by Kathy Kane
For years, we have sounded the alarm about the proximity of the St. John Vianney Treatment Center to Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown, Pa.
As a Shanahan parent, I sat in the school parking lot waiting for my daughter and watched a patient from the facility walk by my car. Neither the school nor the Vianney Center had any idea of his presence on the school campus. He was supposed to be on the Vianney Center grounds and simply walked off. That priest patient was not a child abuser, but the encounter gave me a front row seat to the cast of characters employed by the Vianney Center and the Archdiocese who are supposed to be protecting our children.
We have documented cases of child predators sent to the facility in recent years. My youngest child graduated from Shanahan in 2017. This is a current issue. Priests who possessed child pornography. Priests who have assaulted children and young people. It’s not just my word. Grand Jury reports and newspaper articles name allegedly abusive priests from around the country sent to the facility.
On this blog, I’ve shared my communications and the details of my meeting with Vianney Center administration as well as school administration. A Shanahan mother appeared on a news segment. A handful of parents were supportive but not nearly enough to make an impact. I guess parents believed the misleading statements issued by the Archdiocese. Parents should use Google to get to the truth. Any concerned parents can still always contact us, I have enough information to give a PowerPoint presentation about the concerns related to the Vianney Center.
It’s refreshing to see a Bishop Shanahan graduate address this issue in a published commentary. Thank you, Ian. You give me hope. Maybe it will be the young people who will make a difference.
“The Pennsylvania report focuses on many small towns throughout the state. One of those towns — mentioned more than a dozen times — is an outlier. It’s a town you wouldn’t think to look for unless, like me, you were born and raised there.
In 2002, around the same time the Boston Globe published its bombshell report on sexual abuse of children in the Archdiocese of Boston, I was a freshman at Bishop Shanahan, a Catholic high school in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
I don’t remember paying much attention to the Boston Globe report. Nor was I aware that, during this same time, multiple priests accused of child abuse were being sent to a clergy treatment center directly across the street from my high school “
If any Shanahan parents are inspired after reading Ian’s article, I can be reached at kmkane242@gmail.