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Date: April 12, Author: tduhl 0 Comments. Here are their recommendations: Effective Stewardship: The authors call on dioceses to educate the faithful on what effective giving looks like in order to increase parish contributions. The numerous lawsuits and bankruptcies have certainly hampered these efforts.

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Parishes without schools are questioning the value of Catholic schools in providing vocations and faithful Catholics. They even provide a standard: registered households and 65 infant baptisms per year. Explore Legal Options: School Choice and challenging Blaine Amendments are recommended strategies to bring about improved school funding. A Faith-Based Charter School? More Details Other Editions 1.

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All Languages. More filters. Sort order. Kevin rated it really liked it Apr 12, Widman located no books or studies on the subject. What little press coverage the institutions had received over the course of the century was usually about jolly excursions or the happy recovery of a runaway scamp. The more Widman spoke to people who had lived at St. Thousands of people all over the United States had at some time worked in an orphanage, yet none had come forward to reminisce about their time, at least not anywhere that Widman could find.

The diocesan hierarchy had oversight of the orphanage, and the nuns had lived and worked there, but none of them were forthcoming with their recollections. It was the same with the children. Siblings who had once been in the same orphanage together had often not discussed it with each other, much less with friends or even spouses. In the earliest days of the orphanage, it had housed the aged as well as the young. Eventually, the elderly residents left. The children remained. Hundreds of them. As Widman came to see, however, many of them were not actually orphans.

Most were extremely poor. One girl had milk for the first time at St. One girl had seen an egg at the dining table only a few times a year. But lack of money was usually just one of their problems. Some parents delivered their own children to the nuns, believing they were leaving them in a safe place.

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Many were brought by the state, after their homes were deemed unacceptable. Sometimes they ended up in an orphanage simply because their mother was unmarried. They arrived in every imaginable condition, dirty and lice-ridden, covered in bruises, recently raped, or perfectly healthy. Once the doors of St. They even took on different identities, as the nuns addressed them by number , not by name. The women of the Sisters of Providence had been renamed, too, when they joined the order and took their vows. Leonille Racicot became Sister James Mary.

Jeanne Campbell became Sister Jane of the Rosary. And various men moved in and out of the drama: priests, seminarians, counselors, and others, recurring characters who kept their given names and who would appear for a time, then step back offstage and into the rest of the world. In , members of the survivors group asked for permission to return to the old brick building, which had stopped admitting children back in the s and now housed only a few church offices. Initially they were turned away at the door. Months later some were allowed to walk through, but usually just one at a time.

The diocese reached out to one former resident, whom they believed would testify for them, and flew her in from Utah for a tour. So one day he just walked in the front door, said he was visiting from out of town, and politely asked if he could look around. The person at reception told him to go ahead.

The grand, marble, circular staircase, up which children had trudged, and down which some had fallen or been thrown, was removed in the s to accommodate an elevator, an innovation that was exciting enough to warrant a newspaper article, bearing a photograph with a spectacled, smiling nun and grinning, well-dressed children. The replacement staircase, now old and chipped, was narrow and utilitarian.

Catholic Church child sexual abuse scandal

Widman followed it straight up to the top floor. Several orphans had told him it was a terrifying place inhabited by scurrying mice and the occasional bat, along with sheet-draped statues that seemed to come to life when the wind blew through.

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Sally had told him about an electric chair — or something that looked just like one — that a nun used to strap her into for hours, taunting her that the chair would fry her. Even for an adult, the shadowy chamber was immense and disorienting. Widman gazed at the rafters and the loft and the door that concealed the spiral staircase to the cupola. Names had been scratched in the wood of the doorframe. Widman found a huge metal water tank with pipes coming out of it.

It had a big lid, and as he stood there and looked at it, he remembered that Sally Dale had told him that nuns made her climb up the little ladder and drop herself in. Then they pulled the lid back over and left.

Weathering the Storm: Moving Catholic Schools Forward

Widman always went with the best case first. The first 12 new cases, including all the out-of-state plaintiffs, went to federal court. The other 13 went to state court. Other St. One attorney told me that local lawyers referred to him as Darth Vader. Traveling back and forth from Florida for a week or two at a time, Widman drove through Vermont in search of St. One person would lead him to five more, and those five would lead to another And the more stories that Widman gathered, the more they began to knit themselves together, as happened in the case of the girl who stole a piece of candy.

A number of women separately told Widman they remembered a day when they were gathered together to witness a punishment. One thought it happened near the girls dining room. Another thought it was in the room where the children took off their coats and hats. Everyone agreed it happened downstairs. Three women recalled that a girl was placed facedown over a desk and beaten. Two remembered that the nun used a paddle.

Eventually the handle of the paddle snapped, so she got another paddle and used that one until she was finished. All the women remembered that the nun pulled out some matches. One woman thought the nun had a whole box of them. Another remembered only a single stick. One recalled that the girl had struggled and cried; another remembered that all the girls cried; one believed that she herself had spoken out, but that no one else said a word. Still, they all remembered what happened next. If the children mentioned the incident, one witness remembered a nun saying, they would never see their parents again.

He was desperate to find her, but none of his searches yielded anything. Until one day he got a call. About the burning? That was me.


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Then she told Widman her story. It was just as everyone had said. The witnesses remembered that the girl had stolen some candy, and they all remembered that a nun caught her. Often, traumatic memory worked just like normal memory, meaning that an episode might blur over time.

For some people, the more intense an experience had been, the likelier they were to retain it as a vivid narrative. But there was a threshold, at least for some. If an experience was too disturbing, it sometimes vanished. Whether the experience was actively repressed or just forgotten, it seemed to disappear from consciousness for decades, returning only in response to a specific trigger, such as driving by an orphanage or seeing a nun at the supermarket. After each interview, Widman took notes on who he met, what had happened to them, and who they named.