St. Joseph’s Orphanage survivors share their stories

WPTZ, NBC-5 [Plattsburgh NY and Burlington VT]

January 27, 2022

In a virtual event, actors from film, television and theater come together to present monologues written by survivors

Many people who suffered abuse at St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington are still working to cope with their trauma.

In a virtual event on Thursday night, a group of actors from film, television, and theater will be coming together to present monologues written by survivors. The event starts at 7 p.m. and registration is available through an online Zoom link.

In May of 2020, several survivors started sharing their stories in a writers group, which is part of the St. Joseph’s Orphanage Restorative Inquiry. The SJORI seeks to document the experiences of former residents.

For Katelin Hoffman, who allegedly suffered abuse at the orphanage when she was 13, the event is a way for her story — and those of many others —to be told.

“People can share how very traumatizing things can be but also that sometimes we are able to go beyond,” Hoffman said. “These are lives. They’re not only the lives of people who wrote these stories but they’re the lives of people that they know, of people who are family.”

Hoffman says she wants people to imagine themselves in her shoes when she says her childhood was taken away. She also hopes sharing her story will prevent similar abuse from happening in the future.

Each monologue will be about five minutes long. The event is expected to last one hour.