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that priest

July 14, 2009

For all the time that passed after I was sexually assaulted by the Jesuit abuser, up until the time I wrote a letter to the Missouri province in Janaury 2003,   I did not use his name.   I couldn’t use it.  I couldn’t say it.  I couldn’t hold a thought about him in my head.   He was “that priest”.    Any thought or memory of him was as “that priest”.   When I had to talk about him, it was always as “that priest”.  I could not say his name.

The night before I wrote to Frank Reale in 2003, I asked a trusted Jesuit friend who I should contact about that priest, and he said the Missouri province.   In that conversation,  I said that priest’s name for the first time in more than a decade.   My Jesuit friend asked me how I was going to report that priest if I couldn’t say his name.

Thank God for the  “lawyer hat”  I’ve grown used to wearing when times require it.   I wrote a letter to Frank Reale and I used that priest’s name ……. and the world did not end.

And here I am using his name on this blog when the explanation or story requires it.

Times have changed, and I wanted to take stock and honor all those years of trauma.

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