Three of them

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I have added the name of Brother John Paradis fic with and a link to page with further information to the Accused page.

Those who have followed the unfolding sex abuse scandal of the Brothers of Christian Instruction and St. Mary’s International School in Japan will have noticed the comment posted 07 February 2014 by deapks” on the  St. Mary’s International School Labor Dispute website Forum.   deapks said that he and a female teacher caught “Brother John” engaging in sexual activity with a St. Mary’s student.  That was in the late 60s.  He doesn’t recall the brothers last name, but adds:  “I think he was on the top shelf of the bros, one of a few with his own office.”

Who is Brother John?

Sorting this out became a little  convoluted.  The bottom line is that Brother John is Brother John Paradis, who is Brother Paul-Emile Paradis, who, in the mid 80s and on was known to students at SMIS simply as Brother Paul

Brother John Paradis is still alive and living in a Brothers of Christian Instruction facility on the banks of the St. Lawrence in La Prairie, Quebec, Canada.  La Prairie, a suburb of Montreal, is also home to the College Jean de la Mennais, a  private school once operated by the Brothers.  I think but am not 100% certain that some of the brothers still teach at the school.

So, the Brother Paul-Emile Paradis in this December 2003 group photo is Brother John.

Group picture of Brothers of Christian Instruction after a retreat at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo (Brother Lawrence Lambert is Brother Guy Lambert.  This is Page 8 from April 2010 edition of LaMennais magazine)

Note that the text accompanying text places Brother Paul-Emile Paradis at La Prairie.

Now check this 2010 Annual List of Personnel.  Brothers Martial and Paul-Emile Paradis are the only Paradis in La Prairie:

Brothers of Christian Instruction 2010 administrative report

I have been told by contacts that Brother Paradis, who was once Headmaster and/or Principal at SMC back in the 60s returned to teach at SMIS in the mid 80s and was known to the students as Brother Paul.  I was also told that “Brother Paul”  is alive and living in La Prairie.

I have no idea where Brother John was prior to this ‘return’ to SMIS, nor do I know when or why he left.  If anyone can fill in these gaps please get in touch with me.  Was he perhaps reported, and, like Brother Lawrence Lambert, slipped out of circulation for a spell?  I just do not know.  Was he perhaps sent off to one of the multitude of other schools operated by the Brothers world-wide?

(The 2010 report is a few years out of date but still invaluable to those seeking addresses and contact information for various Brothers and superiors within the order.  I did try to find a more current report but so far without success – I am yet again hampered by inability to read or speak French 🙁  If anyone has a more recent report please send it my way)

Now, look at the December 1963 picture and text again:

There’s Brother Paul-Emile Paradis fic (John/Paul Paradis)

and there’s Brother Benoit Lessard fic (Daniel Lessard)

and there’s Brother Guy Lambert fic (Lawrence Lambert)

That’s three.  Three of them.  Three real/suspect/alleged – whatever you want to call them child molesters.  Three all there at the same time.  Those poor little boys.

I get chills.  I really and truly get chills.

In that vein, I have a little video clip I plan to post .  I will do so later.  For now I just wanted to let people know who and where Brother John is.

Has there been a cover-up and/or tolerance of child sexual abuse at St. Mary’s?   Did any superiors know about Brother Lawrence back in the mid 60s?  What about Brother Lessard?  And, yes, what about Brother John?

And what abot the stories of boys trying to and sexually abusing their fellow students?  What if anything did the administration know of this in the 80s?  And, what was or was not done?

Were there more than these three?  It’s highly possible is it not?

Were there decent Brothers over the years?  I’m sure there absolutely were, but I do not include in that number those Brothers who knew and cover-ed up, – and in so doing willfully placed those boys at risk.

I have deep concerned for the many victims who must be out there, and who have, as victims are prone to do,  remained silent.  Most believe that they are the only one.  Most fear that they will not be believed.  And, in this instance, I am sure many fear the wrath of those alumni who have greater concern for the reputation of the school than for the plight of a victim, and ditto that for the deception which may have been wrought in covering up these despicable crimes.

I have concerns for parents and families who to this day do not know what happened to their “Johnny” while he was away at school – they know he changed, but have no idea why.

I encourage those who have been sexually abused by any of these brothers to speak up,  There is freedom in putting the shame and blame smack dab where it belongs – on the shoulders of your molester.

Enough for now,


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5 Responses to Three of them

  1. a heartbroken alumnus says:

    There were good brothers at the school. I think of Br. Charles Desjarlais. He is always on the ball and started out as a 4th grade teacher. His students speak highly of him. He later became the high school Principal. He was very stern but fair. He cracked down on bullies and expelled many problem students. He was a revolutionary among the brothers and a youngster with fresh new ideas that were ahead of the times. However, he was a thorn in the side of the administration and the powers that be. He always upset the status quo for the better, but was shunned by the powers that be for doing so. He was also the Assistant Grade school Principal under Br. Lawrence Lambert. During that time, many teachers preferred to go to Br. Charles instead of Br. Lawrence because Br. Charles always got things done swiftly. Br. Charles was and is a good one to work with. He left St. Mary’s and became the Headmaster of his order’s school in Pandan in the Philippines. The school did well under his administration. During Typhoon Haiyan, many students’ families lost everything and cannot afford to pay tuition. Br. Charles is fundraising to help the students.

    I recall Br. Trudel. He was a sincere, honest and humble man. He taught catechism to students who were interested in becoming Catholics. He always was very professional. He was a living saint. His students say that they learned so much from him and speak highly of him. He was a true missionary; he never sought out converts. Students asked him questions and got interested. I recall one alumnus of St. Mary’s who was bullied and sexually abused by his peers; the administration covered it up and blamed it on his reaction. That alumnus went to Br. Trudel; Br. Trudel taught him catechism. The alumnus found consolation through a relationship with Jesus Christ and became a Catholic. Br. Trudel passed away peacefully in 2003 as a very old man. When Br. Trudel had his classes, he would use a room with a porthole window on the door and another window that looked out on the street. Other times, he left the door to another room (he used) open. That is professionalism; he did that to protect the students, not only himself.

    Br. Fernand, Br. Gervais, Br. Julien, and Br. Andre Poisson were also very professional brothers who knew how to set safe boundaries. These men were/are saintly men. I recall that Brothers were good teachers from whom we learned so much.
    Br. Robert Scripko is a superb teacher. He left the order while in temporary vows. He became a Catholic grade school principal and saw enrollment go up. Mr. Scripko was the most college preparatory teacher in the school; he taught English. Under him, several students got record breaking SAT verbal scores. Mr. Scripko would say that safe boundaries are common sense; the fact that we have to take classes in safe boundaries is a sign that people do not have common sense anymore. Mr. Scripko just retired after years as a successful Catholic grade school Principal.

    Yes, Sylvia, there were good brothers and teachers at St. Mary’s. The problem with me was that I only told you about the bad ones.

  2. there is no honesty left at SMIS says:

    If there WERE good Brothers, there are surely NONE left. If there were any left they would be advising where people could lodge their complaints. It is clearly not Canada, it does not seem to be Rome.

    It looks like child molesting was, and probably still is quite the norm at SMIS.

    We have no indication that the administration are addressing it.

    There is no indication that Archbishop Peter gives one iota about it. But why would he when Japanese Archbishops become Cardinals?

    So let the administration include child abuse practical in the syllabus, why not no one seems to care a damn.

    We do not see any evidence of Brother Lawrence removal from schools, we see no inquiry. We do see “carry on regardless”. We will see “wholesale student withdrawal next academic year. SMIS must wind down without proper investigation.

    Before long it will be a case of a new bumper stickers on cars:
    “I was sodomized as SMIS”. or,
    “I was molested by the Brothers at SMIS”. or,
    “Get fondled by the Brothers at SMIS”.

  3. a heartbroken alumnus says:

    Because the good brothers are deceased. Other good ones, like Br. Charles, were chased out of St. Mary’s because they wanted to reform and get rid of corruption. Br. Robert left the order and the school because he also wanted reform and to get rid of corruption. Br. Charles and Br. Robert Scripko were good ones but did not get too far at the school for being the types who upset the status quo.

    Mr. Robert Scripko does encourage all victims to speak up. He did advise a victim of bullying, who was also molested by his peers while at St. Mary’s, to speak up. The victim did and the complaint was resolved. Yes, I know that Mr. Scripko will tell any victim about how to make a complaint. He already helped one victim out; that victim speaks very highly of Mr. Scripko (former Br. Robert).

  4. a heartbroken alumnus says:

    By the way, the victim described in the comment above got a second opinion from Fr. Matthew, the former high school Principal at St. Mary’s. When Fr. Matthew told the victim the same advice that Former Br. Robert gave, the victim knew that he had to act.
    Fr. Matthew was another Principal who saw the corruption at the school. He ended up resigning because he was mistreated by the powers that be at the school.

    I just mentioned 3 good men who were chased out of the school by the powers that be. These men could never cover up but could only seek reform. In order to succeed at the school, you have to learn how to cover up corruption and ignore it. If you speak out, you get mistreated and even chased out of the school.

    The victim in the above remarks complained to Mr. Gaskin, then Middle school Principal. Mr. Gaskin replied, “You bring it all on yourself by your reaction. Ignore it and it will stop.” Another lay administrator had that same victim undergo psychological treatment and assessment for complaining too much; the psychologist ended up seeing that the administrator was acting out of line and that the problem was that the kids were being mean to him.

    That victim was suspended once and almost expelled twice for complaining.

  5. (Mrs.) Amalie A. Aseltine says:

    I am indeed also heartbroken with the “news” that the Japan Times has been publishing about the events at St. Mary’s before and during my time at the school. I remember my students there with such great and enduring fondness and am so sorry for them and ashamed that there was no recourse available to them at the time. “Knowing nothing” is a poor excuse. My husband was the colleague teaching 6th grade at that time. I have no idea if he had any suspicions although I do know he chaperoned the KEEP trip more than once. (My personal memory affirms that the trips continued after Br. Lessard’s death, however. I am absolutely certain that they continued after Don Andrews replaced him.) I fervently hope that St. Mary’s continues its investigation with the utmost integrity, although I fear that the reputation of the school has become irremediably tarnished. For all of you who were (and were not) my students, stay strong in your belief in each other despite the rotten corruption that infected what should have been the pure and enduring values that we believe(d) in.

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