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Raised by the ChurchGrowing up in New York City's Catholic Orphanages$
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Edward Rohs

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823240227

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823240227.001.0001

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St. John's Home for Boys

St. John's Home for Boys

(p.61) 7 St. John's Home for Boys
Raised by the Church

Edward Rohs

Judith Estrine

Fordham University Press

This chapter explores the trauma Ed experienced when he left St. Mary of the Angel and came to St. John's Home, run by the Marianist brothers. A nun who remembered sending Ed off was interviewed, and observed that nobody in those days was trained to deal with young boys who were being uprooted from the care of women and moved to a home where their only superiors were men. It discusses Ed's initial homesickness, loneliness, and fear, his eventual adjustment and acceptance of his new home and the happy experiences it afforded him as he began to grow into adolescence. In a section titled “Betrayal” Ed describes an incidence of sexual abuse that occurred when a visiting Marianist befriended and then attempted to abuse him. This chapter discusses Ed's growing awareness of class inequality and his desire to find male role models to emulate. It discusses what happened when a well meaning social worker discovered where his parents lived, and attempted to broker a meeting between them that ended badly. The chapter discusses how Ed, an honor student, made a conscious decision to fail his eighth grade classes in order to remain at St. John's for another year and how it negatively impacted on his education in later years.

Keywords:   St. John's Home for Boys, Marianist brothers, sexual abuse, betrayal, social worker

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