A Special Use For PADS?


We received a reminder from a member of the Concerned St. Paul of the Cross Parents group that tonight’s Park Ridge City Council meeting (7:30pm at City Hall) has an agenda item dealing with treating a homeless shelter as a “special use” under the City’s zoning ordinance.

The City Council “Cover Memo”[pdf] to that item states that St. Paul of the Cross “has indicated that should the City require a special use for a homeless shelter [at St. Paul], they will go through the process.”  But the City still has to require it; and, even then, St. Paul has made no firm commitment to comply.  Which looks to us like just more of the same gamesmanship by St. Paul pastor Fr. Carl Morello and his Park Ridge Ministerial Association [“PRMA”] cronies, most likely aided by their consiglieri, prominent Park Ridge attorney Jack “Mr. Insider” Owens.

With Owens on the case and with Park Ridge Mayor Howard “Let’s Make A Deal” Frimark shamelessly courting the favor of the PRMA members, opponents of the PADS shelter at St. Paul (or anywhere else in Park Ridge, for that matter) have reason to remain concerned, wary and attentive – not only so the City won’t give St. Paul and PADS (which should be required to be a co-applicant, based on the planned use of its organizational and screening services at the St. Paul shelter) a pass on the special use permit, but also so that St. Paul and PADS are required to meet all of the conditions needed for such a permit rather than be allowed to slide by with a Chicago-style wink-and-nod. 

This same Concerned St. Paul Parent also provided us with a page from yesterday’s St. Paul bulletin containing the customary weekly editorial from Fr. Morello, called Fr. Carl’s Corner”[pdf].  True to form, Morello refuses to look in the mirror and, instead, points the finger of blame at others for “causing division among members of this community.”  He even provides a gratuitous alibi for himself and his PRMA cronies: “It was not my intent, or that of any of the ministers in the [PRMA], to cause any divisiveness.”

Spoken like a typical politician.  But, then again, Morello and his PRMA cronies have been acting like typical politicians from the very beginning of this PADS fiasco…at least during those times when they haven’t been acting like outright dictators.

Morello’s propaganda piece also reveals to his congregation – and to the Park Ridge community as a whole – that this PADS shelter decision was a lot more the product of Morello’s and the other PRMA members’ egos than it was of any congregation-wide, or community-wide, consensus building: “I personally had hoped that by taking the lead on P.A.D.S. and working together with the Ministerial Association of Park Ridge, we might even reach a higher spiritual goal.”

That kind of “I, me” attitude has been the problem with this PADS deal all along.  It’s called hubris – “exaggerated pride or self-confidence,” according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary – and it’s not an attractive or desirable quality in human beings generally, much less in priests and ministers who are supposed to be modeling humility and the other virtues for the rest of us to emulate.  That’s the same attitude that kept the PADS homeless shelter process hidden from most of the rank and file church members and community members for almost two years. 

Once again, we want to thank the Concerned St. Paul Parents “organization” for taking the baton from the St. Mary’s NIMBYs and forcing the City to look out for the interests of the community that Fr. Morello and the PRMA have been so willing to disregard.  You are showing once again that “The People” can make a difference, for the better, in local government IF they pay attention and if they have the courage to hold the politicians – both those at 505 Butler Place and those wearing the special collars – accountable for what’s happening in our community. 

13 comments so far

Thanks P.W. for the reminder. Just wondering if you had a chance to read the Tribune today. Metro had a piece about US. Some of which made reference to the special use. There was a quote from Ms Nabors saying that SPC should’t have to apply for a special use because it is part of the church’s minisrty. (At least they haven’t changed their tune on that) however there was no mention of PADS being rquired to be part or co-applicant with SPC on that special use.

Did someone forget to mention that to M. Nabors? That our city would more than likely be be rquireing PADS to go through the special use process along with SPC. Hmm wonder why she didn’t comment on that!

Good catch blue eyes,

The PRMA and Pads, Journey to hope has been screaming this is a church ministry. What they are not telling you is our Tax dollars, State, Federal, County, City and Township dollars that they solicit and collect to help run this “Church based ministry”. Using our hard earned money to run a church based ministry is not a seperation between church and state. It is also funny that they will not allow the church running their program to minister, pray or evangalize with the “Guests”.

Pads, Journey to hope will set up, train, and administer their program in our community. They must be required to apply for special use. Not just the church.

Beth Nabors and the rest of the PADS people will say and do whatever it takes to keep growing their operation and the money flowing in. But PRMA insisting on the Park Ridge homeless shelter being part of PADS is an admission by PRMA that that PADS’ participation is essential, so PADS better be required to be a co-applicant.  And it better have satisfactory insurance (even if they buy it from Frimark!) in the event somebody is injured/harmed by a “guest.”

The “politician” comparison of the PRMA and Fr. Morello is right on. What they’re doing here is not unlike Fr. Phleger trash talking Hillary – Phleger was playing politics but using his collar, robes and a pulpit to say it’s “religious.” What hypocrisy.

I sure hope at least four members of the Frimark Council have the nerve to walk the walk for the citizens on this thing to require a special use and to make sure the application process is rigorous, because we already know that Frimark’s in the PADS camp.

If PADS and SPC have nothing to fear themselves about going through special use permit why not go through it? Is it really that damaging to have PR have some say in what is occurring in their community being that is is a community issue not a SPC issue. SPC keeps saying its a ministry, but then also says it’s for PR as a whole… well not all of PR is Catholic. PR should have some voice in this no matter what the cause that SPC wants to help – if a corporation is operating out of anywhere in PR, they should require special use and the corporation should also be filig so that they are transparent as well.

The city council stepped up last night and voted 7-0 to ask planning and zoning to create a “special use” status for homeless shelters. Morello and the PRMAs were ticked. They thought that their show of force, accompanied by an attorney from the archdiocese, would intimidate the council. I stood next to a St. Paul mom and she pointed out at least 10 people in the crowd who were Morello “groupies” and were there just to support him. At least he stayed for the whole show this time.

How long did the meeting last?

I usually leave these meetings before 10 but stayed an hour later till I finally decided to call it a night.

I am so sick of Morello and PADS. As he is leaving at the end of the year, he should just move on to the next group of unlucky parishoners and city.

So after all this Morello is leaving.


So not unlike Amity at St.Mary’s who was willing to impliment a program then high-tail it out of the church and out of town, you’re telling us that Father Morello is planning to do the same thing. Persue a “mission” impliment it into the church and then bail? HMMMMM perhaps this point may be something that gets brought out at Planning & zoning. Making promises and assurances
regarding the program but not sticking around to make sure his promises are kept. How many ST. Paul parishners and parents are aware of this plan?

I am not a member of SPC, not even Catholic and I have known for quite some time. I found out by reading this and other blogs. I can’t imagine that it is a secret at SPC.

Yep, he’s high tailing out at the end of the Winnetka or Wilmette. I say he go now!!
-Young physician

After thinking about it I do remember hearing about it, sorry, short term memory issues. So who wants to call a friend or even a co-worker who lives on the North Shore and give them a heads up as to what to expect in their neck of the woods in the not so distant future. Wonder if they would allow it to happen there without any fuss?

This was reported in the July 24, 2008 edition of the Arlington Heights newspaper, the Pioneer Local: • Brian J. Rogers, 55, who the police said is homeless, was arrested at 5:20 p.m. July 20 at the Metra train station, 45 W. Northwest Highway, and charged with battery after a 49-year-old Crystal Lake man reported Rogers slashed his abdomen with a utility knife. The Crystal Lake man was taken to Northwest Community Hospital where he reportedly was treated and released. Rogers’ court date is Aug. 13.

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