I thought it was cool that this priest had a handgun.
I remember the first time I saw him. I turned to my classmate in my freshman religion class and asked “Who’s this guy?” He told me it was “Father R”, and that “he’s really cool”. I asked what was so cool about him. My friend told me the priest used to be a New York City cop until he joined the priesthood and that he still had a gun. I was told that he had shown his gun to some guys in school. My friend told me that Father R even lets guys drink booze in his office. I thought, No way! Really? Wow, he is cool.

My friend went on to telI me he knew a bunch of guys that have gotten drunk with this priest, even the quarterback of our varsity team and a lot of well-liked and athletic guys in my school. My friend went on to tell me that the priest was funny and he made light of the more serious subject of sex, telling jokes about sex and celibacy.

I was a 13 year old freshman, one of the youngest in my grade, and I watched Father closely that first day. He wasn’t like all the other teachers. The class work seemed secondary, and just hanging out with the students seemed like his primary goal. This priest seemed way cooler than all the others I had encountered in my previous 8 years of Catholic education. I couldn’t believe it, a policeman, a priest, my teacher, and he coached on the wrestling team. He was an imposing figure too, big guy, tall, 225-250 lbs. I admired him and he seemed like the kind of person that any young man would aspire to be. I can’t say that first day I wished to be known by him, but after weeks and months went on I wished that I could be in the group of boys that he counted as trustworthy enough to show me his gun and have alcohol in his office.

I saw him horsing around with guys in my school. I was having some trouble adjusting to the high school. I couldn’t quite get my bearings and I was having some difficulty navigating my way through freshman year. I thought it would be so great to have a mentor/friend like Father R. He seemed like the kind of man that could help a young person through some tough times. I wanted to approach him and ask for some general guidance, but I didn’t have the confidence or the humility to admit I was having trouble. I made it through that year but it was kind of tough.

Then one night at the first school dance of my sophomore year I mustered up the courage to say hello to him. Here is my story that I posted a year ago, in the wrong forum.


Fast forward to today.

The head of this group of priests received a letter about my abuse and in his response he asked that I contact the authorities, so I did. I thought, well, the perp is in prison for 40 years, I’ll make a report in case he ever gets in front of a parole board. And that’s when I found out he is getting out permanently next year. I can’t believe it. Because he left my state shortly after my abuse the statute of limitations is still open, meaning the prosecutors recommend I prosecute and I’m going through with it. I am afraid if I don’t he will continue to prey on boys. He is 73yrs old; I am going to let a judge decide what to do with him. I am not proud or happy to be putting someone in jail. I don’t even know if I’m doing the right thing. I am terrified of the attention this might get in my community.

This is taking a toll on me. My wife of 20 years and my 3 teen sons told me I’ve been a moody bastard. I thought I was keeping it cool. They were telling me to leave the house. I don't want to do that. Man, why did I open this can of worms. I know I was better off when I didn’t have this stuff in my face all the time. It was better when it was hidden. I had never seen a professional counselor for anything until 2 years ago, now I’ve seen that guy, and then referred to a PTSD guy, and now, a marriage counseling guy.

I thought I was climbing out of this but now I don’t know. I thought I could handle this. It's getting heavy.