The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story


January 18, 2010

Letter of Explanation from a Parishioner
of St. Clare's to Fr. Cekada
regarding certain allegations
made in School Dazed

by Jan Satola

The style of our line-by-line refutation of School Dazed does not always provide us with sufficient space to refute Fr. Cekada's accusations with the detailed response they deserve.  In this particular case, taken from Part 6 of School Dazed, Fr. Cekada mentions, as part of his justification for freezing then seizing the St. Clare's bank account, that "Another man in Columbus tried to walk off with some books that were church property."  The man in question, Mr. Jan R. Satola, provides us here with a detailed account of what really happened.
What is equally important in the big picture is the fact that the incident Mr. Satola recounts here happened a week after the accounts were seized, and so could not possibly have been a contributing cause for Fr. Cekada's reckless and unwarranted action.

I do not know of anyone, including myself, who stole any books out of St. Clare’s lending library.  I do know about catechism notebooks and about visitor’s missals.

I used to teach Catechism to the young children at St. Clare’s.  At my own expense, I made each of them a loose-leaf notebook into which they placed handouts I gave them for their lessons.  Each notebook had the child’s name in very large lettering on it, so they belonged to the children, not the church.  I now have these notebooks for when our catechism class starts up again.

I wrote and put together, with the help of Craig Toth’s expertise about the Latin Mass, a visitor’s missal—an improvement to the green visitor’s missal we had for many years.  I gave the Bishop and Fr. Cekada copies of the hand-made version of the missal so they could see for themselves the quality of the work.  They approved it and said they would print up enough copies for St. Clare’s and for fund-raising sales using the machine they use to produce the traditional calendar.  Nothing happened, so about 2 years ago I made about 50 copies by hand and placed these in the pews.   So, for about 2 years or so, I periodically reminded Fr. Cekada, Bishop Dolan, and Mr. Lotarski (my assigned contact for printing) about their promise, until last year when Fr. Cekada and Mr. Lotarski simply stopped responding to my inquiries.  In the meantime spanning these two years or so, the parishioners liked the new missal, and they took most of the copies I made home over this two year period, which did not bother me, because the missals were appreciated and being used to benefit souls.  I also gave several copies to new parishioners who wanted to understand the Latin Mass, but had no missal.

On the Saturday in question with Fr. McGuire, I had collected maybe 8 copies (of the original 50 missals) that remained in the church pews and put them in the trunk of my car.  A few minutes later, I talked to Fr. McGuire about this terrible episode involving Fr. Ramolla, and he asked me if I would return the missals to the church.  I did return the missals the next day.

Jan R. Satola
Columbus, Ohio