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Fr Stephen Gormely was always an inspiration for all of us. And the way he was cared for by the brothers was inspiring.
Dear Lord, look kindly on your son, and grant him peace.
Mary, loving mother, we place him in your loving hands. Amen.

a brother told me that after his car accident, he could have walked again, but the legion decided against it because of his mood changes. So he remained in a wheel chair for the rest of his life. I don't know if his family was ever consulted about the possibility of him being able to walk or not. In the legion we were told that his paralysis was the result of the accident, but from my source it was not the whole truth since one operation could have made a difference. the legion specifically wanted him to stay an invalid. the brother who told me was from Chile and was there in Brazil working at the time of the accident.

with Fr. Stephen the legion went the cheap route for his rehabilitation. with other legionaries they got the 5 star treatment like Fr. Oscar Nadar who was a good buddy of maciel. Fr. Oscar was getting expensive operations at the Houston medical center as well as constant trips back there and the expenses were charged to the lc employees ie Fr. Oscar was listed as a lc employee to take advantage of their payments into the program. Fr. Oscar stayed at the Houston medical center hotel which I guess was pretty ritzy. A brother who worked there as a bell boy later came to a candidacy. Fr. Oscar was there all the time.

they could have done more for Fr. Stephen, but "he wasn't worth it".

The details surrounding Fr SG are deplorable on the part of the Legion hierarchy. Like in most situations, the brothers were sincere and conscientious, but that's where it ends. Thankfully he's been in the loving embrace of his family for some time now, and the best we can do for the time being is pray they make the most of their time together.

May the Lord be merciful to Fr. Stephen...and may he soon be interceeding from heaven for his brother LC's who remain within, and for all who've been harmed by them.

Please particularly remember his mother. His father passed away two years ago and another sister died within a few months of Lou Gehrig's disease. Fr. Stephen's neglect, especially when he was in Mexico after the "accident," led to a terrible infection. He would probably have died, if his family had not insisted on his being returned to the USA. The injustice has a long and very sad unfolding. Oremus.

"...may he soon be interceeding from heaven for his brother LC's who remain within". Yes may he soon be intercessing for ALL OF THEM to get out of the sodoites sect's dreadful outfit.

Praying for Fr. Stephen and his family.

I wont forget attending his early morning Masses in the Novitiate chapel. I also probably wont forget him dropping loud F-bombs during night prayers.
I sincerely doubt anything could have helped Fr Stephen walk again, his hips had been crushed in the accident.
When I was at Cheshire (2000-2003) his mood deteriorated to the point that the brothers could not take care of him anymore. Shortly after he went to a nursing home, but brothers from Thornwood or Cheshire would take turns spending a few hours with him. He bounced back remarkably. I saw him a few times in 2008 (he used to visit the Thornwood community) and I was surprised by how lucid, happy and engaged he was. These last good years are something to be thankful for.

The doctors who attended to him at the time of the accident thought differently about his possibilities of walking again & the LC decided he should never walk again. That is the point.

How much mobility he could have achieved is another question.

Novices were addicts for bad information and there was no one better to spread them than the superiors.

What you mention isn't an obstacle to being able to walk...

this story sounds similar to Fr. Stephen. there are more true life stories on the internet that speak of crushed hips and recovering the ability to walk...

The brother who told me was very sure of what he said and he was in Brazil working at that time. He wasn't the kind of brother to joke around.

Does anyone know why Fr Stephen Gormley is near death? Is it complications from his accident, or the condition he was left in after the accident? How old is he?


I remeber Fr Stephen very well. I arrived there in 2004. Throughout my years there I had a great admiration towards those taking care of Fr Stephen. Although selfless, their help wasn't the best for him. Temperatures dropped sharply during the winter, and you might remember how cold the building got. It really affected Fr's mood and health. Not to mention those hot summers there. It felt so sad to see how superiors treated other superiors with great "delicadeza", but gave Fr Stephen the essentials to get around with. Even when he came to our hikes, they would send him to the brothers table rather than the priest's. Instead of creating a sense of admiration towards Fr Stephen, they only created a sense of pity. I really wished he could really had had a more professional and more loving treatment.

" Even when he came to our hikes, they would send him to the brothers table rather than the priest's."

Wow. This is the acme of Pharisaism, even beyond pharisaism. I am blown away at the cold evil displayed in this act.

Fr. Stephen is about sixty years old. His hip-joints deteriorated because of infection, not the accident. The accident was highly suspect: he was behind a slow truck on a highway in Brazil; when he tried to pass, he perceived that there was not enough time because of an on-coming vehicle; he tried to fall back behind the truck, but the car that was following his car would not permit him to get back into the lane behind the truck. Thus, he was hit, almost head-on, and suffered terrible T.B.I. But it was the infection that set into his bones in the Mexican hospital that caused his joints and legs to deteriorate. Although he survived the period after the accident, he almost died in a Mexican hospital. Maciel ordered that if Fr. Stephen were to die, no one was to attend his funeral except his brother, Fr. Eugene, and the superiors. Yes, it is true that the brothers in Cheshire took very good care of Fr. Stephen, but they were regularly rotated out of service; they, not the priests, went with him to the doctor in NY, but there was never the same attendant twice, so the records and the medical orders became confused and jumbled. He was an embarrassment to the Legion, as he had once been in the prime of good health, was a first-rate athlete, and a favorite of Maciel. Until the accident.

I think it was MM and his weak followers who are the embarrassment.

"Maciel ordered that if Fr. Stephen were to die, no one was to attend his funeral except his brother, Fr. Eugene, and the superiors."

This stoic and cold control of relations between members was the oddest part of the persona of MM, truly demonic in some way. I saw LCs age often in isolation- surrounded by a novices here or there, but long time companions in life were never by their side. They were truly emotionally isolated from each other. One contracted a potentially terminal illness and was totally beside himself when his LC contemporaries of the same age offered him no concern at all but when on with business as usual. It was so pronounced in my mind that I had the distinct fear of dying in a Legion center; I truly would have preferred to be a John Doe in an anonymous ward somewhere than to have to be taken care of by LCs. I did not want their pastoral care, their cold funeral rites... how sad it all looked as the years went by and how unsuspecting the young are to where they would all end up.

I doubt seriously any token effort at reform could fix that one.

I vouch for the veracity of the above quote about who could attend the funeral.

And only two superiors were to attend, both were named in a letter from Maciel expressing his command on the subject.

Thanks to those who tried to correct my impression of Fr Stephen's injuries.
The care of old or disabled LCs used to trouble me too. Looking back I think it is a case of LC tunnel vision. Once a decision is made it is assumed to be the best possible solution and not questioned.
Since there are not enough retired priests to found Jesuit-style nursing homes it was decided to send disabled priests to novitiates, which is a great idea in theory: a bunch of enthusiastic, energetic young guys have all the time in the world to take care of the sick, and they in turn benefit from the example of the old priests. Problem solved, never to be worried about again.
Like so many things in the Legion, if the theory is good, practical problems are ignored. Sure, Fr Stephen had enthusiastic brothers taking care of him and he enjoyed their company, but his needs were beyond their capability.
From what I've heard, the same could be said Fr Lagoa who, if I remember correctly, languished miserable for years in the Novitiate of Ireland, and Fr Arumi who received poor care from well-meaning but clueless novices in Salamanca. Since it was what the superiors decided, since there was a good idea behind it, and since there were even some good results, the real problems of inadequate care were ignored.
The same could be said for the LC ideal of dying with your boots on, buried without pomp wherever you happen to fall: a romantic ideal for a teenager, but no way to really mark the death of a real human being with roots and relationships.
Much of the Legion was created out of MMs ideas
of what a good priest or religious should be like, when he never tried to be a good priest or religious a day in his life.

Not to highjack the post, but I wish someone would try to flesh out MM's ideal of the wandering priest-apostle: someone who is utterly unattached to home, comfort, reputation, community life or even other human beings except insofar as he can preach the gospel to their immortal souls, dying unmourned in some lonely land utterly worn out for Christ. I think it was the ideal behind the road teams and norms (mostly unapplied) about moving around every three years.
On the one hand it gave MM a cover for his own disappearances, and it set up situations in which an ordinary LC could override his natural revulsion to manipulating others.
And yet there was something romantic and appealing about it this ideal, especially to the young. It invoked the language of Christian detachment and the examples of St Paul and Francis Xavier. But it also seems to favor the superficial. There are missionaries and cloistered religious who utterly uproot themselves from their homes, but it does not strike me as being quite the same thing. Where does the difference lie?
Personally, in my early twenties I found this ideal partly attractive and partly repulsive. As I got older the more repulsive it became and eventually it was one of my motives for leaving.
Any thoughts?

You said it all very well, Another ex-LC. But what about the parents, the families? There is no comfort for a father or mother who has lost a much-loved son or daughter to the Legion and then learns of the death and burial of same in some missionary field. That is not a romantic idea to a mother, and St Monica would have had none of it!!!

I don't know if any of you remembers a few years ago there was a novice in Salamanca who was diagnosed with cancer. At the beginning the LC's made him a big story (magazines, internet, blogs, radio) Francisco was his name, or you might remember him as Paco as in the article "Paco's smile" that a consecrated woman wrote.

I am curious, does anybody know what happened to him. Was he kicked out of the Legion for not having the "qualities"? Is he in the Legion still? Why has the Legion stopped exploiting his story?
Here's the story reprinted on someone's blog; no mention of where Francisco might be now, however.

And to think that at one time this corrupt, abusive organization was actually able to convince large numbers of people that it's charism was "charity". It seems poor Fr. Gormley was on the receiving end of a particularly large dose of it. Prayers for him and his family.

I've noted with interest that that the Legion is once again being brought up in connection with a public outrage over a prominent priest's disgusting attitude regarding sexual exploitation of minors by priests (and Sanduskys, too!): over and over I see the Register's formerly being owned by the Legion implicated as a probable cause as to why the paper ever would have printed something so horrible.

I haven't seen the "Wake up, smarty!","We are ALL in need of reform!" and "This isn't the Legion of anybody but Christ!" comments being mentioned yet, but it's probably just a matter of time. Oh, and that pesky IPS connection of Groeschel's as well......

I find it heartening that the public won't let the Legion live down its rotten, dark, and abusive roots, and that anybody and anything who has been connected with it who doesn't have the good sense to condemn that connection continues to be distrusted and looked down upon by the masses. There is some justice, after all.

How anybody can continue to devote their lives to a poisonous organization like the Legion is beyond me. Masochists and martyr-types will always be with us, I suppose.

Gems: The NCRegister has only tonight pulled the article and issued apology. Here's an account and commentary on Matt Abbott's "Renew America" blog:

"It invoked the language of Christian detachment and the examples of ... Francis Xavier." Please be careful about the impression that Xavier was void of important loving relationships. An example: Xavier cut the signatures names of Ignatius and his brother Jesuits from the letters he received, placed them together on a pin, and attached them under his cassock near his heart. He yearned to spread the Gospel, and died doing it, but he did not 'disconnect' from the brothers he loved.

Different times call for different practices, practices not being dogma of course but considered ways, through prayer and discernment, of living out the Gospel. For example there are so many passages to really quote St Paul, but some of his practices (like women covering their heads) is cultural but not dogmatic (hell, as a Priest and a Christian, I am only really concerned that other parts of their body are better covered!).. Still, I will confess that in my twenties, such comparisons of LC with St Francis Xavier inspired me. The tough thing is that the LCs didn't go the whole nine yards with a complete cutoff with communication with your family; it was severely drastic but not total. Thus, the LCs would say that we had contact with our families, but it was diddly and in some ways, our ways were worse than some 16th century missionary.. did St Frances open up any of the mail of fellow missionaries or would he have and read it...See, it was almost like the LCs wanted us to live a cloistered life in an active way.. but we all know it comes down to complete control and a very oppressive way.
I do appreciate, by the way, all of those who have wrote about Fr Stephen. This is so inhumane. I really can't believe these stories, just like I can't believe that Groeshel would call Sandusky a "poor guy" not referring to that he needs our prayers for his salvation, but Groeshel not understanding the severe wounds this man caused. Really, my only explanation here, is that Groeshel must be getting dementia.
I repeat it again, we desperately need a St Francis to cleanse our old boys club Church. Anyway St Clares out there either? And God bless you Fr Stephen!

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