Father William Hodgson Marshall

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345 Responses to Father William Hodgson Marshall

  1. ip says:

    Those of you who would like to lend your support to Patrick’s initiative to have Mr. Marshall defrocked, please contact Sylvia who in turn will release my email address to you. I know one of the gentleman was collecting email info in Windsor. Perhaps he could get in touch with Patrick or me and we can ban together and work on a strategy. I am sure we can have professional help with this. If any of you is connected to one who can provide us with a direction, please do so. Ken Hills

    • P. M. says:

      I’m amazed that Marshall’s colleague can say he had no inkling of his abusive behaviour. Was I the only one at St. Mikes in 1953 who was uncomfortable seeing Marshall give whisker rubs and pink bellies to boys (out of sight of the school, of course)?

  2. former student says:

    dear patrick and ken:i am not sure that t. scott was accurate in his comments about the process of removal of hod from the priesthood.He left out a very important step.Hod may request the vatican or the basilians throught the bishop of toronto may request the vatican to remove him from the priesthood.I believe the theology states that hod could be defrocked but would only be excommunicated if he personally went against cannon law…sin no matter how heinous..is ,theologially,only sin and can be forgiven.At this point i need some gravol..but i see your task akin to that greek trying to get the dam rock to the top of the mountain.You might have more luck filling in the gaps of hod’s timeline and as a result showing that the basilian order and others in superior positions knew what he was doing and protected him at the expense of abused children.one caveat: i am not a theologian and not affiliated with any church so my impressions of the process must be verified.

  3. proudsurvivor says:

    I just want to say a big thank you to those of you who have shared your victim impact statements publicly. While painful to read, they also have a healing effect on me, a survivor. When I wrote my own victim impact statement over twenty years ago, I remember it being so difficult to articulate what damage McCann had caused. But what I didn’t know then was how much the abuse would continue to affect me throughout my adult life, even when I no longer had to carry the secret. Your impact statements serve to confirm my reality that I live through everyday while raising my children. How could I have known back in 1992, the year before my first son was born, that I would raise my children with I sense of hyper-vigilance, and try to ensure that I met all of their needs so that I wouldn’t be guilty of burdening my children with my issues? While bringing these men to justice in the court of law is one step in our healing journeys, the scars extend deep into our lives. That we need to remain vigilant that the church will not reinstate these men into positions where they can continue their crimes only adds to the burden. In the last few months since I discovered McCann was still working as a priest, so many issues have risen for me. Your victim impact statements have served to clarify some of those emotions. I know I have a lot of emotional and spiritual work to do to continue my healing. Thank you all again!

  4. ip says:

    It is now clear to me, after surviving our court week, that the trauma of childhood sexual abuse, is like others in that it generates a wide spectrum of emotions, ranging from, among others, anger, feelings of betrayal, confusion or bewilderment, isolation, hatred, extreme despair and depression, suicidal thoughts, sadness, acceptance and forgiveness. Alcohol and other drugs help to suppress these feelings but never eliminate them. Most of us know this from personal experience. Before this trauma occurred, all of the victims knew nothing of these emotional responses, however, for they were beyond our world of experience and comprehension. But what has happened to each one of us can never be reversed nor will it ever be forgotten. As victims, we now understand these emotions. Some are at the far end of the spectrum and have acceptance and relative calm in their lives. Some can even forgive while others are still in the anger stage and, in fact, can never see themselves in a position of forgiveness. Incidentally, although I may have relative calm at this point, there are still times when I become angry at what happened to me 58 years ago. When we met in the adjoining room before leaving to go our own ways, I cried like a baby and could not understand why. I now feel my outbreak was directly related to the anguish, the anxiety, and the whole range of emotions that swept over us all. But I have to tell you that this is how I now feel. No matter what happens in this lifetime, as a friend reminded me, God is still God and Jesus is still Jesus. These are the only role models we truly need. Although Jesus was scourged at the temple, crowned with thorns, spat upon and publically humiliated, when he was dying on the cross, he asked his heavenly father to “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.” When he was asked how we should pray, he taught us the Lord’s prayer which, in part, says “forgive us our trespasses as we forget those who trespass against us.” So, not to forgive is to align ourselves with our perpetrator who has truly been an instrument of evil and an agent of the devil. I don’t choose to be on his side. Nelson Mandela, after leaving his cell after 27 years, forgave his persecutors saying that forgiveness liberates the soul. Another reason that I pray that forgiveness will come to all of us eventually is for the sake of my family and loved ones. When I suffer, they suffer; when I mourn, they mourn; when I am angry, they too are angry. They share my feelings and support me in this way. I don’t want them to be sad or angry any more. They have long lives ahead of them, families to raise and they need to be able to pass on calm and peace to their little ones. They do not need to pass on my garbage. My prayer for all the victims is that they come to a place of peace in their lives, that they forgive this agent of evil and focus their attention on the divine force to which we all will be summoned eventually. Ken Hills

  5. 1 abandoned sheep says:

    You are already on the path of forgiveness, Stick with it- God will help you through to the end.

  6. P. M. says:


    Would you know what catholic high school Marshall attended when he was a teenager in Montreal?

  7. Sylvia says:

    Sorry P.M. I don’t know what school Marshall attended in Montreal. I too would like to know. Can anyone help?

  8. timothy ryan says:

    Marshall was teaching (phys. ed. no less) in 1959 at St. paul’s all boys high school in Saskatoon. He sexually abused me and when I mentioned it from time to time no one said anything. I went for lunch yesterday with two high school friends, it was three for three at the table. I’m betting it was a hundred. My big thing is there were 15 other preists in the school who were silent making them complicite. Everyone knew about the one way glass from his office to the boys shower. Two years what a joke.

    • proudsurvivor says:

      Wow Timothy! Three for three. I’m sorry you were one of them, and wish you well in your healing. Great that you have a built in support group to talk about it.

  9. timothy ryan says:

    Too bad there’s no hell

  10. 1 abandoned sheep says:

    Timothy, there is a HELL, and many of these abusers, without repentance, will be there for Eternity

  11. John Mac Donald says:

    Timothy……Just because “Happy Hands Marshall” is sitting in a jail somewhere does not mean that he cannot be charged again. Go to the police in your hometown if you are up to it, and bring the other 2 that you spoke of with you.


    • H. Shewchuk says:

      I agree with John. Go to the authorities in your hometown! Happy Hands Marshall ruined many lives and should rot in prison, then Hell! I continue to pray for the survivors daily! Ted Holland is a courageous survivor who came forward with allegations. I, as one of many, think Ted Holland is a hero! You, who took the laudable risk of speaking out, are all heroes! God Bless You! Thankfully, the Roman Catholic School Board removed Marshall’s photo from the foyer of St. Charles College. Hoping that Pope Francis and the Vatican will have the decency to defrock these monsters? It’s time!

  12. Cheryl Fisher says:

    Victims may contact 1-866-875-2225 to obtain information on how they may register to receive information from The Correctional Service of Canada about the offender who harmed them.

  13. Sylvia says:

    timothy ryan

    First, I am so sorry to hear that you and two of your friends were molested by Hod Marshall while you were youngs lads at St. Pauls. No child should endure such horror.

    Second, I commend you for speaking out in a public forum. That’s a big step. Let Hod carry the shame which is his, not yours, to bear.

    Finally, some questions:

    Can you tell us more about Hod in Saskatoon? And the one way mirror to the boy’s shower? We have nothing about his time out there. Unfortunately, and thanks solely to your courage to blog, we now know that Hod was molesting out there as well. What can you tell us without getting into details of what he did to you and your friends?

    What did he teach (besides phys ed)?

    What did the students think of him?

    Was he ever reported? If yes, to whom? and what was the response?

    Do you any of you have your high school yearbooks? If yes, are there pictures of Hod which could be scanned?

    Do you recall why he left?

    Any bits and pieces of information you and your friends can share would be most welcome.

  14. former student says:

    you might have more luck if you search “St Thomas More College” as i believe he was stationed at that institution.He was using that stationary to correspond during the school year,58-59.

  15. Sylvia says:

    former student: Is it possible that Hod was living at St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon in 1959 while he was teaching at St. Paul’s in Saskatoon? I think that is perhaps what happened?

    Are there any online yearbooks for either St. Paul’s HS or St. Thomas More College? I haven’t looked too hard, but did take a quick boo and had no luck.

  16. timothy ryan says:

    Jason Warick is a reporter with the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. I gave an interview to Jason today. My one friend also is giving Jason a report. Jason is hopeful he can get all three of us together and he’s willing to give the story full local coverage. He believes that the preists that are still here will receive a gag order. The principal was Fr. Sheehan who is in a Kelowna retirement home. Another friend has the year books which he’s getting for me. I hope my third friend will agree to an interview even off the record.

  17. Sylvia says:

    Way to go Timothy. That is good news. It is important that the story gets out in the Saskatoon area. Already there are three of you. How many more? How many more young lads who went to St. Paul’s have been shouldering that burdenof shame abd pain for the past 50 years?

    For the information of others, Hod taught at St. Paul’s in Saskatoon 1959, 1960 and 1961.

    As a point of interest, Father James Mahoney was teaching at St. Paul’s while Hod was there. Mahoney, who became Bishop of Saskatoon, was not a Basilian, but he did teach at the schoool. He was also a good friend of Bishop Eugene Larocque

    Also teaching at the school during Hod’s tenture was Father Blaise Morin. Morin, from Tecumseh, Ontario, became Bishop of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. (Tecumseh is also Larocque’s home town) Morin was not a Basilian.

  18. Patrick McMahon says:

    Excellent news about the local coverage Timothy. I tried a year or two back to raise awareness through the media in Saskatoon without result. I am glad it will be forthcoming as it is never too late to reveal the truth. Don’t forget that many of the victims of Marshall have had publication bans on their names removed and their stories (or the individuals themselves) are available to lay bare much of the history of Hod before and after his time in Saskatoon. As well, I believe the Star Phoenix is associated with the Windsor Star and the Sudbury Star where Mr. Warick could also gather much information.

    I never had a moment’s doubt that Hod abused incessantly in every school and city he was sent to so while it is regrettable that anyone had to endure that horrible man and his horrible actions, it is comforting in a sense that my statements from day one are being shown to be true.

    An interesting question now remains. No further charges against Hod will be entertained in the Ontario courts as part of the agreement made in his pleading guilty 17 times for his actions here. I am curious as to whether criminal charges can be laid against him for his actions there which is a completely separate jurisdiction (obviously).

    Either way, I applaud your actions Timothy and I know I am not the only one. Do not give up.

  19. Sylvia says:

    And the word of Hod’s conviction continues to travel. I have just posted this article which appeared in today’s edition of the St. Lucia Star:

  20. Sylvia says:

    Patrick: You say “No further charges against Hod will be entertained in the Ontario courts as part of the agreement made in his pleading guilty 17 times for his actions here.”

    I am floored! Is that legal? I suppose it must be, but is it really? If, for example, a victim in Sault Ste Marie went to the police, would the Crown in that region be bound by the deal?

    I can’t imagine that it could prevent charges being laid outside of Ontario. Nor for that matter St. Lucia.

    Does anyone know anything about the legality of deals such as this, and under what circumstances they can be struck?

    If anyone out there has gone to police and been told charges can NOT be laid because of the deal would you please let us know? Either post a comment here, or send me an email at: cornwall@theinquiry.ca

  21. Michel B. says:

    I think it would be grounds for legal action against the government, 2 years is a pitance for what he admitted to doing and what has not come out yet. Disgusting this man truly disgusting. How is it that those still suffering who may want justice would be denied. Sorry to late, I don’t think so.. so other criminals can cut such a deal.. for instance a rapist of several women. This does not make any sense at all, must be some of the Cornwall people involved now sitting on benches in Sudbury whom suggested such stupidity.

  22. John Mac Donald says:

    I will post the following excerpts from what I could find regarding a Crown Attorneys’ duties. I will comment on these points in another post.

    Quotes from the……….Preamble to the Crown Policy Manual

    1-“Crown counsel play a pivotal role in the administration of criminal justice. In many respects, the role of the Crown is a cornerstone of the criminal justice system.”

    2-“Public confidence in the administration of criminal justice is bolstered by a system where Crown counsel are not only strong and effective advocates for the prosecution, but also Ministers of Justice with a duty to ensure that the criminal justice system operates fairly to all: the accused, victims of crime, and the public.”

    3-(Pertaining to the division between the laying of charges with the Police and the prosecution of charges with the Crown) -“The police investigate and lay charges where they believe on reasonable grounds that an offence has been committed. Crown counsel will carefully review all charges to ensure they meet the Ministry’s screening standard. Crown counsel proceed only with prosecutions which present a reasonable prospect of conviction and where the prosecution is in the public interest. A distinct line between these two functions, which allows both the police and Crown counsel to exercise discretion independently and objectively, forms part of a system of checks and balances.”

    4-“Crown counsel have a responsibility to ensure that every prosecution is carried out in a manner consistent with the public interest. One aspect of the public interest which bears special mention is the challenge facing government and private sector organizations concerning institutional discrimination. Crown counsel, as key participants in the criminal justice system, play an important role in assisting to overcome any forms of discrimination that deny equal access to the criminal justice system. Crown counsel take a leadership role in ensuring that various forms of discrimination are not reflected in the criminal justice system.”

    5-“Prosecutorial discretion, when exercised fairly and impartially, is an essential component of the criminal justice system.”

    Quoted from the Crown Policy Manual regarding sentencing……..

    “In certain instances, the consent required is either that of the Attorney General or the Deputy Attorney General.
    In making decisions to consent or refuse to consent to certain steps in criminal proceedings, consideration of the public interest is paramount. The Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General exercise this discretion in a just, honourable and conscientious manner, unmoved by irrelevant considerations or partisan motives. Individual cases must be assessed rigorously, objectively and dispassionately.
    The Attorney General has the power to delegate and in certain instances, has delegated the power to consent to the Assistant Deputy Attorney General, the Director of Crown Operations, the Crown Attorney or to Crown counsel. In all instances where the Attorney General has delegated consent, the decision to consent or to refuse to consent must be made in the same way, and on the same basis, that the Attorney General exercises this discretion.”

    John Mac Donald

  23. Michel B. says:

    Thanks John I don’t see anything in your summary that impedes any unfortunate survivor of stupid hands from bringing their charges to be dutifully investigated and processed. If it does occur for some reason or another however it is grounds to shine the light on whomever advocated such inane cocepts. 2 years is totally not enough for this serial pedophile.

  24. John Mac Donald says:

    Michel…..Not much can be done about the 2 year sentence, that is a done deal and I have my own feelings on that point. What at issue is the part of the deal barring any other victims of “Happy Hands” in Ontario, or even the Windsor, Sudbury or Toronto areas from coming forward and laying charges. What gives a lowly Crown Attorney in Windsor the right to negotiate a deal which halts many, many other victims of this serial predator in Ontario from seeking justice?


  25. Gary Mulligan says:

    I am the friend whom Tim Ryan refered too in his blog. i gave a statment to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix to do every thing in my power to make sure he never walks or should i say stalks children again as long as he lives. I was molested by this monster when i attened ST. Pauls High School in 1961. Because of the artical coming out later this i have had to tell my children and sister what happened to me 50 yrs ago. They are in total schock i never told anyone including my parents who have both passed on. At least they did not have to go through life knowing what a preist had done to me. Tim mentioned a third friend of his he is a good friend of mine also. how can this happen to three friends how many others were there

  26. Sylvia says:

    Gary, thank you for speaking out. Hats off to you andTimothy for having the strength and finding the courage to speak out. The same holds true for your friend. Please take some small comfort all of you in the knowledge that others know exactly what you and your families are going through right now.

    And well done all of you for going to the media. It is so very important that the people of Saskatoon know that Father William Hodgson Marshall, the once highly respected and greatly admired former Phys Ed teacher at St. Paul’s, is in truth a child molester.

    I don’t know you all, but I am proud of you. We all are.

  27. Sylvia says:

    John, it sounds as though the plea deal including no further charges in Ontario would have required the assent of the Attorney General? Is that it?

    I still don’t understand. If a victim goes to police to have charges laid, and the police investigate and determine there are grounds to lay charges, then what? The police check with the Crown, and the Crown discovers that – no, no, no – there are to be no more charges laid against Hod Marshall in Ontario.

    Then what?

    What is the victim told? I can not wrap my head around this. What’s the rationale?

  28. Anon says:

    The day I left St. Paul’s highschool was the happiest day of my life, yes I knew Fr Marshall, and yes he did. I transferred to Mount Royal highschool and the day I walked Into Mt Royal I was overwhelmed by how normal it felt, how clean it felt. I went from being an F student to being an A student, I went to university and had a great career and was elated when they ground St Paul’s into the dirt. How sad as some of the teachers were excellent but I will never forget The smell of Fr M’s aftershave and the other things that continue to linger.

  29. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Happy hands was a real star, wasn’t he? A shining example of Christianity in a Roman Catholic priest. Mike.

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