The Children

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A gentle visual reminder of those children whose young lives were irrevocably changed

This new page on Sylvia’s Site is dedicated to the children who were sexually abused by Canadian priests or by priests in Canada, or by Roman Catholic brothers.  This is a reminder for all – Catholic laity, clergy, judges, lawyers, Crowns attorney, police officers, the general public – that regardless the age at which a victim finds the courage to ‘come forward,’ he/she was but a child when he/she was so cruelly violated and ruthlessly betrayed by a predatory Roman Catholic priest/wolf in sheep’s clothing.

The pictures depict the child at or about the age he/she was sexually abused.  I urge you all to please scan and send your picture to add to the page.  The message needs to get out that you were just a child – you were all just children.  No matter your age now, you were a child when you were abused. Please help to get that message out.

When you send the picture please tell me (1)  your age in the picture; (2)  if  you would like your name (first name only, or first name and surname, or initials only) under the picture; (3)  the name of your molester and if you would like it added under the picture.   You can remain anonymous by all means, but I do ask that you give your approximate age in photo.   The page will also include pictures of those who were seduced and molested in their late teens. CLICK HERE to send an email and attach a picture

Click on individual pictures to enlarge.

 

43 Responses to The Children

  1. JG says:

    ….where are the photos?

    Sylvia, I’ll send you mine if you have a “category” for “collateral damage”!!!! I never considered myself as a victim…just one going through the normal struggles of life! But if I need to get my miserable childhood memories on “screen” to help someone, just let me know!
    PJ, Mike, Mike and Mike and all the others who thought they were worthless, ugly, and a burden ,… stand up, head high, PROUD!!! The child has nothing to feel guilty about.
    This is what I was! What you were!
    What could I, what could we, have become?.. I wonder….
    I want to see that beautiful child and give him my care, give him, or her, the laughter and innocence, lost and found again…
    For all of you “lurkers”, remember the child and be “present”…, feel the pain but allow them to Live..Or else we are all lost!
    …where are the photos?
    …Let that child Live again!

    jg

  2. Sylvia says:

    And there you are JG. Thank you.

    They say a watched pot never boils. I’m not watching the site too closely – crossing my fingers and hoping that all of you will dig out your pictures and send them along. I know that sometimes asking that you do something like this scares you, but please know that you have nothing to be afraid of, and nothing to be ashamed of. As JG says, be proud.

  3. Sylvia says:

    I have just added a picture of Lowell. This is one of only two pictures he has – none were taken after he was abused (age 12 ½) by Father Levi Noel.

    Thank you Lowell.

    Each picture sends a message and tugs at the heart strings. Just children.

  4. A victim says:

    I think that there would be a lot more pictures,but for the fear of been regnonized a lot of victims wouldn’t want their pictures place here for the public to see. I know because I’m one of them.

    • wanda says:

      @ A victim. I am with Sylvia my darling…there is no shame for you here and being recognised puts a face to being part of an end. One of my neighbours is a survivor of Mount Cashel…he still suffers and will likely continue to suffer…everytime I see him I am re-inforced with a sense ….we need more like you to speak out! He did nothing wrong, he was just a little boy, who wanted to be a little boy.

      • Greg says:

        I agree, This is not the kind of attention I am looking for.
        People are strange, they also judge us victims as being damaged goods and that we have big problems that cannot be overcome (which is false)
        It was Father Gerard Stock, Scarborough Mission that had his way with me in my bedroom at my parental home.
        I was just 10 years old.

    • Greg Anzelc says:

      I agree, This is not the kind of attention I am looking for.
      People are strange, they also judge us victims as being damaged goods and that we have big problems that cannot be overcome (which is false)
      It was Father Gerard Stock, Scarborough Mission that had his way with me in my bedroom at my parental home.
      I was just 10 years old.

    • R.G says:

      I’m of the same opinion showing my picture would cause my family to mutch pain as I myself still keeping the abused by Mgr Benoit Fortier A SECRET TO MOST OF THEM because of my shame!!

  5. JG says:

    A victim,
    I have been thinking about your last post since early this morning. I understand the extent of the damages caused by this abuse but I am hoping you can explain your “fear of being recognized”…
    Are you afraid because you have kept it a secret, still…afraid because your family, wife , children are not aware….because of your “status” in the community…could you loose your job…Is it simply a fear of the unknown or do you still feel guilty and ashamed because of what was done to you?…
    I realize we are not all equally “brave” or maybe “foolish” for some…but I can really say that after more than three years of participating in this debate and being very vocal about my Father’s abuse and the effect of “that” on my life…it has only helped me understand a lot more. I am more at peace and have found a certain “serenity” about 50 years of turmoil!… I think I am a better person for it and a lot happier.
    I am from a small community and have had nothing but positive feedback.
    For me that is absolutely worth every breath I have left if I can help save one child.
    My life and sacrifices will have been well “used”…
    I Hope you can answer my questions. I am truly interested to understand some more.
    I can tell you how that kid in the above picture survived simply because he decided to “swim” even though the tank was filled with alligators!…
    Strange where you can get when you take a leap of “faith” and just go with the current…
    If you still feel so bad about people knowing what you went through, I don’t mind sharing more if you and others will. I am not ashamed of my life, mostly thankful.
    Fear is what keeps children quiet! I am not afraid anymore because there is no monster under the bed!…
    I wish you well and no more “fear”. Life is too short.

    jg

    • Greg says:

      You have some good points,
      The only reason for even discussing the past is to help others, the others that may still be silent.
      I am lucky, also grateful, but I still have trust issues with people, not that I think they are all paedophiles, just that I dont think as a professional Real Estate salesperson I don’t want this tag on me as a sexual survivor of Clergy Abuse (which should really be rape and these creeps should be on an Island for life)
      I don’t appreciate they they call this sexual abuse in stead of what it really is)

      • Geenda says:

        I totally agree with you Greg. And Sylvia’s site aside I had never told a soul, when one day someone very close to me asked the right question and I volunteered a small bit of information.. He proceeded to pry into what ‘my’ role was in the abuse. I was a very young child younger than 10, and like you I had NO role except that of an innocent victim of a disgusting predatory pig. I have learned to live with it and even though I am a highly educated person with many resources, I still managed to let it ruin every relationship I’ve had. I too trust no one and never will tell anyone else.

  6. Sylvia says:

    I have just added Conrad’s picture. Thank you Conrad.

    I will tell you all what I have told others in private. I have always been very aware that you were just children, but I can truly say that those few pictures above have impacted me in way I had not foreseen. Each young trusting innocent face is etched in my mind. I see your innocence. I see, and feel I can almost reach back through the years and touch you, the child.

    And there you are Conrad, in your double-breasted suit, and bow tie. So handsome, you and Lowell.

    May we all join forces to spare as many children as is humanly possible the pain. humiliation and suffering you each endured as children.

    How, in looking at the pictures, can one ever doubt that the shame is not the child’s to bear. Never. You were children.

    • R.G says:

      WHY TO SHOW OUR FACE SYLVIA FOR ME IT ONLY A WAY TO CONTINUE THE PAIN I STILL FEEL WHENEVER I SEE A PICTURE OF MYSELF HAS A YOUNG BOY IT REMIND ME WHEN I WAS ABUSE BY MGR BENOIT FORTIER AND OTHER MEN OF ME IMMIADITE FAMILY. WHAT IS THE YOUR REAL REASON FOR WANTING THOSE PICTURES IS IT FOR YOUR OWN VIDICTIFE PERSONAL GAIN OF YOUR WEB SITE. IF YOU CALL YOURSELF A COMPENSTIONED PERSON YOU MAYBE SHOULD LEAVE BE. SINCE I MYSELF CAME OUT ABOUT MY OWN SEXUAL ABUSED ON YOUR WEB SITE IT BEEN HELL FOR ME

      • Sylvia says:

        No R.B. There is no gain for me in this. My hope was that it would help people understand that although you are adults when you come forward, you were children when you were abused.

        Perhaps not a good idea at all? And perhaps I should take the “Children” page down? I certainly not not want to cause any more pain for any of you.

        Please everyone, your thoughts.

  7. Sylvia says:

    A victim

    I understand what you are saying. I know that there are many of you who are still terrified that someone will know who you are. One day, by the grace of God, you will be free of that fear. One day you will really understand that the shame belongs to your abuser. It is not yours to bear. It belongs to him.

    There are people who blog on this site who know and understand exactly what you are saying: they’ve been in your shoes, and they made it through. The need to remain anonymous and fear of being identified is gone. I think/trust/hope they will be sending pictures, and hopefully will also give you a few words of support and encouragement. Each has a story to tell of overcoming his/her fears. All in good time.

    I don’t want to interfere here with JG’s questions to you. They are good questions. Your answers can help us all to understand. How can we help?

    My thoughts and prayers are with you A victim, always.

  8. Sylvia says:

    I have added a picture of Levis LaPlante. Thank you Levis.

    Eleven-and-a-half years old. Another handsome young lad. And yes, just a child. A little boy.

    Levis was also sexually abused by Father Levi Noel. I have added Levis’ picture, along with those of Lowell and Conrad, to the Father Levi Noel page.

    And yes, if you are wondering about the name, Levis was indeed named after the ‘beloved’ parish priest Father Levi Noel – an “S” was added to differentiate. If Levis’s parents ever knew what Noel did to their boy I am sure they were beyond heart-broken that they once held him is such high esteem and, without doubt, trusted him implicitly..

  9. Sylvia says:

    I just added a picture of PJ. Thank you PJ.

    The picture is dark, but if you click on it you can clearly see the face on that little boy about to receive an award. A proud moment for a 14-year-old. An innocent child.

    PJ’s sexual abuse at the hands of Father John Sullivan began that summer.

    I have added the picture to the Father John Sullivan page.

  10. Sylvia says:

    I have added a second picture of PJ. The first picture posted was taken when PJ was 14 and receiving an award (a Timex watch) for top student in Grade 8. This was just months before the abuse by Father John Sullivan began.

    The picture which I just posted is PJ’s Grade 9 picture. The abuse had begun. Just look at him. A child. A mere child.

    The two pictures are posted for a reason. It was my decision. I think many of you will understand.

    For years after the abuse PJ thought he was stupid. I believe many of you can relate to such erroneous thoughts. How many had their marks plummet? Anyway, that picture of PJ proudly receiving the Timex watch is a reminder that after that his life changed, and also, and for me more to the point, that he is far from stupid.

    Thank you for both pictures PJ – they do indeed speak a thousand words.

  11. B says:

    I think this is a wonderful idea! A woman once described to me how, as a young adult, she felt so guilty and complicit for the abuse she suffered; then one day, observing a crowd of young, innocent, chattering 12-year olds, she realized they were the age at which her abuse at the hands of older family members began…and suddenly understood she had been a blameless child who had neither invited nor known how to prevent the abuse. She was finally able to shed the false sense of guilt. This gallery makes the same point: only a monster would destroy the innocence of these children.

    Also, JG, would you have a photo of your father that you could include?

  12. JG says:

    B,
    Sorry but the earliest picture of him is probably his wedding picture….No such “luxury” then. He also never liked having his picture taken. Your question has brought back a lot of questions…His dislike for photographs may be related to the shame and poor self esteem he displayed most of his life.
    The reason I volunteered my photo was to encourage others to follow but also because the age I am at on this photo is about the same age as my Father was when his life took a turn and he was orphaned, at 5 years old. Imagine that only three years later he was “on his own”…fending for himself! Even started to smoke at 8 Years old!
    This photo is among the first in our family, when the new, cheaper Kodak became available. They had a revolving flash cube on top, for those who remember.

    Special thanks to Leona and PJ for their picture. It helps me visualize “where” my Father was as a child of 16. Pretty much alone and surviving. I know very little about him until I am myself a teenager and I too had to start surviving…
    He said he didn’t know how to be a Father because he never had one. The relationship would have been difficult enough without the abuse.
    It is still difficult because of the questions that remain, knowing there will never be any answers….
    jg

  13. PJ says:

    Not sure if your post really belongs on this page as it is not relevant. Your statements are allegations and they need to be properly addressed elsewhere. What do you think Sylvia?

  14. Michele Currie says:

    I was born and raised in Arnprior I am 49 years old and Father Miller was our priest. I never liked him, for some reason I get strong feelings from people and when I was a child this priest gave me the creeps. I could not put my finger on it back then but I just knew there was something behind all those fake smiles. I just kept getting the creeps each time us kids had to be around him. When I read the news of him being charged I was not surprised in the least. I have a feeling that I probably went to school with the boys that were molested by this piece of garbage (poor excuse for a human being). I remember who the alter boys were back then. One of those alter boys killed himself in high school they were saying back then it was because of the death of his own father but it just did not make sense to me at the time. When I heard this about Miller it made me think about that boy. Anyway I just wanted to say if any person I grew up with was affected by this scum bag I would only want to know so I could give you a giant hug. This makes me cry thinking someone I knew and was going to school with was going through such torture. This makes me so mad I want to punch that miller in the face. If you told me back then I would have believed you and I believe you now and I do not blame you at all. This also makes me very angry. Thanks Sylvia for having this page.

    • Sylvia says:

      That’s an important message for the victims Michele. I will thank you for posting it- I am sure your words will be appreciated by all victims.

  15. Eve says:

    This page is a wonderful idea so many of us forget that we were children when these dreadful things happened and blame ourselves. I think the pictures should be shown in court during the trial so people can see the innocent child that was abused and tormented instead of the grown adult they see in the witness stand and the usually feeble old priest whom many foolishly feel sorry for, which I could never understand,when these incidents occurred they were strong influential men imposing themselves on innocent frightened and confused children. I think a huge picture of the child and perpetrator should be in the courtroom to drive that point home.

  16. Christina C says:

    Very little seems to be said about the other forms of abuse the orphans dealt with on a daily basis -physical, mental & emotion abuse was an everyday occurence at Mount Cashel. My father and his 3 siblings endured it for years. Where’s the consideration for those victims in this judicial process? The lawyers only seem interested in the representing those who were sexually abused. The ones that had the crap beat out of them regularly don’t matter I guess. Sad thing is, they deal with the trauma every day of their lives. The impact will last forever, even though the building has long been torn to the ground.

  17. R.G says:

    I am a victim of sexual by a priest in my parish of Verner,Ontario . I was only 8 when the abuse started before he broke my young soul he broke me mentally and phisically ,I wanted to become a priest I love everything about church and what the mgr benoit fortier represented to me was for ever gone.For 5 years i was his playing thing his favorite. In my life I attempted suicide 5 time in and out of mental institution for depression and in jail to escape myself. I believe it was my fault .I wasnt good enaugh to be a catholic ,become what i wanted most become a voice of the church follow in jesus life become a priest. You will say how sad but know what a joke.I turn out to be a kind of monster that no body wants in there live in there neibourhood .Has a teenager I could even face to my parents with all the shame after my second attempt a suicide i ran AWAY to montreal to be able to get lost .I have stolen good people,I have sold my body to survive in the street of the big city I used all type of drug alchol from the age of 8 to endure my crazy life.I’ m sorry if i write today about my pittyful life put i need to let this out.BEFORE I DIE…THIS IS WHAT SEXUAL ABUSED DOES TO PEOPLE LIKE ME..

  18. JG says:

    R.G….
    I read your post , here, and another one under “Fortier”…In each one you call yourself a “monster” as in this quote from above:
    “I turn out to be a kind of monster that no body wants in there live in there neibourhood “…
    I think I understand what you are getting to and I wonder if you are ready to discuss those issues?… Very few will understand they can rise from their ashes…It is a total surrender, an absolute leap of “Faith”…
    Some parts of your story I am hearing for the “second ” time in a little less than a month. I know they are extremely painful issues to reveal and they are also very painful to hear but If you pull out the weeds there is usually some good soil to plant a fertile garden…
    Remember that you don’t have to put on a show for the gallery but that you need to continue your journey…It seems you are getting to a fork in the road, you have to chose between continuing in a direction you know to be wrong or taking the less known, more difficult trail to do right. It has been a long time since I personally heard a person seemingly so repenting as you appear to be in the above…Maybe you need a good cry and to look at yourself as God would look at you: very disappointed but telling you to do better, to now do “good” with your life!..
    There are no stones to be cast if you chose the right path…
    I think it is fitting that you followed up your first post with this one, under “The children”…
    You have to rediscover that 8 year old child, before he was locked up in that little room and bring him into the light of day.
    If you are sincere and committed to being and doing better, Good will come your way and the monster will be cleansed by the child.
    Give yourself a chance, forgive yourself what you can and the rest will be dealt with in due time…
    You are not alone but you need to be patient with everyone who will try to help you and those who would like to hurt you also. As long as you are patient with yourself and are committed to finding that little boy again, you can expect more happiness in your Life…
    I promise, R.G.

    ” Tu n’as pas tout perdu! Il te reste la liberté de choisir entre le bien et le mal. Il n’est jamais trop tard pour accomplir ça!….
    Pour une première leçon…pratique-toi à te pardonner toi-même! Les autres et le “Ciel” te pardonnerons après…”

    jg

  19. Survivor - Life Living - Joy Celebrating - Love Giving. says:

    It is always on the back of my mind. Not the abuse, not the rape. No way!

    It is always on the back of my mind, in my heart, expressed every chance I get in my Little Beautiful Life.

    “Choice” where I had no choice. I began choosing at 15 when I got counselling for the rape that spanned from when I was 5 until I was 11 years old. It was incredible.

    Monumental ROCK that I carried. From the age of 5 I became a heavy weight champion because I instinctively knew this was not “MY” shame, not “MY” sorrow and most definately NOT MY FUTURE.

    I picked up that rock and carried right into my counsellor’s office. I heard outloud what I knew secretly, “You were a child, you acted like a child, you behaved like a child. When you became an adult, you put childish ways away and became a ‘man’.” Wow!
    I was given the World of Adult, Mature and Loving Choice.

    I have never really talked about “MY” shameful childhood because I am no longer there. I was never in shame. I was cocooned in glorious luminescent innocense.

    The Person I talked to once was God about what happend. I simply asked Him, “Are you happy with what happened? Did You author those years of my innocense? Can you rest easy with how I was treated? If You were, I will rest with your verdict. If You were not proud of those years of my Life, You will show me. I leave all sense of ‘vendictive’ to You. and I will carry on in my glorious Innocense as an adult. I will forgive. I will love and I will ONLY Love, Live and Choose better things, Choose a better way each day.”

    So. I am perfect rest. I do not sorrow. I am full of Light. I am glad I didn’t pretend that that ROCK didn’t exist. I am gladd I CARRIED it!! !

    It’s not that I have “closure” because of the fact that it is always in my mind, heart and life – — the ability for incredible sober minded and very deliberate Choice. When I had no choice.

    I choose forgiveness. I choose Love. I choose to remember my innocense and my strength even as a 5 year old – I remember by continuing a Cycle.

    Someone wrongs me —> I choose forgiveness —> then I can truly experience “Freedom”.

    I Love Your Innocense. It glows. It gives Hope to others and gives strength to your Soul. I love your innosense as a Child and I love it even more in you as a Mature Adult.

    So much Joy,
    Eskimo Survivor – Life Living – Joy Celebrating and Love Giving: The only Cycle to reciprocate.

  20. kathie Benson says:

    My mother Laura and her twin sister were in an orphanage in Vancouver ? Would anyone know them. Trying to find out which orphanage they were in. Would of been in the 40’s I think

    Thanks
    KAthie

    • Hubert J Croteau says:

      Hi KAthie
      I found out that me and my two brothers were at a orphange in prince albert Sask in 1953 I was eight years old at the time and it took me almost two years of searching and I started searching in 2011 about my past and it took me two years to find out all this info from the internit help that happened in 1953

      So if you want to send all the info about your mother Laura and her twin sister may be just may be I can help in your mothers and her twin sister search it may take quite awhile for me to help you in your search a couple of years like it took me to find all my info about my life history

      Yours sincerly
      Hubert J Croteau

  21. HH73 says:

    All my photos were taken by him ….. and put in an album given to me by him. Today I gave that album away, I know I will get it back, the Detective told me as much. But even though that album was just there…. never opened unless I was trying to explain what happened to me to 1 of my 2 ex wifes, I find myself needing to get it back. I had no idea how important they suddenly would be to me.

    • Sylvia says:

      You be sure to tell the detective that you want it back. You will get it back.

      • JoeB says:

        When I posted this I still carried shame …… enough that I hid behind that screen name HH73 ……. I just happened to come across this comment while browsing around the site. This was posted just a few hours after coming home from the police station after reporting his crimes to the police. I have been going through ALL the emotions for the past 5 months, and didn’t think I was making much progress. Then I saw this comment, and realized that I am not hiding behind a fake name anymore, I am not shutting people out when they just want to help. I have found myself looking forward to seeing some sort of justice, when just 6 months ago I didn’t see myself ever speaking up. In 1988 I thought I was weak for being afraid to speak up, and I carried that with me for 28 years. I think the biggest thing for me so far was doing the interview with CBC, once it was on the news …. it really didn’t make much sense to not talk about it.
        I did get my photo album back a couple months ago, once this gets to court and if I can get the publication ban that I am sure is coming lifted, I have a photo that was taken by my abuser the very night he began grooming that I would like to send you.

        • Miecul says:

          Joe, it’s not an easy road to travel, the one you’re on. You’re like many of us here that know what you’re going through and you’re about to. I wish I could say it will be easy. I wish I could say everything will be better once it’s over. I wish I could say the dreams will be over. I wish I could say that his voice in your head will be gone. I can’t. What I will tell you is that like every infection you might get, it has to be lanced and removed. The process leading up to getting it removed can play hard on your mind, but once the doctor removes the infection the pain is still there, but with each passing day it does get a little better. Does it ever leave? Mine hasn’t so far but I sought help and it did help me, but this is a life sentence we’ve been forced into, with no escape or parole. One big change is that you’re controlling your life not him. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You can be very proud that you made that call no matter what. Stay strong Joe.

          I wish you all the best Joe. This site was a saving refuge for me. Sylvia helped me through some dark moments in my life and so did this site. God Bless you and Sylvia. I should also mention that she has a great husband who believes in her as much as the rest of us. She couldn’t do all she does without his love and support. I must drop in and see both of you again.

          • Sylvia says:

            So good to hear from you Mieucul. And, yes, you are right, I do have a great husband 🙂

            Actually we were talking not too long ago about hopping in the car and heading out to see you once spring arrives. We’re nearly there!

        • Sylvia says:

          Well done Joe. I look forward to receiving and posting that picture ):

          • Miecul says:

            You guys are always welcome and it would be great to see you again. We still have snow. Most of it will be gone by next weekend hopefully. The banks will be here a little longer.

  22. RG says:

    Hi its rg again was just wondering if they had been any new deeloppement on other victims coming forward about Mgr Benoit Fortier since coming on your site for the first time in august of 2014

    R.G.

  23. RG says:

    HI WAS JUST WONDERING IF ANY FURTHER VICTIMS CAME FORWARD ABOUT MGR BENOIT FORTIER IM ONE OF HIS PAST VICTIMS FROM WHEN HE WAS PRIEST IN VERNER ONTARIO

    R.G

    • Sylvia says:

      I can’t acces the article Daryl. I have tried to track it down elsewhere without success. Are you able to cut and paste it here?

      Has English been charged?

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