February 26, 2006

Claim of abuse forever taints priest's 51 years in order

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Bill McClellan

When Father Robert Osborne was ordained in the Marianist order 51 years ago, the bells of St. Mary were still ringing in the hearts of Roman Catholics and Bing Crosby was the perfect guy to play the role of a priest - charming, caring and cheerfully serving the Lord by serving His people. There are those who say that Osborne was that sort of priest.

"My dad died when I was 13," said Doug Schoen, who is now a radiologist. "I was one of six boys. My oldest brother was 15, the youngest was 18 months."

The oldest brother went to Vianney and worked as a bus boy at Bartolino's South on Lindbergh Boulevard. One evening one of his teachers was there having dinner with Osborne, who was then the pastor at Our Lady of the Pillar.

The teacher must have told the priest about the family's plight, because Osborne soon called the mother. He wanted to help. He hired the mother as a secretary, and then he helped her get a better job. He became a surrogate father to the boys. He took them on trips - Rome, Mexico City, tours of Civil War battlefields. Sometimes he'd take two or three of the boys, sometimes just one. Every one of the six boys graduated from college.

Posted by kshaw at February 26, 2006 07:16 AM