Going to the Woods to Research My Story Next Month

By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels
June 28, 2008

Warming back up. I’ve spent a lot of time lately looking at the area of Illinois where I'm going next month after the SNAP conference to investigate my own story. The mansion is still there on Lake Street outside of Bartlett. Today, I can look straight at it on a Google satellite map. Click down you can see details, the surrounding forests, click down again, you see yes, the long driveway is still there, probably paved today.

I expected it would all be developed now, but eerily, it’s not. Lake Street appears to be a four-lane highway today. The turn off to Bartlett looks like just a little road from up here, the satellite view. Back then we joked our neighbors were sheep. There was almost nothing but farmland, and Bartlett, a train stop with a town around it.

St. Peter Damian Church c. 1953

I did a short search at bishop accountability and discovered:

After my perp priest left in the 1970s, a new priest, James Ray, took over as pastor until 1988 when he left to go to a parish about 20 miles due north in the tiny town of Wauconda. He was followed at St. Peter Damian Parish by Ray Lupo, who stayed pastor there until 2003.

Lupo “resigned” and Ray was “removed from ministry” Ray in 1991, Lupo in 2001 according to the Chicago Archdiocese announcement in 2006 which began: “The following Archdiocesan priests are no longer in public ministry because an allegation of sexual misconduct with a minor has been substantiated.”

Both Ray and Lupo had to leave the priesthood due to allegations of sex with children while at St. Peter Damian Parish in Bartlett.

So the church where my sister and I were raped by the parish priest in the early 1950s has had one perpetrator after another since Father Thomas Barry Horne.

I found this out a few weeks back. Now I'm on my way to Bartlett to find out more.

Bishop Accountability says about James Ray:

Ray was removed from Transfiguration parish (Wauconda) in 11/91 at the behest of Bernardin's commission, which had been set up after the 1991 Mayer accusations. Parishioners at Transfiguration church were informed that Ray was alleged to have offended at his previous parish, St. Peter Damian in Bartlett. Archdiocesan officials confirmed Ray's removal only after reporters specifically asked if he had been removed at the commission's request.

William Lupo’s careers is a little loopy, the database at BA has his as:

St. Mary's in Des Plaines (1979-86) parish school had 173 children
- Our Lady of the Wayside in Arlington Heights (1986-90) name misindexed and mislisted as Lupe in 1987 Directory; parish school had 649 children
- St. Peter Damian in Bartlett (pastor 1990-2003) listed in the 2003 Directory; no parish school
- Resigned 12/02, according to 3/20/06 archdiocesan announcement

Sheep would show up at the fence that marked our property line. You drove out that long curvy 2-lane highway from Chicago, about an hour, passed the left turn into Bartlett, then about a half mile on the right. A gravel driveway back then, you went up a small hill, then forged down a long straight path through the trees.

It must have been a mansion. It had a ballroom. Then a partition and a smaller living room area, I don't think we ever opened up or used the ballroom. My parents did throw a lot of parties, cocktail parties ala 1950s, think rural Breakfast At Tiffany’s style.

Father Thomas Barry Horne was a regular at my parents’ cocktail parties.

The house had a tower. A Tower. Honest. My playroom was at the top of the tower. Talk about isolation.

Here is the scene. Mom is an atheist who married her Catholic boss. She was a waitress. She was a raging angry waitress. Her studies at Chicago Art Institute came to a halt when her parents lost their business 1929, now she’s waitressing.

He’s going to Loyola law school and managing Hardings restaurant.

My dad worked his way through Law School during the Depression. Yeah I'm proud of him, even though he may have been in on the pedophilia himself.

There must have been a radical side to my dad even then, to come from a from a family full of Irish Catholic cops and marry this atheist girl, not only atheist. Her parents, my grandparents, migrated from Poland in 1900 so they could have the freedom to be atheist.

Her parents, my grandparents, came to American for the freedom to be atheists.

1949, the Catholic lawyer and his atheist wife have three children and move from Chicago to this rural place.

And at the same time Father Thomas Barry Horne comes out from Chicago to start St. Peter Damian church.

My dad is an usher there, my mom plays the organ, the oldest sister has a miraculously beautiful soprano voice and so is the church soloist.

My family is all over the place in this church.

Father Thomas Barry Horne spends hours and hours out at our place in "the woods," keeping my mom company, while my dad is on these weeks-long business trips.

Here is the scene. I'm in that playroom at the top of that tower. Or I'm playing outside in the woods. Both of my sisters are old enough to be in school, I'm at home with a mom who really doesn't like the way her life has turned out. I don't know, I guess she never got over having to quit art school in 1929.

Mom the atheist, angry that she’s stuck out in the middle of nowhere at home with a preschool aged girl, when the priest comes to call she’s more than happy to hand me over to him.

That's one possible scenario.
Being there next month will trigger LOTS of memories

I know from seeing the long driveway going up into the woods from my satellite viewpoint, that once I get there, my feet on the ground, the actual geography around me, a lot more memories will come up. I know from playing Google God and following the road from the Bartlett train station, which is today the Chicago Metra station in Barlett, that once I go the three blocks to Crest Street and see the church a lot more will come back.

So I’ve been distracted last few weeks, haven’t been able to post. I also got strangely sick when it came time to go see Bishop Robinson in Culver City. Looking back, it could have been because I was going to see Bishop Robinson. It also could have been because I read about Ray and Lupo.

Ray and Lupo, they sound like a vaudeville act.

I really have been working 12 hour shifts with a day down every 8 or 10 days lately to keep from having to work too much while I'm in Illinois. But the idea has opened up to me that I can take more trips like this, as my boss can digitize tapes and send them to be anywhere in the world to work on. I can do my job from any motel with an internet hookup in the room, all over the country next few years, and that's what I just might do.

So after the SNAP conference next month I'm staying, taking that Metra train out to Bartlett, and I'm going to do a little digging.

Will be posting blogs and videos here all the while.

In the early 1950s when we lived outside Bartlett, you drove from Chicago out a long curving 2-lane highway, Route 20, which was and still is the road between Chicago and Elgin. The forest is still there, the house that once had a tower is apparently still in there under the trees at the end of that long driveway. My dad had a wife and three children and purchased 20 acres with a mansion on it surrounded by forest. That same year 1949 Father Thomas Barry Horne came out from downtown Chicago to start St. Peter Damian parish.

I'm going to be there next month.
Onward. . .


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