[Your thoughts are welcome at]

Welcome These, the Little Ones
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Founder and President of Rescue and Recovery, International, Inc.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to describe the work of a new non-profit organization called Rescue & Recovery International, Inc. R&R was founded in April, 2005, for the purpose of providing direct services to survivors of clergy and religious sexual abuse. To date, we have raised approximately $30,000.00 and distributed $30,000.00! We need your help to keep the work going.

As a survivor of clergy abuse myself, I know what it means to have to “survive” its effects. Many survivors are homeless, addicted, unemployable, psychologically paralyzed, and distraught. They barely get through each day. Many are on permanent disability, the result of severe post traumatic stress disorder.

Rescue & Recovery assists survivors directly. We help pay rents, mortgages, psychologists’ bills, lawyers’ fees, tuitions, and gasoline and food bills. We have been able to help survivors with clothing allowances and temporary motel living arrangements. Whatever survivors need, we provide.

Advocacy is a major aspect of the mission of R&R. We accompany survivors to court, diocesan and counseling offices, assist in hiring attorneys, and stage public protests and demonstrations when necessary. We have even confronted priest abusers in their rectories, leading to removal from ministry.

To give you an idea of the clientele of R&R, here are a few of the sad stories:

P.P is a mother of twin girls. Their father is a Catholic priest. After P. refused to abort the girls, the “father” stalked and threatened the family, sexually abusing the girls and rendering them “poor” and homeless. These women lived in an automobile until recently when R&R helped secure housing and legal representation for them.

J.B. was abused by a priest for over ten years. He was introduced to alcohol and drugs by the priest, rendered an addict by the time he was 15 years old, and used as a sex slave for several other priests who abused him in the headquarters of the diocese. R&R appealed to a judge to allow J.B. to leave prison and get involved in a comprehensive program of rehabilitation and counseling. R&R has paid for his new apartment.

R.S. was sadistically abused by a priest from the third to sixth grades. The priest did permanent damage to his genitalia. The local Archdiocese boasts that it does not make payments to survivors. Consequently, R&R stepped in to help R.S.’s family avoid foreclosure on their house, end of telephone and utility service, and keep them in food. R.S. cannot keep a job because of the triggers from his abuse.

M.M. was about to be evicted from her apartment and lose her family’s country home after being abused by her pastor. R&R stepped in and arranged for payments of back rent and resolution of the mortgage problem. M.M. is back to work now, and R&R helped her find an attorney who has recently filed suit against her abuser.

G.G. was abused by his high school chaplain. After a life of drugs and alcohol, including suicide attempts, he, his wife, and four children have a place to call home. R&R helped secure a mortgage for them.

C.P. was abused by at least one nun in the 1960’s. When she went to the order for help, they gave her $10,000.00 and coerced a gag order out of her. Her needs are so complex that $10,000.00 was a drop in the bucket. She has returned to the order for more help, but they have consistently said no. So, R&R stepped in and paid several months’ rent, secured food, and paid for car repairs. C.P. is pursuing a legal case against the order.

These are the kinds of cases Rescue & Recovery gets involved with on a daily basis. Notice that our funds go out as quickly as they come in. We need the help of ordinary faithful Catholics like those involved in Voice of the Faithful to keep this mission going. There is no better cause today than the rescue and recovery of victims of clergy abuse. As you know, MOST victims will never go public or report their abuse. They will, however, contact organizations like R&R and seek assistance anonymously. Most of our clients are not known to the public.

We are attempting to raise $100,000.00 by Christmas of this year in order to serve the disparate and desperate needs of survivors. At the current time, there are two of us on staff. Michael Iatesta is a survivor of Fr. Gerald Ruane, a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark and an internationally-renowned healing priest who abused several teenagers in New Jersey. Michael went public a few months ago, and now wishes to help his fellow survivors. He is doing a good deal of the administrative work on a volunteer basis.

I am on the road most of the time. I make a trip to Boston at least once a week to work with some of the thirty former students of mine who were abused by Msgr. Fred Ryan, Vice Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Boston. He was abusing these men while I was teaching and coaching them in the 1980’s at Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury. In addition, I am working with survivors from Maine to Florida, New York to California. My car has logged 115,000 in two years! Yes, that’s 115 thousand miles in two years!

Your help is needed! If your means allow, please be the first to make a significant contribution to this cause. By “significant,” I mean a donation of $10,000.00 to $100,000.00. Your “infusion” will really get us off the ground and allow me to visit the two prisoners I visit regularly; one is in Georgia (abused by a priest in Newark, NJ and imprisoned because of his abuse); the other is in Massachusetts (abused by a religious brother in Atlantic City, NJ and imprisoned because of his abuse.)

There is a third prisoner in Massachusetts who was abused by Ryan. He is not ready yet. Help me get to him! I send $80.00 per month to one prisoner for “canteen” purposes. And, I am trying to get them attorneys. If you know of an attorney who is interested in their cases, let me know!

That’s what we do…that’s what we need. Please send tax-deductible contributions to: Rescue & Recovery International, Inc., 107-10 Shore Front Parkway, Apt. 9F, Rockaway Park, NY 11694.

God bless Voice of the Faithful!



In the Vineyard
October 20, 2005
Volume 4, Issue 14
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Page One

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