October 04, 2005

John Grogan | On the contrary: Father O'Sullivan

Philadelphia Inquirer

By John Grogan
Inquirer Columnist

They called themselves the Philadelphia Rovers. They were altar boys at St. Monica's Parish in South Philadelphia, and the Rovers was their social club, founded by the boys' spiritual leader, Father Raymond O. Leneweaver.

The priest rewarded the boys for their service to the church by taking them sledding and swimming. He made up custom T-shirts for them and taught them wrestling moves.

The parents were thrilled. What better role model for boys growing up on the streets of South Philly in the 1970s?

As Lou Mosca, of Sewell, N.J., who was a member of the group, told me by e-mail: "My parents loved this guy. They were thrilled that a parish priest took the time to take their son swimming, to dinner, to the movies. Unfortunately they did not live to see what a monster he really was."

Yes, there was a dirty secret.

Posted by kshaw at October 4, 2005 08:20 AM