Information Leaflet Targets Priest
Advocacy Group to Seek Support at Church in Alton

By Nicklaus Lovelady
Belleville News-Democrat
February 19, 2006

ALTON - Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests are planning an informational leafleting today at the St. Mary's (Immaculate Conception) Church at 525 E. Fourth St.

They plan to pass out flyers about 11:30 a.m. after Mass to encourage parishioners to come forward with information that may help in the prosecution of the Rev. John Rabideau.

SNAP director David Clohessy said Rabideau was a fugitive for seven years, wanted in connection with charges of sexual conduct of three children in Michigan from 1985 to 1987.

Later, Rabideau was assigned to the now-closed St. Patrick's Parish in Alton and St. Mary's in the early 1990s.

"Our goal is to help anyone that may have been victimized by him get support and to find any witnesses or information that might help in the criminal prosecution," Clohessy said.

"Just because criminal charges have been filed doesn't mean we can get complacent and assume the molestation charges will get him locked up," Clohessy said. "We're sure the prosecutors will welcome any new witnesses."

Rabideau was ordained in 1990 and belonged to a religious order called the Oblates of the Virgin Mary in Boston, Clohessy said. Rabideau is accused of having sexual contact with boys between the ages of 6 and 14.

The Oblates of the Virgin Mary maintain an Oblate House at St. Mary's.

Rabideau was arrested last week as he tried to enter the United States from Equador. He is being held by authorities in Miami. Before his arrest earlier this month, he had been living in Colombia.

Anyone with information about Rabideau is asked to call SNAP's outreach director, Barbara Dorris, at (314) 862-7688.

Contact reporter Nicklaus Lovelady at or 659-0985


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.