Countless questions

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If you missed CBS’s As it Happens and the interview with Bishop Brian Dunn you should be able to catch it again at this link .  I will see if I can get it on the site later or tomorrow.

I have now added the name of Brother Gregory VanBurren (“Brother Gregory” in Holland) to the list of accused and a link to a page of further information.

There is a fair bit of information on the page.  I truly must thank Lona who translated everything I received in Dutch language – this not only allowed me to wrap my head around what I was looking at but also assists all of you to follow the threads in this story.  She spent a lot of time over the past few days translating.

Also thanks to my contact in Amsterdam.  She operates a blogsite “Crispina” and had contacted me in the past.   When I first contacted her with questions about “Brother Gregory,” as busy as she was, she quickly dug into files and sent me invaluable information and pictures.  Yesterday she posted that information on her site.  I have asked her how she would like to be identified – no response as yet so I will just, as I have done, direct you to her site.  I can’t read a word of it, but it was the operator of that site who came up with the pictures and the newspaper article from 1990 which makes special mention of Brother Gregorius which are posted here.

There are a few pictures scattered throughout the page.  Here are the links:

(1) Rolling St Mary Magdelene Church from Indian Point to Mabou

This captures the work of relocating the church from Indian Point to Mabou, and then, after repairs and restoration, the church as it is now.

Brother Gregory was instrumental in establishing and managing the shrine, Mother of Sorrows Pioneer Shrine of Mabou, Cape Breton) .

(2) The Technical School in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia once operated by the Brothers of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows, including Brother Gregory

I don’t know when the picture was taken, but probably it was in 1957 shortly after the vocational school in New Glasgow was opened.  Brother Gregory is not in the picture -this may be because he did not teach at the school?  The four brothers pictured are apparently the first four brothers to arrive in Canada.

(3) Brothers of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows celebrate the order’s 100-year jubilee – Brother Gregorius is in the picture

(4) 1951:  Brothers of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows celebrate the order’s 100-year jubilee – Brother Gregorius is in the picture

Brother Gregorius, as he was known in Holland, pictured and identified as Brother Superior of the order, at the jubilee of the order. (I honestly just clicked to the fact that Gergorius was Brother Superior of the order, not just the school!!)

The other clips are text only – they with translations are spread throughout the page with translation below.

I, and am sure others, have countless questions, not the least of which are:

(1)  Were there other molesters who were shipped to Nova Scotia, either ahead of or with Brother Gregorius?

(2)  What is the timing of the known abuse at the Harreveld boarding school in relation to the departure of the brothers for Nova Scotia?

(3)  What role, if any, did Victor Marijnen play in shuttling Gregorius out of Holland and over to Nova Scotia?  (It is now known that Victor Marijnen, at the time Director of the boarding school and later Prime Minister of Holland, was very active in protecting or trying to protect the brothers from prosecution)

(4) Who specifically in the Diocese of Antigonish thought it wold be a good idea to bring the “Brothers of Amsterdam”  over?  and what, if anything, did that person know of the sex abuse allegations against the brothers in Holland?

(5)  Which Church officials in Holland gave their blessing to Brother Gregorius heading for Nova Scotia?

There are many more.  I won’t go on, not now.

In some small and strange way I feel that Henk Heithuis, the unfortunate victim who was shipped off for castration, is finally having his day.  He died in a accident within, I think, a couple of years of his horrific ordeal.

I hope and pray that anyone in Nova Scotia who was abused by ,or is aware of sex abuse at the hands of, Brother Gregory – or any of the other brothers – will break their silence.

Thanks to CBC’s As it Happens for breaking the story on the Canadian connection of this horror story.

Enough for now,


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