The Seeds of Hope
Including a letter from a former member of the “Inner Twelve Chosen People”
Richard Salbato 10-10-2007
Coming to a parish near you and placed in the back of the Church you may find publications from a group called, Seeds of Hope. Some of these publications are: Ten Commandments Book, Sanctifying The Day, Rebuild My Church, Sacrament of Mercy, The Seven Deadly Sins & the Gifts & Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These may seem good and edifying to you. But let us see where these publications come from because most people will not even think about the source, only the edification.
Neil Harrington Jr., a postal
worker living in
Later in 1994, Harrington claims that the Virgin Mary
herself chose Fr John (Szantyr) to be his spiritual director. Since that day Fr John Szantyr has been the
only spiritual director that Neil has had.
Around that same
time, Neil Harrington Jr. claimed that the members of the Seeds of Hope were
also named by The Blessed Virgin Mary.
These 12 men were all attendees of the
In Neil’s messages in which he claims have come from heaven, they have called Fr John Szantyr, a “blessed priest and a spiritual vessel.” In separate messages Neil Jr. alleges that he receives from St Francis, Fr John Szantyr is referred to as “Blessed Padre John.”
In August, 1995 the Hartford
Diocesan Commission was established to review Neil's so called weeping Blessed
Virgin statue. While the four priest commission sat in the
Every week Neil claimed during the
Neil claimed in published newspaper reports that the Blessed Virgin Mary in her message of August 29, 1995 stated "it was the hour of her last apparition".
Several months later after the Enfield crowds disappeared, Neil claimed he recovered his memory more accurately and that the Blessed Virgin Mary had included in her message "for a time" but Neil had omitted those three key words.
According to a September 2, 1995, Hartford Courant article, the Archdiocese of Hartford, set up a fact-finding commission to study the Harrington prayer group. . The members of the commission were Rev. Mgr. Daniel J. Plocharczyk, Rev. Vittorio Guerrera, Rev. Robert B. Vargo, abd Rev. John J. Mcarthy.
Neil was told by Fr. Vittorio Guerrera in 1995, and again in the Spring of 2000 to cease all dissemination of his alleged apparitions and messages until further notice and this ban has never been lifted.
After a period of strict obedience to the order to cease all dissemination of messages following Neil conversation with commission members in the Spring and Summer of 2000, later messages came form St. Francis of Assisi that encouraged the group to embody the messages and make them their own.
Neil Harrington Jr. and the Seeds of Hope interpreted this to
mean, that using the original St. Francis of
The plan to move in this new direction was approved by the
Seeds of Hope’s spiritual advisor, Fr. John Szantyr, and was further encouraged
in subsequent messages from St. Francis of
What was produced was no longer attributed to St. Francis of
Another request from the commission communicated by both Fr. Vittorio Guerrera and Mgr. Daniel J. Plocharczyk on separate occasions was that they wanted copies of every message including future messages should they come. Both commission members made this request in 2000. The current Seeds of Hope publications being offered on their website and advertised in various publications; Ten Commandments Book, Sanctifying The Day, Rebuild My Church, Sacrament Of Mercy, The Seven Deadly Sins + The Gifts & Fruits of the Holy Ghost each originated as a claimed divinely revealed message received by Neil Harrington Jr. after 2000. No copies of those original messages have ever been sent to the commission.
Another request from the commission, early on, was to provide to the commission a sample of the substance that was seen flowing from the eyes of Neil Harrington’s Rosa Mystica statue of The Blessed Virgin Mary. The statue has “wept” hundreds of time since that request was made, and the weeping has been witnessed by many people, but this request was never been fulfilled. The tears have never been offered for testing.
To this day Neil
Harrington Jr. is still claiming to receive messages via apparition and
dream. He claims annual visitations with
accompanying messages from The Blessed Virgin Mary on his birthday, May 2nd,
and every Pentecost Sunday. He claims
that Saint Francis of
In August of 1999 members from Vision of Christ visited the Enfield home of Harrington’s parents, Neil Sr. and Francis Harrington, to examine the weeping statue, meet the Harringtons and experience the weekly prayer cenacle. Included within their article are assertions from Fr John Szantyr claiming he has no doubt the apparitions are valid. Father John Szantyr also informed the Vision of Christ representative he felt the Virgin spoke to him. Fr John Szantyr is identified as a Priest with no mention of the fact he was no longer in good standing.
April 25, 2006, Neil Jr.’ s weeping statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and eight members of the Seeds of Hope, arrived in Bayou Black Louisiana, at the home of Attorney Joe Waltz Sr.
Seeds of Hope members made four Catholic Church appearances between April 26 - 29th, 2006 where they set up tables in the back of the church in which Seeds of Hope prayer books and other religious articles were displayed. Baskets were set out for donations.
In each Catholic Church Neil’s statue of the Rosa Mystica was revealed and individuals were allowed to approach the statue to pray. Seeds of Hope member, Robert Carter offered those who chose to have a rose pedal that was rubbed against the statue as a relic.
The diocese of Houma-Thibodaux took no stance on the validity of the alleged weeping statue whatsoever, according to Louis Aguirre, director of communications for the diocese.
While in Louisiana, Joe Waitz Sr. called Fr John Szantyr using his cell phone. Joe Waitz had gathered a group of individuals in the church court yard who suffered from an array of physical ailments. Audible by speaker phone, Fr John Szantyr under the guise of being a healing priest prayed for those who believed he was a Priest in good standing.
The Seeds of Hope group returned to Massachusetts having obtained seven thousand dollars in donations.
June 4, 2006, Fr John Szantyr donned a priestly chasuble as the yearly celebrant of the Feast of Pentecost in the attic chapel in the home of Neil Harrington Jr. Fr John Szantyr heard Confessions in a spare bedroom before Mass began.Fr John Szantyr was able to climb the three flights of stairs to the attic chapel without assistance. During celebration of the Mass, Fr John Szantyr was able to read scripture as well as count the number of people who were going to receive Communion and then count out the hosts he was going to use.
At 3 pm there was the recitation of the Holy Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet. Fr John Szantyr participated completely in both. Later before Fr John Szantyr left, he changed into another type of priestly garb and proceeded to bless every room in the Harrington's home of which there were twelve rooms on three floors.
Fr John Szantyr was accompanied at the Mass of Pentecost by Robert Cantoni of Naugatuck, CT.
Robert Cantoni, three months later on September 12, 2006, acted as a wheelchair attendant and pushed Fr John Szantyr into the Worcester District Courtroom 411, where Fr John Szantyr presented himself as being incompetent. Within one hour of the of the Worcester Court proceeding. Both men were photographed in the Sturbridge Massachusetts Turnpike Rest Area. Fr John Szantyr was observed walking unassisted and carrying on a normal conversation with Robert Contoni. (see below for better link)
The Truth about Father Szantyr
Long before meeting Neil Harrington and becoming his spiritual director and his “holy priest”, Fr John Szantyr had his faculties to act as a Catholic Priest removed in January, 1988 after sexual abuse allegations were brought to the attention of the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts. The Church investigated and believed them and removed his faculties. Under church law he is not allowed to celebrate Mass, hear confessions nor wear priestly garb.
One of the victims of Fr. John Szantyr is Mike Chesnis. Like many victims in the priest sex-abuse scandal, Mike Chesnis has been suicidal, battled depression and struggled to overcome the intense trauma of having his innocence stolen at the hands of a man of the Church.
“Wearing a priest uniform is automatic authority - automatic trust,” said Chesnis, speaking publicly for the first time about his alleged molestation by retired priest John Szantyr. “I feel very betrayed. Part of me hasn’t grown up yet. I’m crying inside.”
Chesnis said he lived silently with shame and humiliation for years, the seeds of which were planted in the rectory of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Worcester in 1986 and 1987, which is when, he alleges, Szantyr courted him with kindness and molested him.
“This man altered my life,” Chesnis said. “I felt shame. I was suicidal.”
Chesnis, 33, served in the military but was discharged because of mental health issues. He’s also been on disability and lived in homeless shelters. These days, he has returned to his faith and serves as a live-in church caretaker.
“I consider it a miracle that I’ve come back to faith,” he said. “I thank God that I’m still alive.”
After sex-assault charges were filed against Szantyr in 2003, several other alleged victims came forward, including Michael Hodgkins, who alleges Szantyr molested him in 1967, when he was 13.
Although Hodgkins, 54, gave prosecutors a deposition, no charges were filed because the statute of limitations had run out.
Asked why he waited so many years to file a complaint, Hodgkins said: “He was a very charismatic man. I was scared to death. Who was going to believe me? This was the ultimate holy man.”
from the Church trial, Szantyr has been criminally charged by the state, but after almost 20
years Father Szantyr is still not in jail because his lawyer claims he is
incompetent to stand trial.
A report by Discreet Investigation Service Inc., a Connecticut private investigator firm hired by sex-abuse victim Michael Hodgkins to trail and videotape suspended John Szantyr. April 6 to 22, 2007
2:15 p.m.: Male subject (Szantyr) walks from door . . . to his motor vehicle and leaves the area. Male subject is observed walking without any type of assistance, re: walker etc. Male subject has even gait conducive to his age and weight.
2:30 p.m.: Male subject arrives at (church). Male subject is on his cell phone and smoking a cigarette. Male subject enters church and sits on side.
4:07 p.m.: Male subject exits church and walks to his vehicle, again with no help from any type of walker, etc.
6:34 p.m.: Male subject arrives alone, exits his vehicle, walks to his home, not using any type of walker, crutches, etc.
8:33 a.m.: Male subject walks from his front door, again using no mechanical assistance . . . enters his vehicle and drives to (church).
10:01 a.m.: Male subject exits (church), enters his vehicle, then drives directly to his residence.
. (see http://www.worcestervoice.com/Current%20news.htm Current News on Fr. John Szantyr, Neil Harrington Jr. and The Seeds of Hope) Mary T. Jean 978-466-6823. She is spearheading the investigation into Neil Harrington Jr. through her Worcester Voice website.
Neil has stated that Blessed Mother Mary called John J. Szantyr a blessed priest and she has thanked him for his blessings that he has given to the people who have gathered at the prayer cenacles.
How can it be that the Blessed Virgin Mother would not know Fr John Szantyr has been acting in direct contradiction to his Bishop’s sanctions and the teachings of our Roman Catholic Church?
Also, it is the right of the faithful to know if Fr John Szantyr has a letter from a Bishop that grants him faculties. Why would Neil not allow testing of the so called tears of his Blessed Virgin weeping statue, supply documentation related to the claims of his alleged physical healings and financial records from the Seeds of Hope regarding his position of supporting the homeless and tax exempt status.
Neil unbeknown to his followers has been constantly harassing former members of the Seeds of Hope with threats to bear false witness, intimidation and verbal assault.
William Fortin has stated Neil telephoned him in July 2006 on two occasions and was upset with Vic for informing some of the members of the Seeds of Hope about his own sins that he had confessed to Vic. Neil said that Bill should throw Vic out of his home for speaking of this. Neil knew at the time Vic had no income for many months while he was waiting for his retirement to be processed. (recorded phone call of 8-30-07)
This practice of Neil's has also been reported by other former Seeds members when Neil was questioned as to the validly of his so called visions.John Szantyr in 2006 was still representing himself as a Catholic Priest in good standing. Currently awaiting trial on four counts of indecent assault and battery on a fourteen year old.
John Szantyr has already been identified in 2006 as participating in a prayer group in Wolcott Ct. This prayer group centered on locutions which is hearing audibly voices of a spiritual nature. In this Connecticut group Fr John (Szantyr) was regularly seen in layman’s clothing.
New information has now identified Fr John (Szantyr), as he likes to be called performing Eucharistic celebrations, confessions and blessings all while dressed as a catholic priest, in the Springfield Massachusetts home of Neil Harrington Jr.
Information taken from former members and Worcester Voice. www.worcestervoice.com
See below for more links.
Notes and Added Information:
Neil Harrington Jr. and the SEEDS OF HOPE, INC.
Neil Harrington Jr.,
Neil has worked for the post office since 1987 at Forest Park Station as a letter carrier.
SEEDS OF HOPE, INC.,
Claim to be a tax-exempt organization but in fact they were denied this status in 1997.
I have a list of the Chosen Twelve and their addresses but -------------
People investigating Neil Harrington Jr.
Monsignor Chris Connelly (Bishop's Office) 732-3175
Fr. Pomerleau Catholic Observer 949-0834
Mary T. Jean Worcester Voice 978-266-6823
Don Nohs Holy Face of Jesus
Tedy Muszuynski Larceny Squad Spfld Police 787-6355
Attorney General Martha Coakley
Neil is under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police and Attorney General's office.
The Postal Inspectors, FBI and Springfield Police's Larceny Squad have also received complaints.
The so called
weeping statue the substance was NEVER seen flowing from the eyes. It makes a
clear difference that the statue was only seen wet. When the commission sat in
the apparition room in
Published newspaper reports is linked to Neil's Pentecost message of 2007 http://seeds-of-hope.net/page2.html
Weeping Statue of Mary weeping statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Robert Cantoni the correct link is http://worcestervoice.com/szantyrphotos9_12_06.htm#robert
Worcester voice current news or actual url http://worcestervoice.com/Current%20news.htm
ex-member of the inter “Twelve
Harrington Jr. has been claiming to be a Catholic visionary and mystic since
1991. He first claimed to hear a voice that was giving him simple messages on
how to live through the eyes of creation. Neil claimed that this voice was
Saint Francis of
This is when Neil Harrington Jr. began to attend the weekly Tuesday Night cenacle and also began to proclaim that he was receiving apparitions of the Virgin Mary. He claimed this happened every Tuesday night from 1992-1995. The number of people attending continued to grow very rapidly after Neil Jr.'s claims.
In 1994 John J. Szantyr (Fr. John) showed up dressed as a priest. He worked his way right into the inner circle. Szantyr gave Neil a statue of Mary (Rosa Mystica) as a present on May 1 1994 for his birthday. May 2, 1994 (Neil's birthday) Neil claims that the statue he was given began to weep. Neil claimed that the statue first wept tears (that he also claimed were tested to be human tears, but no tests ever took place) that "rolled-over" and turned into oil tears. There is a 1999 interview on line at visionsofjesuschrist.com featuring Neil and John Szantyr.
this event Neil Claimed to receive a message from
heaven in which the Virgin Mary herself chose John Szantyr to be his
Spiritual Director. This claim is a lie. John Szantyr was stripped of his
faculties to perform as a priest in 1988 by the Bishop of Worcester and he has
never been reinstated!! (unfortunately I did not find
out about Mr. Szantyr's clerical state until July of
2006. I always thought he was a Priest because I never saw him not dressed as
one). As word spread of the alleged weeping statue the crowds in
the Bishop of Hartford, Bishop Cronin, set up a commission to study the alleged
After several months Neil Jr. proclaimed that "the Blessed Mother is appearing to me again". When questioned on this Neil answered "When the Blessed Mother said that it was the hour of her last message on 8/29/1995 it should have said "for a time" after it and I forgot to put it in." This did not sit well with some and they left, but most people that were still going were just happy to have the messages once again. Neil went back to claiming to receive weekly messages from the Virgin Mary.
the move to his Spfld home Neil held off, for a short
time, the disseminating his alleged messages. Then Neil claimed to receive
a message from St. Francis telling him that he and the men should take the
messages and put them in their own words, since the messages are really
about the lives of the chosen men of the SEEDS OF HOPE, INC. This was an
obvious attempt to get around the ruling of the
returning from this trip is when I started to notice that Neil was acting like
he was hiding something at work. He was receiving phone calls and going out to
his car to talk so he couldn't be heard (he had never in 19 years of knowing
him had done that. He always talked freely when I was around). Also there was a
very attractive and very wealthy woman from
Well this woman, Deidra, came up to visit Neil with Mr. Waitz and Neil acted very inappropriately around her. He told me that this woman was up talking with him to 4 am and talking about sexual subjects. He even said this woman told him "maybe your the love of my life?". His wife Linda was distraught over Neil's actions and wept for days. Neil had the gaul to tell people that "A demon has entered his house and is attacking his wife".
of 2006 Neil told me that he had gone out to a bar with a woman from his mails
route and they "were making out like teenagers". I told him are you
nuts just one slip and you'll lose all credibility. A week later Neil's wife
Linda calls Bill Fortin and myself and says: "Neil is having an affair and
he is in love". She knew the woman's name and address and it was another
woman and not the one he told me about. Linda asked us to try to talk to Neil
because she was afraid for his soul. We obtained Neil's cell phone records and
what I saw made me sick. He was calling this woman all hours of the day and
night and he even called her every night from
Linda begged Bill and I to get the other members of the seeds of hope to try to do an intervention at a Thursday night meeting. So we did in early July, but one of the members Marty Coles pulled Neil aside and gave him a heads up. Neil came into the chapel (located on the third floor of his home) and began to swear "this is all bullshit" he said twice. He also said my wife is crazy and she is going through menopause. he said "I'm the director I tell you guys what to do you don't tell me what to do". and "If you guys can't follow me 100% I'll just get some new guys I don't need you". He then turned and starting verbally attacking me for "ratting him out". Neil then said "no meeting for a month".
After seeing Neil's reaction I took the next month to start doing some investigating. I found out that Neil's so-called spiritual director (Fr. John) was not even a priest. I started to really comb over the messages and found inconsistencies and errors in them. I started to voice my concerns and Neil went on a campaign to destroy my reputation. He told the chosen that the devil had entered me and not to listen to me. As I was waiting for my disability retirement to go through, he started telling postal people that I was "just a lazy piece of shit who didn't want to work". At this time I had moved into Bill Fortin's home because I had no income for over 4 months waiting for the approval. During this time Neil called Bill Fortin and told him "To throw Vic out and make him homeless. He deserves that for speaking against me".
Neil threatened me with physical violence. When I informed the seeds of hope that I was going to the Bishop with my concerns I was really black balled. Neil has and still is destroying my reputation. The latest one is that I am a drug abuser, so I can be trusted with what I say! How sick he has become.
I firmly believe that this has been a money grabbing fraud from the onset. Neil has associated himself with Wealthy people. He becomes "friends" with these people, so when they give him gifts he can claim "It's just a friend giving a friend a gift." He hooks these people in with personal messages from heaven. He tells them that he knows that their loved one's who have pasted are in heaven. He tells them that heaven is so pleased with their beautiful faith and so on. He is nothing more than a charlatan telling people what they want to hear.
He has disobeyed a directive from a Bishop. He has claimed that messages allegedly from the Virgin Mary from heaven have called John Szantyr a "Blessed priest" and a "spiritual vessel" and thanked him for the blessing he bestows upon the faithful. Neil claims that St. Francis from heaven has called John Szantyr "Blessed Padre John" and has named him "The Heart" of the seeds of hope.
These alleged messages have been proven to be false and have not come from heaven!! John Szantyr was stripped of his facilities to perform as a priest in 1988, years before Neil claims to have met him. Heaven would have known this fact!! Also John Szantyr has performed annual Pentecost Sunday Masses in the home of Neil Harrington Jr. a day in which Neil has claimed to receive a message form the Virgin Mary, but never once did one of these alleged messages inform the faithful that John Szantyr was not a priest! Never once did one of these alleged messages inform the faithful that the church does not allow a Mass to be said in a private home on a Sunday!! Never once did the alleged messages inform the faithful to make sure they went to church that day to fulfill the Sunday Obligation!!
Neil has claimed that St. Francis from heaven has called him "The Head" of this great mission and that God himself has chosen to put his wisdom in Neil. Neil has set himself up as an infallible Cult-Like leader who is not to be challenged or even questioned on what he does. If someone questions Neil that person is the one who is labeled as one who is in need of prayers for their unbelief!
The bottom line is families are being hurt and divisions are being caused by Neil Harrington's words and actions. Children have been put in harms way because Neil and Linda Harrington have allowed John Szantyr, after they knew he had been accused of child molestation, to have private confessions with minors in a bedroom in thier home!! The Harrington's never informed the many people they have come in contact with of John Szantyr's legal troubles. Parents had a right to know this information, but were denied that right because Neil, as "The Head", decided for them what was the truth!!
This is a Cult that is working under the guise of bringing people to God through the Catholic church, but in reality Neil Harrington Jr. and the SEEDS OF HOPE,INC. are creating spiritual unbalance in their followers which is leading them away from the truth contained in the Catholic church.
Parts of messages received by Neil Harrington Jr.:
October 4, 2006
“My beloved brother Neil has been falsely accused, and some of you have detracted from him. To detract from one who seeks to love God with his whole heart only can bring suffering unto yourself. One should not even consider entering into the sin of calumny. I tell you, my brothers, by the gossip of one, all shall suffer.
My brother Neil has to journey a difficult path and for many of you, you could not take the suffering that the path holds. You have not been hired to perfect your brother Neil, but you must believe that you have been chosen to bring forth this mission unto the world. Thus, if you cannot believe this, through your works you cannot bring light to the mission of the Seeds of Hope.”
“Beloved Padre John, life has not always treated you fairly and many have falsely accused you yet, you have never waiver in your love of God. Many who bear of the scars of unjust persecution as you blame God for his absence in what you had to suffer? But thou have recognized that God has been with you through all you trials and tribulations. Because of this God has bless you with the brothers of the seeds of Hope.
“Blessed are you my brothers to have Padre John as a spiritual vessel and brother.”
“My brother, you have spoken in gossip about my inspirations with other brothers and your opinions that you have confronted me with, have held back the river of grace that flows freely from God to the hearts of every brother in our community."
“My brother Earnest, many times God has allowed me to come to you through the means of the messages, and even in times when I gave you personal guidance through a message. I came in words of encouragement that you might find peace within your life. I relayed a message that would reveal that your desires were good and pleasing to God. But you sought not time to take for discernment, thus your heart and will, sought the lesser portion of your desires that had little to do of why I had come to you with this message.
“My brothers of the Seeds of Hope, can a brother be considered worthy of trust when he does not keep his promises? Can a brother be considered trustworthy when he slanders one with gossip? Can a brother be considered trustworthy when he commits himself before his brothers then does nothing because it is not done in accordance with his direction?
“My brother Earnest, you have blessed the members of the Seeds of Hope on innumerous occasions. Do not believe that they plot against you; for what is in their heart is a profound love, and they seek to love you as a brother. But many times you refuse their love because of pride. So seek not to oppose them as a man of knowledge, but seek to love them as I love them.
“My brothers of the Seeds of Hope, peace does not come through opposing opinions, but unity. It would be good for you to understand that I have come to unify you, not divide you. You must seek one-mindedness and have respect for the authority God has given to Padre John.”
“If we are totally restricted by the Archdiocese of Hartford in the distribution of any messages, what are our alternatives?” Question by Sydeney
“My beloved brother Sydney learning
to accept rejection is a role of a saint. … Though thou must stay upon the
narrow path and what I have taught you through my messages shall keep you upon
the path. Blessed are you when you're persecuted and ridicule for God shall be
your justice and yours will be the
Question: “Do you consider those who voluntarily walk away from the Seeds of Hope to still be members of the Seeds of Hope? Yes or No. As those who walked away are our brothers in Christ, name at least one specific action that you will take in charity and love to let them know they are missed.” Question by Dave.
“My good and faithful brother David, beneath a stone one to can bury a treasure that belongs to a king. … If you are not willing to become the clay we're God can molds you, form you, and use you so that many may drink from the chalice of your love, than God shall choose another. I ask you to you believe members are added or are they given to the seeds of Hope to replace those who have fled from this light? … The Almighty God gives you a free will and with that free will you're able to choose to come or to leave, to be faithful or to be disobedient; to be loving, or to be hateful, to be patient or to be frustrated, to be diligent or to be slothful. … Those who have left cannot be considered a part of this mission when they do not seek to fulfill what God called them to do.
“The average person is confronted with many different teachings, which on the surface can seem plausible. What is there for us to show these teachings from Mary and Francis are true (authentic)? -question by Bill
“My brother William, … In today's societies there are many bearing false witness and there are many miracles that are claimed. Reflect on the weeping statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary … The tears that have been seen are a call to return to the true teachings of her Divine Son, Christ Jesus, the Holy Gospel; and through the light of her messages and the messages that I have given to you, they will not contradict the true teaching of the Gospel, nor will they contradict the teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. … Never presume that your discernment is always correct, for this is prideful, and will promote the evil one's attacks. It is better to be docile and humble, so that God can reveal to you the truth in all matters. … For the way that you conduct your lives in accordance with the messages that you have received from this revelation shall reveal the authenticity to others. By example they shall know you. May God bless you in your journey! Amen.”