Letter from Our Founder
In the summer of 1963, I was sexually abused by Fr. Alphonse Robert in a Cornwall Motel while travelling from Scarborough Ontario to Montreal Quebec. I was 11 years old. That experience has had a profound impact on my life and the actions I have taken that lead me to three divorces, a period of estrangement from my three children, broken hearts of brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, parents, angry and disappointed employers, friends and associates. I drank alcoholically from the age of 25 until 58, and ultimately lost every thing of value including all relationships all values and moral standards as well as severe impact on my medical condition.
For me this journey of recovery started in the early morning hours of December 4, 2010 at the corner of Wellington and Bristol roads in Guelph Ontario. It was at that time that something came between me and alcohol – a moment of clarity if you will. I entered into a 12-step recovery after a weekend of detoxing at my apartment and for the next three years I got sober and began intense work with other alcoholics and addicts. During that time there was no severe conscious thoughts of the abuse or its impacts.
On Christmas morning 2013 I was at home and had just completed my morning prayer and meditation discipline when I re-lived the sexual abuse by Fr. Robert. This experience took me through all of the grooming over the year before the Montreal trip, the visits and deception he perpetrated on my mother. The travel and his rambling conversation on matters sexual and then the overnight stop in Cornwall, the abuse during the night, the next morning at the Basilica and the long ride home. Upon arriving at home there is a clear and vivid memory I have of running up the driveway of our home on Birchmount Rd in Scarborough desperately trying to put distance between me and that predator priest and the confines of his car and yet saying to myself that I could not tell Mom or Dad or any of my brothers and sisters of this dreadful and paralyzing experience of abuse because no one would believe me. He was a priest – next to God – who is going to believe me over God! That was the exact wording of that thought some 58 years earlier, as of this writing and I felt the anguish and desperation and fear as I write the words today as a man of 69 years to the same intensity I did as an 11-year-old boy in 1963.
The difference today is not that emotions and feelings do not return — they do; however, they do not own me. I am not the victim now. I have tools, physical, mental and spiritual which allow me to recognize the emotion and not automatically default to my victim persona of my past. The reality remains that the abuse took place and that coupled with my alcoholism were the worse two facts of my life and now those two facts are the biggest assets of my life.
My hope is that we can assist in providing such a journey to others who have suffered trauma.
Thank you for visiting and your ongoing support.
With Deep Respect,
Once you choose hope,
anything is possible!