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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Especially for Catholics in recovery

I was trying to remember, trying to remember ... there was this daily Catholic email I used to get, from a priest in Wisconsin, named Father Pat.  I distinctly remember it because other Catholic friends in AA recovery also received his emails and in fact we used to discuss them.  It took a little digging, but here is the guy I used to sub to --

 a web ministry that included the award-winning St. Bronislava Parish web site.  During these years he began sending a daily e-mail Morning Prayer that now goes to thousands of people all over the world.  He also began sending weekly e-mails containing the Scriptures for the following weekend, Reflection Questions and a weekly Spiritual Reflection.Father  Pat's Web Ministry has been featured in USA Today, the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel and around the USA and Canada in articles carried by the Scripps Howard News Service, Saint Anthony Messenger, National Catholic Register, the Ligourian, Catholic Newspapers of the La Crosse and Green Bay Dioceses and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and many other Catholic publications. 

But that's not how what I first found on him - in fact, what I first found horrified me.  Not being able to recall his last name, I thought it was some freaky coincidence.  But, it's not.  It's the same guy we knew and loved from emails that is now known for: 

The Rev. Patrick A. Umberger, faces one felony count punishable by up to $100,000 in fines and 25 years in prison. Among several images of children that state department of justice agents discovered on Umberger's computer were three photographs depicting boys and possibly a girl in sexual positions, according to the complaint.  The case against Umberger began when police received a report that he had been acting 'suspiciously' at a Lake Delton water park in July 2009, according to the criminal complaint. A family had told Noah's Ark Water Park employees that Umberger was sitting near a kiddie pool and following boys into the men's restroom, and the employees called police, according to a Lake Delton Police report. Umberger told an officer he had a season pass and was near the restrooms because he had prostate problems and had to urinate often, the report said. The officer told Umberger that park officials had revoked his season pass and drove him to his car. The officer noted she questioned Umberger for an hour and he never had to use the restroom.   Lake Delton officers shared the report with police in Onalaska, who discovered Umberger had a website as well as a Facebook account that listed many young boys as friends. Onalaska police turned the case over to the state Justice Department.  Umberger allegedly told the agent, however, that he found people could become sexually attracted to him when they were 12 or 13 years old and he was attracted to boys between the ages of 12 and 15 or older.

Now, at this point, I want to stop and say that this is the identical attraction that Father Bruce Ritter had that almost brought Covenant House down around its ears.  This specific type of sexual attraction has a name: Ephebophilia is the sexual preference of adults for mid-to-late adolescents, generally ages 15 to 19.

Now, the story on Father Pat only gets worse.  Just when I was upset and sad and shocked, people, it got worse:  Father Pat, at age 60, died, of cancer, before he could get his day in court.  There is an excellent article, with links to Father Pat's cancer blog, @ ;  -- in there section for 2010.  The thing is, I remember him having cancer of the eye when I was subbed to him - and I remember thinking;  what an odd place to get cancer!  Years later, a friend's husband also developed cancer of the eye and was told it wasn't a primary cancer -it broke off from somewhere else.  So that too explains Father Pat's death.

One more thing:  for historical accuracy, I checked on Father Bruce Ritter when I was typing this article.  I didn't know that he was allowed to be a priest after 15 people came forward -he was just shipped off to India; allowed to come back to upstate NY to die (ironically ? also of cancer).  YOU SEE HERE CATHOLIC CHURCH, WHY I'M ONE FOOT IN, ONE FOOT OUT?  YOU SAY I SHOULDN'T RECEIVE AFTER BEING MARRIED AND DIVORCED TWICE -YET YOU ALLOW THESE GUYS TO STILL BE PRIESTS?!

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