of many of our brothers and sisters in the aftermath of Bishop Finn’s resignation. Champagne corks popped, celebrations begun, more mean and vicious things said by people who Lord Jesus said to them, “love one another.”

    There is no forbearance or forgiveness for this man who pled no contest to a politically motivated charge filed by an ambitious prosecutor with strong ties to the abortion industry, so that he might save his local church the pain and cost of a public trial.

    The statute used was not even applicable to what happened, but such is our legal and political society. He is a man who loves and cherishes children, and would never for one minute hazard them for any reason: I know this as I know the man himself. But the outrage of many was managed by the designs of a few and here we are.”


    so that he might save his local church the pain and cost of a public trial.


  2. Joelle: Stay the course. You are doing a great job. There is a new violence toward girls, barring them from serving as acolytes. Most of the girl acolytes, when wearing their robes, look like angels. May God bless them all.

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