Keeping the Faith Amid Suffering

National Catholic Register


My life has been a test of faith and strength. Like countless other individuals who have survived the trauma of abuse, I have fought through hard times and found myself waging a battle that often seemed unwinnable. At age 15, while working as a secretary in a parish rectory, I endured months of sexual abuse at the hands of the now-laicized Father Kelvin Iguabita.

Nothing could ever fully express the suffering, anguish and betrayal a victim feels. Only someone who has experienced abuse can fully understand the powerful manipulation of an abuser.

I had been raised in a Catholic home where prayer and the sacraments were a part of everyday life. I had never really doubted my faith until the abuse began. Afterward, I hated God for “allowing” it to happen. Indeed, the priesthood — a vocation I once held in high esteem — became something disgusting. I agonized over my decision to tell someone about the abuse. I truly believed that even my closest loved ones would turn against me.

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