Dear Prudence

November 29, 2008

Dear Prudence,

When I was in the sixth grade and my sister in the eighth, my parents divorced. My sister took it particularly hard, so my mother sent her to the parish priest for counseling. At one (and the last) session, my sister was crying, and he was standing behind her with his hands on her shoulders. He then stuck his hand down her blouse. My sister yanked his hand out and ran all the way home. She never told my parents this and only shared it with me in the last few years. Now 40, my sister teaches at a Catholic high school. One of the things she does is take student volunteers to poor areas to do cleanup work, pick up trash, and paint houses. Another teacher at the school suggested that she contact a priest in that district who organizes students from other schools to do the same work. You guessed it: It is the same priest from our parish years ago. My sister is understandably disturbed that he is still working with kids. She doesn't know if she should speak up after all these years, or how to go about it. My sister is a strong woman who has no problem with confrontation, but this scenario has her shaking.

—Protective Little Sister


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