4 entries for Br CorbenBack
Following the Visitation, Br Corben,4 the Provincial, wrote to the Superior outlining some of the salient features of the report. He informed Br Troyes5 that the Superior General had written to the Provincial on the subject, stating: One item of the Report is so serious that I confine my remarks to it. The Superior who permitted the punishment which the Law of the Congregation (Act 65 of Acts of General Chapter) forbids and humanity abhors should get more than a mere reprimand ... The reputation of the Congregation is at stake. A less offence in Prior Park6 was punished by fines, imprisonment, dismissal of the Head of the School, and an order from the Government to close the School or to put it under new management.
In 1939 the Provincial again had to deal with a case of sexual misconduct, this time involving an ex-pupil who was subsequently employed in the School and was in charge of some of the boys. On 20th July 1939, Br Leveret, the Disciplinarian in Letterfrack, wrote to the Provincial, Br Corben, complaining about the sexual activities of Mr Russel: You may remember when you called to Letterfrack some time ago my drawing your attention to improper conduct carried on between the young man ... Since your visit, the individual concerned has repeated this misconduct and the attention of the Superior was directed to the matter by the Sub Superior. The latter incident happened towards the end of May. Since then no action has been taken to have the fellow removed. I am now relieving my conscience by again bringing the matter under your notice. If there be a repetition of the misconduct I shall feel that I did my part in trying to have things put right. I now consider that I am no longer obliged to make any further representation on the matter.
The Russel episode became known outside the School, and the Auxiliary Bishop of Tuam, Dr Walsh, wrote to the Provincial, Br Corben, suggesting a Visitation. The complaint was brought to the attention of Br Troyes, the Superior, who wrote to Br Corben on 25th September 1939: The matter you refer to was inquired into and vehemently denied. At the inquiry Mr Russel was told, that if ever again, there was a complaint and that it was proved to have foundation, it would mean instant dismissal for him. He goes to the Sacraments and is a member of the Men’s Sodality. I am satisfied that there has been no cause of complaint. His conduct and the company he keeps about the locality give no cause for anxiety. I was pained to get the complaint in the manner I got it and annoyed that you should get this trouble. The complainant did not mention it to the Superior but talked about it to others. After all if it were a serious breach of conduct, it is not a matter for public talk. I have never failed to investigate a charge made against an employee or a boy. I am afraid the accuser has an axe to grind in this affair. If he had a difference, as he had with [Mr Russel] and the latter said things to him or of him, he ought not to keep up deliberately showing his spleen as this has been done in many ways. I am afraid the rules of charity and justice have been out stepped. I am satisfied, [Mr Russel] is conducting himself in a proper manner.
The Provincial, Br Corben, carried out the Visitation between 12th and 16th October 1939. He investigated the allegations against Mr Russel and satisfied himself that they were true. He directed the Resident Manager to dismiss Mr Russel and the latter did so with the greatest reluctance. His Visitation Report stated: A short time before the Visitation the Auxiliary Bishop, Most Rev. Dr. Walsh had written to me to say that he had been informed that [Mr Russel] had been carrying on immoral practices with some of the boys. On investigation I found that such was the case, and that this man, who is an ex-pupil of the school, was not only corrupting the morals of the boys but was trying to undermine their Faith. I had on two previous occasions within the past six months told the Superior of complaints of this nature that reached me from the Brothers but he still kept him in his employment. Even now it is with reluctance he carries out my direction to dismiss this man. The Superior adopts a very stupid attitude in matters of this kind.