Through a Crucible to Spring
A SURVIVOR'S STORY
Ed. Note: The following is the true story of a victim of clerical sexual abuse. It contains a depiction sexual depravity perpetrated by a member of the clergy. We are publishing this article because it is important to understand the wickedness of such acts and the human devastation that results therefrom.
In July 1988, I was a naïve 23-year-old. Having been blind since birth, I was also extremely vulnerable. I’d been sent to a school for the blind at four years old and saw my family infrequently. The separation was very sorrowful. I longed for a true home.
As I grew, my need for human love was heartbreakingly unfulfilled. But God sent me treasured friends, in whom I found solace. Moreover, at an early age, I had a profound experience of God’s love. One day, while praying in church as a young child, I felt a warmth emanating from the Tabernacle, and I was overwhelmed by the unmistakable presence of Jesus. From that moment, my life was never the same; faith became my bedrock and preserved me through many trials.
In 1987 I went on my first pilgrimage to Medjugorje in Bosnia. Being in that oasis made me radically hunger for God.
On a subsequent trip to Medjugorje in May 1988, I met Father X, an Irish priest. At that time, I was still in tremendous emotional pain from the loneliness of my childhood. Maybe Father will be a confidant, I hoped, maybe he’ll be a safe person. After returning home, I began writing to him, pouring out all of my troubles.
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