Memoir Details Sexual Assault by Defrocked Clergy Member
Press Release from PRNewsWire
(CHICAGO) – In a newly released memoir, Betrayed By The State: A Ward of the State Speaks Out, Illinois-based author John Bernadyn describes his struggle growing up as a youth ward of the state. “My goal is to get the word out that youth are experiencing struggles that even grown-ups are unable to cope with,” Bernadyn said.
After detailing, often graphically, a troubled childhood experience with a dysfunctional home, Bernadyn spends time discussing his experience being sexually assaulted in a state facility. He alleges that the perpetrator was John Woulfe, a former religious brother as part of the Marianists.
Bernadyn doesn’t stop there, though. In Chapter 8 of his book, what can only be described as heart-wrenching and graphically depicted, he lays a visual and emotional scene for the reader as to his experiences.
After being removed from the Marianist order because of allegations of sexual assaults by numerous young men at a school overseen by Woulfe he relocated to the small town of Onarga, Illinois. As the Catholic Church historically did not publicize or pursue justice for victims of clergymen, Woulfe was never formally charged with a crime. He was able to secure employment working with troubled teenagers after passing the state-required criminal background check. This is where Bernadyn would come in to contact with the man he would later refer to as a ‘monster’.
Although Bernadyn left the facility prior to Woulfe’s departure, he would later learn that Woulfe was given the opportunity to be a school counselor in the Kankakee, Illinois area where he would once again victimize another youth. It would be no small consolation to learn of Woulfe’s failing health and residence in a nursing home.
Woulfe had already died and Bernadyn felt robbed of the chance to say, “I forgive you but I will never forget.” John Bernadyn is the managing partner for United Advocacy Group, Inc., lectures widely throughout the country, and manages training and strategic planning for healthcare organizations.
John Bernadyn, Managing Partner
United Advocacy Group, Inc.