It is with great sorrow that we come together today with the departure of our president and dear friend, Fr. Julio Giulietti, S.J. We have all come here to seek the truth, and to know and understand what has happened within the university walls and what has become of the reputation of WJU. In this light, please invite anyone to read the blog and feel free to comment as you wish.

Any posts with profanity are not welcome, otherwise, please speak your mind. You are a part of this university and we want to hear your voice!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A sad story comes to an end.

This week, Wheeling Hospital, owned by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston – read Bishop Michael Bransfield - has purchased the property of the Visitation Sisters at Mt. De Chantal. Howrah! Fr. Giulietti's name is cleared.

Any logical person following the history of the Wheeling debacle saw the conspiracy at work. A limited number of dysfunctional board members, three troubled Jesuit trustees (two already publicly proven to be inept)and a small town bishop veracious for power, money and a job elsewhere conspired to bring a good man down. The reasons? Envy and greed.

And a good man's own Order stood by inept.

Bishop Bransfield got the Mount. What will Wheeling Hospital do with it? Sell it, of course. Maybe to UPMC? To the US Government for research and development? To a entrepreneur to cut up into development pieces for "the needs" of the diocese?

And what has come of Wheeling Jesuit? It is without leadership. Its competent and popular legal president, Fr. Giulietti, is gone. Its competent and publicly esteemed AVP, Dr. Letha Zook, is leaving freely in June for the same position at the University of Charleston. Its CFO, Michael Leo, was given the boot. The mood on campus is akin to a funeral home. The Interim (for 18 months) President, Sr. Frances, is trying to understand why so few students want to attend the college. Why does she not know?

So Fr. Giulietti's reputation is now fully and without doubt re-established. He is cleared. The false accusations and innuendos made against him, all proven to be vapid and without substance, now pale before the truth of the facts. Wheeling Hospital got the Mount.

- Larry Catraro

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bishop has the property

Requiem for a Catholic academy, with worry about its neighboring Catholic university:
The Wheeling College campus was carved out of the Mount de Chantal estate back in the 1950s. If Wheeling Jesuit [University] and/or the Diocese [of Wheeling] had the funds, they could purchase this beautiful property, continue its use for educational purposes, and guarantee expansion space for WJU indefinitely into the future.

Alas, it is not to be. Mount de Chantal stands on 36 acres, a proud and picturesque 140-year-old school building now crumbling into brick dust, and a small, peaceful cemetery where generations of devoted Visitation nuns lay at final rest, mission accomplished.

The Mount could not survive into a new century when there are no religious vocations, so few girls from well-to-do Wheeling families seeking an exclusive education, the Linsly school [in Wheeling] poaching the few prospects who remain, and the economy of the Ohio Valley sinking slowly into ruin.

Farewell, Mount de Chantal, and let us pray that your neighbor, Wheeling Jesuit, is not destined for the same fate!

It’s an eloquent anonymous comment at Save! Wheeling Jesuit University, which since last August has been mourning and protesting the ouster of Rev. Julio Giulietti SJ as president, blamed by some as the work ultimately of the bishop of Wheeling, who wanted to buy the Mount de Chantal property but allegedly felt thwarted in that by Giulietti.

The comment was in response to news finally verified that Wheeling (Catholic) Hospital, a diocesan institution, was buying the property and planning to tear down the building which housed the already closed academy.

Fr. Giulietti gone, the diocese (the bishop) gets the property, which to many is not a coincidence.

-as published by Jim Bowman at Blithe-Spirit.com

Wheeling's Bishop Gets His Land?

The Catholic archdiocese’s Wheeling Hospital is to acquire the Mount de Chantal property which was mentioned as property Bishop Michael Bransfield wanted but found Wheeling Jesuit University president Rev. Julio Giulietti, SJ, in his way?
Rumor has it that the Mount property is now owned or has been optioned by Wheeling Hospital; the hospital also has announced that it was adding a $50 million wing [wrote Timothy F. Cogan in a letter to the Wheeling Intelligencer/News-Register].

First and foremost” among reasons alleged by WJU alum and former fund-raiser Steve Haid in his letter of protest over Giulietti’s peremptory firing after two years in office, “Father Julio’s lynching was the handiwork of Bishop Michael Bransfield, who wanted to slap down a Jesuit priest who sought to acquire the Mount de Chantal property for Wheeling Jesuit.”

Cogan wrote to object to a $50–million planned addition [not] to the “beautiful old” Mount de Chantal building which stands next to the WJU campus, for historic-preservation and other reasons.[Rather, to the hospital, per comment below]
The bishop
repeatedly denied involvement in Giulietti’s firing, but did confirm to [National Catholic Reporter] that he wanted the sale of the Mount de Chantal property stopped. The sale never went through.
“I was not in favor of the sale of property to Wheeling Jesuit because the price they offered the sisters was half of the price offered by competing bidders,” Bransfield wrote in a message to NCR.

But the bishop was not involved in the Giulietti firing, said then-acting WJU President Davitt McAteer: “We’re seeing the effects of the anonymous Web and the efforts of a small clique who are unhappy. It’s the guy in the theater yelling fire.”

The search for a Giulietti replacement has stalled.  Sister Francis Marie Thrailkill has hired on as interim president for an estimated 18 months.

-as published by Jim Bowman at Blithe-Spirit.com

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Wheeling Hospital is acquiring the Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy

WHEELING -- Sister Joanne Gonter, VHM. announced today that Wheeling Hospital is acquiring the Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy property in Wheeling. The three remaining Sisters of the Visitation are leaving Wheeling on Saturday, she said.

Speaking at the Ohio County Public Library's Lunch With Books program at noon today, Gonter confirmed speculation that Wheeling Hospital would become the new owners of the Mount property.

Citing the rumors regarding Wheeling Hospital's acquisition of the Mount property, Gonter said, "That is going to go forward." She said "that (the hospital) is the only group that has shown interest," in buying the property.

"Wheeling Hospital will take over security this Saturday," Gonter added.

Gonter also said she thinks that demolishing the historic Mount building is inevitable because it would cost "tens of millions" of dollars to restore the structure.

"Eventually the building will have to come down. I hate to say that. It is a fact," Gonter told the library's large audience. "I have lived with that reality for a number of years."

She added, "We tried. If that building goes down, I want you to remember we tried.

- as published by LINDA COMINS Life Editor at The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register