Come to the Stable

The Stephen Spalding Foundation

Come to the Stable

The Stephen Spalding Foundation


Board of Advisors


Matthew A. Cosby

Matthew A. Cosby is an alumnus of St. Thomas Aquinas High School Seminary (1986) in Hannibal, Missouri.  He recently received a modest settlement from the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, and Anthony J. O’Connell, the former bishop of Palm Beach, Florida, and Knoxville, Tennessee.  Matthew is one of at least 30 O’Connell victims and most likely more than 50 alumni and former students of the high school seminary.  Matthew also is one of most brutalized of O’Connell’s victims.  He received an undergraduate degree from Conception Seminary in Conception, Missouri, near Kansas City.  He is pulmonary analyst with Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.


Michael D. Fleming, Ph.D., J.D.

Michael D. Fleming is a Minneapolis, Minnesota, attorney who specializes in estate planning and commercial real estate.  He is CTS/SSF general counsel.  Michael received a J.D. cum laude in 1996 from William Mitchell College in St. Paul, Minnesota.  He was a recipient of the Dean’s Merit Scholarship and an associate editor of the William Mitchell Law Review.  He was admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1997.  Prior of his law career, Michael worked as a classical music critic for more than 20 years. 


Michael received his Ph.D. in musicology from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, based on his research and study of music of the Baroque period and the composer Michael Preatorius.  He also served as program annotator for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for many years, and has provided scholarly work for Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the symphony orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh.  Michael’s critical analysis of classical music has been published in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe and many other publications.  He is a former adjunct professor of music at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Minnesota.  In 1986, Michael was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize by his employer, the St. Petersburg Times.  Michael is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Delta Phi Alpha, the German language honor society.


Sarah Spalding

Sarah Spalding retired recently as an administrator with the public school system in St. Louis, Missouri.  Susan is the sister of Stephen Spalding.


Mary Monroe Ellis, Ph.D.

Dr. Mary Monroe Ellis is Associate Professor of Mathematics with the state university system of Tennessee.  She is a valued and involved member of her academic community, serving on numerous committees and panels focused on improving benchmarks and outcomes for the students that she serves.  Mary also is a noted community activist and organizer.  In 2002, Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Knoxville presented Mary with the St. Ann Medal in recognition for outstanding leadership with the Catholic Girls Scouts of Eastern Tennessee.


Susan Vance

Susan Vance is a recognized Catholic educator in the Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee, and mother of four boys.  Susan works closely with Mary Monroe Ellis
in developing awareness programs regarding sexual abuse and sexual awareness education in both Knoxville and Oak Ridge.  She is co-founder, with Mary Monroe Ellis and Carole Mullane, of The Sunshine Alliance, which serves as an information clearinghouse for child welfare organizations throughout Tennessee.  Susan also is a talented graphic designer and webmaster.  She is donating her services to Come
to the Stable


Michael J. Wegs

Michael J. Wegs is an alumnus of St. Thomas Aquinas High School Seminary (1971) in Hannibal, Missouri.  He recently received a modest settlement from the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, and Anthony J. O’Connell, the former bishop of Palm Beach, Florida, and Knoxville, Tennessee.  Michael is the first student to file a civil suit against O’Connell in the wake of the Christopher Dixon disclosures.  His case is the only one to date that has moved successfully in uncovering the scandal at St. Thomas. In Doe v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City, et al., CV302-142CC, Marion County Court Judge C. David Darnold ruled that members of the clergy are, in fact, employees of religious denominations.  In addition, the Darnold opinion stated that “churches can be held to the same standard as any other entity that is in the position of caring for children.


In jurisprudence matters, Doe v. Jefferson City, is noteworthy in that this ruling set precedence by disagreeing with the 1997 Missouri Supreme Court case, Gibson v. Brewer, which ruled that members of the clergy were contract workers and, thereby, limiting the liability of church-affiliated organizations.  Michael received an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia (1975).  As a seminarian with the Diocese of Jefferson City until 1979, he pursued graduate studies at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.  Michael is an award-winning journalist and corporate communications consultant with more than 30 years experiences these markets.  He lives in Marion, Iowa.


Family Outreach Advisory Board


Betty J. Helmich

Betty J. Helmich is the mother of Michael Wegs.  She resides
in Moberly, Missouri.  Mrs. Helmich is the mother of seven other children, in addition to Michael Wegs. 
She has pledged $3,000
over five years to Come to the Stable/The Stephen Spalding