Wallace: Father Gerald Wallace

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Gerald J. Wallace

Priest, Archdiocese of Toronto.  Ordained 27 May 1961. Several lawsuits launched in 90s, one settled involving sex abuse of young boy (I don’t have details on the others)

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The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) of those dates, the 1980 Ontario Catholic Directory (OCD, and media (M)

1991:  not listed

1985-86: St. Joseph RC Church, Toronto (According to media he died 1982, however the 1985-86 CCCD has him listed in the index as at St. Joseph’s.  The parish section of the CCCD shows Father Allan McNeil as Pastor at St. Joseph’s) (CCCD)

1982:  died (M)

1980: St. Martin RC Church, Mississauga, Ontario (with Father D. Cullen and Mr. Leonard Andrews [p.d.]) (OCD)

1978:  St. Martin de Tours RC Church, Ontario (M)

1973-74, 1971-72:  assisting at St. Gregory, Islington, Toronto.  (Pastor, Father H.M. Clarkson) (CCCD)

1968-69  assisting at Our lady of  Lady of Fatima, Scarborough (Pastor Father W. V. Egan) (CCCD)

1967:  assisting at St. Gregory, Islington, Toronto.  (Pastor, Father H.M. Clarkson) (CCCD)

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Archbishop of Toronto from time of Father Wallace ordination to death:: James Charles McGuigan  (22 December 1934 – 30 March 1971); Philip Francis Pocock  (30 March 1971 – 29 April 1978); Gerald Emmett Carter  (29 April 1978 – 17 March 1990)

Auxiliary Bishops of Toronto from time of Father Wallace ordination to death:   Francis Valentine Allen † (02 Jul 1954 – 07 October 1977) ; Francis Anthony Marrocco  (01 Dec 1955 – 10 June 1968);  Aloysius Matthew Ambrozic(26 March 1976 – Coadjutor Archbishop: 22 May 1986); Michael Pearse Lacey (03 May 1979 – 31 May 1993); Robert Bell Clune  (03 May 1979 to 27 December 1995); Leonard James Wall  (03 May 1979 — 25 February 1992)

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Abuse by priesta lasting trauma Ex-altar boy lived nightmare for 14 years

Toronto Star

20 April 1992 

Moira Welsh

Fourteen years after Stephen Austin was sexually assaulted by his Roman Catholic priest, the nightmares are finally ending.

Austin, a 25-year-old Hamilton television news writer, launched a civil lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto and won an out-of-court settlement of $98,500.

It was the settlement – paid by the archdiocese’s insurance company – that allowed him to feel as if he could finally control his life.

“I was trying to take back some power for that little 11-year- old defenceless boy who had been violated and taken advantage of,” he said. “I feel like a tremendous load has been lifted off my shoulders. I don’t walk with my head down any more. I look people in the eye.”

Rev. Edward Boehler, judicial vicar for the archdiocese, refused to comment on the settlement and wouldn’t say whether other victims of the same priest have contacted him.

Boehler would only say the archdiocese has a “very extensive procedure” to deal with complaints and allegations.

Raised by deeply religious Catholic parents, Austin worked as an altar boy in St. Martin of Tours Parish Church in Mississauga in 1978 when, he said, he was sexually assaulted by his priest, Rev. Gerry Wallace.

Wallace, a Metro priest for 21 years, died in 1982 at the age of 55.

The assaults – Austin remembers several incidents – began during a weekday mass when the priest kissed him on the cheek and then began fondling him in a chamber where the youngster was removing his altar-boy robes.

“He was whispering, ‘God loves you. If you make me happy, you’ll make God happy. You’ll go to heaven for this,’ ” Austin said quietly. “It felt like hours but it was probably no more than five minutes.”

Several weeks later, Austin, who attended St. Gerard separate school adjacent to the church, was called to perform as the lone altar boy during another weekday morning mass.

That’s when the most traumatic assault occurred.

“He was in his office. He called me and I stopped dead in my tracks. I knew I didn’t want to go. He said, ‘Come here, boy.’ His office was dark. . . . He put his arm around my waist and felt my buttocks. He asked did I like what we did last time?”

Then Austin recalls the priest pulling down his pants, fondling his genitals and performing oral sex on him.

“All of a sudden he stopped himself. He was really hostile. He said, ‘Look what you made me do, you little . . .’ ”

Austin got dressed, walked back to school and, from that moment on, blocked the incidents from his mind.

“I think, on that short walk back to school, my mind decided it didn’t want to deal with it.”

He didn’t serve any more weekday masses and quit his altar-boy position a few months after.

It would be more than 10 years later that Austin would be forced to remember his abuse. It started when he watched a television talk show about victims of sexual abuse by priests and soon after when a relative was ordained as a priest in December, 1988.

Austin began to have nightmares of Wallace kissing him, dreams so vivid he finally turned to his parents and told them he may have been assaulted by the priest.

His father sent him for counselling, and through hypnosis the assault memories returned.

As a result of the therapy – now paid for by the archdiocese – Austin feels much of his anger and helplessness is gone. He now understands why his teenage years were so difficult, why he felt so unworthy and why he has had a hard time maintaining relationships with girlfriends, he said.

Now Austin, who is convinced there are other victims of the same man, is simply trying to tell people who share similar experiences they are not to blame.

6 Responses to Wallace: Father Gerald Wallace

  1. Tim Kiomall says:

    Thanks for your strength
    After reading your story I saw so many similarities you could almost put my name in place of yours. My experiences of being abused are still very fresh in my mind and my heart. I am currently fighting the Archdiocese of Toronto and am waiting patiently for my trial date to be set; hopefully next year. When I read a story in the paper a few years ago about how the church wants to reach out to victims with compassion I nearly threw up my lunch. I wonder how the church spokesman can keep a straight face when the church makes statements like that. They are liars and hypocrites. My family turned against me, especially my parents, when I told them I had filed a civil action against the archdiocese. I have so much to say and I look forward to that day (as well as my wife and children who lived through the many years of my ordeal of healing and reconciliation within myself with me, I still have a long way to go but I ‘m not giving up on myself). I can and will stand up in court and speak out. I don’t seek an apology from the church as their chance to apologize has passed. Now it would sound like, to me, empty words from empty hearts. There are evil and brutal men who run the catholic church. Had they shown me an ounce of compassion years ago, I may have believed they were possibly sincere. In any event, I may have given them the benefit of the doubt, but now, forget it…Now that I know that I was not the only victim, I am angrier. To know that they knew about these monsters in the past infuriates me. Take care and power and strength to you.

    • Stephen Austin says:

      Hi Tim. Thanks your kind words. If you need someone to talk to, let me know.

      Cheers

      Steve Austin

    • Glenn Herod says:

      Tim
      I hope you’re doing well and your family!
      I’d tell you I will pray for you But I Haven’t done that in Years!
      I was at St. Martins with Steve Austin and I tried talking to my mom about it and wishy washy answer so I know what your talking about!
      Glad to hear your wife and kids are still there for you. My wife asked for a divorce 9 weeks ago… so I’m reflecting on a lot of things.. I have the time to any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated
      Thank you
      Glenn Herod

  2. A friend says:

    I never knew you had to deal with this all of those years, Steve. I worked with you for several of them at the local outdoor pool where as I recall you were a supervisor. It would explain so many things that you had bottled up inside that contributed to how you felt about others. This must have been absolutely awful for you. I remember reading the article in the paper and I was just shocked and heartbroken for you. I know I wasn’t your favorite person there but we got along. I hope that this is all away from you now and that you have been able to have a normal life for yourself. I always thought you were a kind person.

  3. Mike Mc says:

    Tim says: “When I read a story in the paper a few years ago about how the church wants to reach out to victims with compassion I nearly threw up my lunch. I wonder how the church spokesman can keep a straight face when the church makes statements like that. They are liars and hypocrites.”

    Wow! That is one powerful paragraph.

    So true!

    For a long time I felt betrayed by Bishop Lahey. His dark side was finally revealed. I had him in my classroom and parish. He was our Bishop.

    What has the Church really done about this?

    It seems Tim is “fighting” the Archdiocese of TO. Why doesn’t the archdiocese simply admit another of their priests was terribly bad and help Tim rather than hide the facts like they hid Lahey.

    It’s all connected.

  4. Glenn Herod says:

    I was at St. Martins at the same time as Steve Austin
    I talked to you 3-4 years ago but didn’t prosuse it until now …. my wife asked me to move out 9weeks ago and for some reason I looked up “ Steve and St.Martins” tonight
    What resonated with me was the (that I wasn’t able to get along with girlfriends and my wife and myself)
    I would like to get more information about the hypothesis Steve mentioned

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