The Scandals at St. Gertrude the Great

West Chester, Ohio

The Full Documented Story


January 18, 2010

Letter to the Editors

by Sue Bastaja

A recent blog by Bp. Dolan's blogger-in-chief contained an anonymous letter from an SGG school parent to his own parents, assuring them that, really, everything is just fine and dandy at St. Gertrude the Great School.  This bothered Sue Bastaja, former parishioner of St. Clare's, Columbus, and in this letter to the editors, she attempts to come to grips with what the man is really saying.

Dear Editors:

I haven’t read Fr. Cekada’s latest “Whatever” blog where another SGG parent says “Thanks.”  I am so glad, however, that Timothy Duff addressed that email from the anonymous parent.  The writer’s pathetic attempts at reasoning with his parents and defending his decision to keep his children under the thumb of Mark Lotarski made me cringe.  He sounded like he had been brainwashed into staying in a cult and his parents were trying to rescue him and his children.

 The email from that man to his parents really bothered me.  To me, it seemed that he was admitting to his parents that there were serious problems at SGG School, he just didn’t want to acknowledge all of them, so he called them lies and half-truths.  His justifications were so weak that he might as well have said,

“Hey Mom and Dad, I am so sorry that you found out I am leaving my children’s souls at risk for perdition.  I will admit that some of the things you have read are true, and things are bad here but they could always be worse.  We have had a tough year watching families and friendships being torn apart, and parishioners expelled and maligned from the pulpit.  For right now, I don’t think my kids’ souls are being damaged enough to move them.  That might happen later, but for the time being I am comfortable where we are and it would be inconvenient to move.  We know that the devil is a “chained dog” so to speak, and we are standing within reach of his chain.  I know you are very concerned about us, but just give us some more time to stand in this near occasion of sin and risk our children’s souls.  It’s true that other children have lost their faith at Saint Gertrude the Great School, even children whose families moved great distance to attend the school.  But none of that matters, because my children have an “in” with the principal so they aren’t being damaged.  Don’t they look happy in these pictures I’m sending.  It is tiring to keep up the veneer of a happy little school, but maybe these pictures will put your mind at ease.  Everyone is welcome at our church provided they help work the propaganda machine and don’t help to expose the truth that SGG School is no longer fit for your grandchildren or any others.  Trust my judgment, Mom and Dad, please.  It’s tough when God is requiring us to protect our children’s morals and we are choosing not to do so.  Any outside pressure from you will only make things more difficult for my wife and me.”

As an aside, I do understand the pressure this man is under.  When my husband and I put our children in Catholic school, we were under tremendous pressure from my family to remove them from the school and put them back in the public school.  I am the only Catholic on my side of the family, and as a convert it is even clearer to me why I am Catholic.  But this situation is entirely different.  Our son and daughter’s souls and their education were being safeguarded by our decision, and I was merely standing up to my mother’s dislike of Catholicism and my father’s concern because we were driving eight children to a school that was one hour away from our house.  He was concerned about me spending two hours per day on the road to secure the education for my children and questioned whether it was worth the risk.  My children’s souls were being enriched by the access to daily Mass and Confession and the loving care of the nuns.  At SGG School, the access to the Mass is a refuge for these children but some of them are even being terrorized in the church.  Not to allow a child to go to the bathroom until they have an accident is psychological manipulation that could mark that little boy or girl for life.

God bless you,

Sue Bastaja