Come to the Stable

The Stephen Spalding Foundation


Fifteen years ago, on 8 March 2002, Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell of Palm Beach, Fla., announced that he is a serial sexual predator.  O'Connell resigned his position in disgrace but he remained a member in good standing with the United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops. 


His protectors continue to shield O'Connell from justice:  Bishop John R. Gaydos
of Jefferson City, Mo.; Bernard Francis Cardinal Law, now a protected citizen of Vatican City State; and Timothy M. Cardinal Dolan of New York (a St. Louis native, and, like O'Connell, an alumnus of the Archdiocese of St. Louis seminary program).


Gaydos closed St. Thomas Aquinas Preparatory Seminary, Hannibal, in 2002.  He refused to investigate O'Connell's 26-year career as a faculty member and rector.  He has refused to help those harmed. 


Thy Child's Face
Gaydos prefers to nuruture and protect a travesty.  We remember the victims and hope for justice. 


A new information source is now available that addresses the history and humanity of this story.  For specific details about individual cases and incidents related to the St. Thomas Seminary scandal, or to review individual cases of victims and perpetrators, please visit Thy Child's Face.

Come to the Stable/The Stephen Spalding Foundation
Come to the Stable/The Stephen Spalding Foundation is renewing its
501(c)(3) non-profit charitable corporation registration with the
U.S. Internal Revenue Service as organized under the laws of the State of Minnesota. Our services are dedicated to survivors of childhood sexual molestation and adult victims of sexual violence. Our mission is to help each person who comes to us to recover
from the personal trauma that they have suffered.

Come to the Stable/The Stephen Spalding Foundation now is
poised to begin its development initiative. Please take a moment
to review the PDF version of our
Prospectus. Our PowerPoint
offers additional insight into the issues that concern
our organization.


Phase One of our business plan targets donors willing to fund our support staff over two-to five-year period. Phase Two will encompass a capital campaign to acquire property for the development of respite care facility.

We have targeted June 1, 2018, as the day we begin to service the needs of our constituency.

As our name implies, Come to the Stable is as much an invitation to join us on a journey of discovery and hope as it is a solicitation to help those in need.


The Stephen Spalding Foundation honors the memory of a classmate, a young boy whose fate has become an historical fact: Stephen Spalding (1953-1982) is the first-known reported victim of Anthony J. O'Connell. Criminal investigators have determined that O'Connell molested at least 30-50 students during his 25-year tenure as a teacher and the rector of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Hannibal, Missouri.


O'Connell resigned in disgrace in 2002 as bishop (1998-2002) of Palm Beach, Florida, following a decade as bishop (1988-1998) of Knoxville, Tennessee. He was the protégé of Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston. Cardinal Law sent his high school seminarians to St. Thomas when he was the bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Missouri.


O'Connell, who died 4 May 2012, livied a life of luxury on the banks of the Cooper River at Mepkin Abbey, a former plantation near Charleston, South Carolina.


Come to the Stable/The Stephen Spalding Foundation has been established O'Connell survivors and their loved ones with the help of St. Thomas alumni and friends. The seed money that is nurturing our growth comes from a negotiated settlement with O'Connell and the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri.


We hope you will help us build a brighter future for those in need.


Michael Wegs
Come to the Stable/The Stephen Spalding Foundation


Special Report

An Irish Tragedy:  How Sex Abuse by Irish Priests Helped
Cripple the Catholic Church,
published by Crossland Press
is an intriguing thesis about clergy sex abuse in the United
States that focuses on St. Thomas Aquinas Prepartory
Seminary and Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell.

Author Joe Rigert traces the rise and fall of O'Connell and his
leadership at the high school seminary as well as the Diocese of
Jefferson City management team lead Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe
and Bishop John R. Gaydos that allowed O'Connell to molest
numerous students during his 25-year tenure at Hannibal, Missouri,

In addition to the tragedy of St. Thomas, Rigert has crafted a stinging
indictment of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland and how the Vatican
prompted the transfer of Irish pedophile priests to the United States
where they have become the predominant figures in the history of child
molestation in America. Rigert is an investigative reporter with more
than 30-years of experience with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan

In his role as the Next Generation Leader of the Roman Catholic
Hierarchy in the United State,
Dolan continues to mislead the public
about childhood sexual molestation by members of the clergy.
Michael Wegs examines this issue in the Sunday edition of the
Dubuque Telegraph-Herald.


Read reviews by Michael D. Fleming, Ph.D., and others
about this tragic history.


Father Thomas P. Doyle, O.P., J.C.D., notes the underlying
of a dysfunctional church and its clerical leadership
in An Irish Tragedy.


Order your copy of An Irish Tragedy today from Amazon.


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