VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT OF ROBERT J.C. McMAHON
I am Robert McMahon, the husband of Beverly McMahon, a woman whom I love dearly and with whom I shall celebrate 50 glorious years of marriage on October 7th of this year. I am the father of four sons, one of whom, Patrick, is the reason for my being here.
I am here today to tell this Honourable Court just what impact the defendant Hodgson Marshall has had upon me as a result of his heinous attacks upon my son Patrick.
I first met the defendant in the spring of 1954. The following September the defendant was transferred (one of many transfers) to Assumption High School in Windsor and began teaching me Algebra in Grade 12. Our relationship continued over many years, despite the brief stint in Windsor of a mere two years, one summer of which he spent in residence at St. John the Baptist Church in Amherstburg, Ontario, giving as his reasons “fatigue and exhaustion” despite his being under 30 years of age.
The defendant has known my wife since the late 1950’s before we were engaged and we asked him to celebrate our marriage in October of 1961 but he was denied permission by his superior, having just arrived in Sudbury from a brief two year posting in Houston, Texas and a one year posting at St. Thomas More High School in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
My wife and I continued an extremely close relationship with the defendant despite his residences being in Sudbury, Sault St. Marie and the island of St. Lucia. Over the years our sons were born, the defendant became what I would describe as a close uncle and in keeping with our traditional beliefs, we explained to them that he was an ordained priest, another Christ, who in the Holy sacrifice of the Mass, could consecrate the water and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Over these many years we visited him during summer and winter vacations.
I remember very clearly many events in our family to which the defendant was invited and which have impacted upon me over the recent years. Remembering the occasion of our moving into our new home is one I will never forget even though it hurts so much. I asked him to please say Mass for us in our new home and to bless our new home. At the consecration of the Mass the defendant took the consecrated host and I, my wife and four sons processed throughout our new home. The defendant blessed each room including my son Patrick’s bedroom. I am hurt and my faith devastated when I now know what harm the defendant did to my son in that bedroom — when my son told me many years later that he dreaded to hear the defendant’s footsteps coming to his bedroom so that the defendant could say goodnight to him
My faith in the priesthood has been shattered by what he has done to Patrick. I can no longer attend mass because I no longer can believe in the sacrament of Holy Orders — I can no longer believe that an ordained priest could have such disrespect for our family that he could feign a religiosity towards us — how he could witness in our home
the renewal of our 25th wedding anniversary vows — how he could, in our house, witness my parents 50th wedding anniversary vows. Oh yes, the crème de la creme was when we asked him to administer to Beverly’s dying mother the Sacrament of The Sick, give her communion and to hear her last confession; how do I explain my loss of faith which meant so very much to me?
How could this defendant, ordained into Holy Orders (a sacrament so profound and so intimate to Christ, that not even a female as saintly as Mother Teresa could ever hope to receive such a sacrament) perpetrate a crime in my house at night and say Mass for us the next morning. That is called a sacrilege, the most hideous of sins in the Holy Roman Catholic Church. This is the same church which provides by Canon Law sanctions and punishment for priests who deign to desecrate sacred vessels; yet these same priests commit sexual crimes on children.
I am impacted and my faith in the Holy Roman Catholic Church is destroyed because this church, in accordance with Canon Law, has not begun an investigation into the defendant’s conduct.
I am impacted and my faith destroyed because of the scandalous actions of the defendant, which goes against the holy words of Jesus Christ as found in the Gospel of St. Matthew, Ch. 18:5 “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith in me would be better drowned in the depth of the sea with a great millstone around his neck.”
I am impacted by the actions of the defendant as he blatantly went against the words of Jesus Christ who said in Matthew 19:3 “Let the little children alone, and do not stop them coming to me; for it is such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
I am impacted by the actions of the defendant and my faith destroyed because he did not refrain from saying masses in a state of mortal sin.
I am impacted by the actions of the defendant and my faith destroyed because he continued to say the prescribed readings in his breviary, even though he admitted to me that he did not understand the Latin in which the prayers were written.
I am impacted mentally when I observe my son Patrick struggling to love his wonderful wife and raise his beautiful daughters throughout his many years of suffering with his dreadful secret. I suffer to see him attending the psychologist and the psychiatrist over the years. The actions of this dreadful defendant have taken away the joy I envisioned in seeing my son attain a greater joy in living.
My son Patrick, beyond any doubt, was the brightest of our four children and we had profound hopes for him and it is my sincere hope that he still will attain the summit of happiness in spite of the actions committed by the defendant upon his sacred body — a body made in the image and likeness of God.
I am impacted and my faith destroyed as I consider the ordination rites of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, when the bishop consecrates the hands of the candidate for the priesthood, those very hands of the defendant which abused my son Patrick.
I am impacted daily, thinking of the defendant’s actions upon my son. I have trouble sleeping, as I constantly think of this evil person and what he did to my son.
I am impacted when I blame myself for having brought this man into our lives. I will carry this blame to my grave.
I am heartened when I think of the fortitude of my son Patrick in exposing to the justice system just what a terrible crime this priest has committed.
My hope is that my son will be consoled in knowing that his going to the police resulted in the defendant being here today to face the justice which will be meted out to him.
Finally, I am brought back to the funeral of my grade school Principal Brother Xavier which the defendant and I attended. At that funeral I gave a public expression of my love and admiration I had for my deceased Principal. The defendant was so impressed by my talk that he wished I could say the same at his funeral. Suffice it to say that there is not a hope in hell that I will even attend his funeral. He is not worthy of the respect and admiration I have always had for my many teachers!
Dated at Windsor, Ontario this 2nd day of June, 2011.
ROBERT J.C. McMAHON