Michael Vanderburgh – Clergy Abuse Survivor
Michael Vanderburgh was raised by a Hungarian Catholic mother who experienced the horrors of World War II, and a dad who was the son of Protestant missionaries to China. His dad’s alcoholism and bitterness toward Christianity led Michael to seek a mentor figure in his parish priest, who abused Michael while he was serving as an altar boy. Michael went through a number of years of spiritual darkness, but was emboldened to share his story 20 years later when the Boston clergy abuse scandals made the news.
He shares how telling his story helped reinvigorate his Catholic faith, and how his work as executive director in the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Dayton, OH, has empowered him to use his own sufferings to connect with the sufferings of the people he serves. It’s a powerful, important and timely episode in this age where so many have lost their faith entirely because of the horrific actions of trusted Church leaders.
Support Michael’s work at stvincentdayton.org