The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story


December 2, 2009

Another Teacher Fired at SGG

"Are you ashamed of trying to destroy the school?"
It was just another day at St. Gertrude the Great School.  But then during recess, Bishop Daniel Dolan summoned the teacher of Grades 3-5, Mrs. Stephanie Johns, into a classroom for a talk.  As she sat down, the bishop wasted no time and came right to the point.  "Are you ashamed of anything?"  Mrs. Johns was understandably puzzled by such a question, asked in such a blunt and hostile a manner.  As she could hardly believe her ears, the bishop repeated his question: "Are you ashamed of anything?"  "Ashamed of what?" asked Mrs. Johns, in honest bewilderment.  "Ashamed of trying to destroy the church and the school.  Ashamed of trying to destroy my good name.  Ashamed of collaborating with Father Ramolla to do so." 

"You're working for the devil."
As Mrs. Johns sat there, open mouthed with disbelief, the bishop launched into a tirade of abuse, accusing her of placing herself in the middle of Father Ramolla's "revolution", of trying to destroy Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada, the church and the school.  His final allegation was that Mrs. Johns was working for the devil, as what was going on at St. Gertrude's was truly diabolical.  Mrs. Johns agreed with this last observation, pointing out that yes indeed, many things happening at St. Gertrude's were indeed diabolical, and yet permitted by God for an institution He deemed unfit to continue.

"Are you accusing me?"
Bishop Dolan asked Mrs. Johns why she was still working at St. Gertrude's if she thought it was so sinful.  She replied that she had been duped into thinking that things would change once Father Ramolla became Principal.  However, it had since become obvious to her that it had never been part of the plan to have Father take over the school.  She pointed out that Father Ramolla had never wanted to overthrow Bishop Dolan or Father Cekada.  His only concern was with the continued presence of Mark Lotarski, and for a good reason: that the souls of children may no longer be endangered by this man, and that they may no longer be hindered from the sacraments.  Bishop Dolan asked Mrs. Johns if she was accusing him, the bishop, of barring children from the sacraments.  Her reply was "Well, you knew it, and yet you did nothing about it.  This is your church, and what happens here is your responsibility."

"Father Ramolla has been removed, so there is no more problem."
Mrs. Johns then had a question for the bishop.  "How was it possible for you to say, publicly even, that Father Ramolla never brought the school issues to your attention.  You and I, and many others, know that this is not the truth."  Without answering this question, the bishop merely brought the issue back to Mark Lotarski, claiming that he was not the problem at the school—Father Ramolla was the problem.  "And now he has been removed, so there is no more problem." 
[It should be noted that again Bishop Dolan has let slip that nasty little truth that Father Ramolla was in fact "removed", and not that he simply left of his own free will as he missed his beloved Germany so much. - Ed.]

During the course of the conversation Bishop Dolan repeatedly accused Mrs. Johns of being a "follower" of Father Ramolla.  At one point she told him that she was the follower of no priest, but of the Catholic Faith alone.

"Father Ramolla accused me of having a homosexual relationship with another priest!"
It was Bishop Dolan's turn to ask a question, and he indignantly demanded to know how Mrs. Johns could be a follower (again!) of a priest who is alleging that he the bishop was having a homosexual relationship with another priest.  Mrs. Johns explained to the bishop the exact meaning of what Father Ramolla had stated on one occasion: namely, that the bishop had no business accusing Father of an inappropriate relationship with a laywoman when at the same time he, the bishop, was being accused of inappropriate behavior.
[Mrs. Johns' explanation is in fact correct, and Father Ramolla has never made any accusations or innuendos about the relationship between Bishop Dolan and Father Cekada - Ed.]

"No one gets a confession quite as long as Stephanie."
Mrs. Johns pressed the point, asking how the bishop "could ever have made such sick allegations" against her.  His flippant reply was that "Well, no one gets a confession quite as long as Stephanie."  Again she said that this was "sick", and went on to explain the circumstances of her spiritual direction from Father Ramolla.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Johns had been receiving spiritual direction from Father Ramolla.  However, she had no longer been able to arrange this after school as she had to drive some students home, and so this past school year, she had occasionally waited to be at the end of the confessional line at the Friday school Mass so that she could go to confession and receive spiritual direction at the same time.  Bishop Dolan said nothing to this explanation.

 "I am not here to answer your questions, little girl."
Mrs. Johns then asked the bishop why he had lied (or terribly twisted the truth) to her students about the circumstances of Father Ramolla's dismissal.  He refused to answer this, scolding her and saying: "I am not here to answer your questions, little girl.  I pay your salary.  You work for me.  I don't pay you to give information to the other side."  Mrs. Johns pointed out that he certainly paid her very little, and that she didn't work for the bishop but for Our Lord.  She reminded the bishop about his own words in the funds appeal video he made for the building of the new church [We have a link to this video on our homepage at the end of the Abuse article - Ed.], namely that he claims that "it's all about the children".  And the only reason she was still at the school was because of those same children.

"Young lady, get your purse and leave.  You're fired."
Thinking, apparently, that his opening argument might work better if he tried it a second time, Bishop Dolan asked if Mrs. Johns had ever looked in a "spiritual mirror" and seen the woman she had become.  "Did she not feel ashamed?"  She replied that she absolutely did not.  However, she added, she did not want the millstone [of scandal - Ed] for working at St. Gertrude's.  "Young lady," replied the bishop, "you have many millstones around your neck."  "For what sins?" asked Mrs. Johns.  "Oh, there are many." replied the bishop. "Well," said Mrs. Johns, "you should know them all since you stayed right outside my confessional reading your breviary during my 'long' Confession."  At this point, Bishop Dolan became visibly irate, slapping his hands down on the desk, then standing up and telling Mrs. Johns: "Young lady, go get your purse and leave.  You're fired!  You need to learn how to speak to a priest."  She answered: "Then you need to learn how to act like another Christ!"

"Be quiet.  Be quiet.  Be quiet."
Mrs. Johns then went to her classroom where her students were waiting for her to begin the afternoon classes.  As they were asking her what subject they were to start on, Mark Lotarski arrived at the door and barked at the children to take their things and get down to his classroom.  The children looked at Mrs. Johns, puzzled, and she calmly explained to them that the bishop had just fired her.  Mark Lotarski proceeded to bark at her to be quiet.  The children all left.  He looked at her again, and although she said nothing, he barked at her again to be quiet.  She told him not to speak to her that way.  He barked a third time to be quiet.  He then warned her that he was going to stand there and watch her collect her belongings.  Mrs. Johns replied that she could just have the police escort her out, as they had been called in for his daughter when she had left home.  Suddenly Father Cekada arrived, waltzing in and telling her to stay calm.  She told him not to speak to her.  He would not let her make two trips to her room, but carried some of her belongings himself in an effort to get her out as quickly as possible.  In the vestibule he asked Mrs. Johns if the children were exposed to anything.  She replied to Father Cekada that it would be nothing worse than what he had allowed John Lotarski to expose them to.

"And when they shall bring you into the synagogues, and to magistrates and powers, be not solicitous how or what you shall answer, or what you shall say; for the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what you must say." (Luke, 12, 11-12)