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Letters to the Editor

Sat., Feb. 20, 2010

Priest owed an award

Seeing the headlines on Saturday’s (Feb. 13) Spokesman-Review, “Jury clears Morning Star in first sex abuse lawsuit,” brought tears to my eyes. I know Father Joe (Weitensteiner) very well, after living at the ranch (1966-69), working there and sitting on the board of directors. I also know some of the boys involved in the suit.

I never witnessed or heard any of the claims made by these “boys,” and in our close living quarters, there were no secrets.

Father Joe spent his life opening the ranch and helping troubled boys. I cannot count the times I heard Father Joe ask “How will it benefit the boys?” without realizing just how sacrificial (for him) this question was. Everything Father Joe did was for his boys and their future. We were blessed that he cared for us.

It tears me up inside to see what is being said about this man, knowing that he should be honored with a lifetime achievement award, rather than be dragged through the mud by some disgruntled boys that refuse to grow up and some attorneys that will ruin his reputation, probably beyond repair, for a cheap buck.

Rik Neis


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