Cheverus alumni announce fund to assist abuse victims

Press Herald

Sept. 25, 2019

By Eric Russell

Three Cheverus High School alumni have launched what they call “an important and overdue project” to create a fund for former students who were sexually abused during their time at the Jesuit-run school in Portland.

John Marr Jr., Pete O’Donnell and Chris O’Neil, all from the Class of 1979, wrote a letter to classmates recently announcing the fund and soliciting donations. They hope to raise $50,000 and said an anonymous donor would match contributions up to $25,000.

The fund will be used to provide professional counseling and therapy to any victims, and for educational and training programs for current students, faculty and staff.

“As Cheverus brothers we support the abuse victims who have come forward and those who have not. In either case, many victims – often because of cost – have gone without the support so crucial for them to cope, recover and thrive,” the alumni wrote.

Although the fund was not meant to be announced publicly, another Cheverus alumnus, Michael Sweatt, a member of the Class of 1976 who is an abuse victim, released the letter through the organization Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

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