Life is a series of progressions, for a few. We experience, we learn, we adapt, we gain awareness and evolve by degrees from both pleasant and unpleasant encounters.

I’m pleased with my evolution: A freethinking vegan and an idealistic anarchist.

Looking back, I owe much to the nuns in my formative years at St. Mary’s Elementary. It’s only proper I acknowledge their dedication, albeit posthumously. If not for the physical abuse and shaming humiliations weaved into their doctrines of love, it’s possible they’d have converted me into just another lunkhead serving the religious hoax.

What the heck, a few knocks on the noggin, a slap across the face, we were a hardy lot and thicker-skinned than kids today. And although one nun had a right-hook to bring stars to your eyes, it wasn’t much more than we boys gave one another in good-spirited roughhousing. That is until we broke Randolph’s arm.

These holy virgins executed a saintly charge in the initial framework of this aging apostate. Though not as they intended. But in that respect, I am indebted to those wretched whores of the cloth.


  1. Peter, I have some comments on posts on my blog about abuse people received at the hands of Catholic nuns to the point where this seems to me to be all too frequent. They must be some of the most repressed sadists to ever exist. If they hate their vow of chastity to the point where they take it out on every school child, then something needs to be done about them as well. Seems they’re not much better than the Catholic priests.

    And here I thought that my religious indoctrination was bad. Was I ever wrong! Yet in spite of them and despite them, you turned out to be a most unique human who truly cares about the so-called animals on this planet. I wish there were more like you, Peter!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I never had an unsavory experience with the priests. But who knows about the altar boys, eh? I was there in first through fifth grade with a reprieve in the third. A civilian teacher, Mrs. Gleason, everyone loved her; she treated us well. After years of my complaining, my mother finally sent me to public school. It was a coming out of hell. But like I say, the experience wasn’t for naught.

      Thank you for your beautiful comment, Shelby. And I wish there were more folks like you, how much better the world would be for every earthling; black, white, red, yellow, brown, furred, feathered, and scaled.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I know this is a year-old thread but I had to relate again; I was a Catholic school survivor for 4 years too, from 1st thru 4th grade. When allowed to go to public school in 5th, it was like a whole new, strange world. I was made fun of for raising my hand and standing before speaking, and for being so quiet and obedient. I hated public school too, but for very different reasons, and it seemed like going back a couple of grades, education wise.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Oh no, one more thing in common! (But politically is where we’d part ways, I think.) I dropped out of HS as soon as I hit 16, had two school truancy people come to the door a bit later and try to talk to me, but I went “autistic” (deer in the headlights, barely mumbled responses, lol) and they went away. They wanted me to go to a continuation school for troubled kids, hah, fat chance! Took a few community college classes later on to be employable. Life sucks but you just keep going and make the best of things. Not weakening, that’s key.

            Liked by 1 person

        1. My Catholic school torturer’s name was Sister Richard. I was given an 8-year sentence (1953 to 1961) and she was my tormentor for that entire time. Fortunately, I enjoyed a full and memory-filled childhood outside the institution but the horrors included many of the same brutal methods you ascribe to Sister Angeline on your blog — sitting in urine, that ever-present wooden ruler, the enabling fellow nuns, that damned tin-clicking frog thing even…so much more, though, because my mind still has locked up much in its dungeon. Unfortunately, Richard was not only a bully in her own right but a trainer for the classroom bullies she trained in the dark arts of effective bullying. 1961 to 1965 I spent in a halfway house (Catholic High School), at least I received a very good education, there were no nuns… However, the school principal for many decades was a traditional pedophile. Naturally he was shuffled around the country when the hobby that he shared with hundreds of students threatened to affect enrollments. Of course, decades remained before he was finally asked to turn in his collar.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “Sister Richard,” lol, maybe she was a cross-dresser. Catholic school actually was like a prison sentence, only we got to go home overnight and for the weekends. So you had the frog clicker too? I’d always thought that was only an Angeline thing. How hideous that Richard coddled her classroom bullies. Ugh, “traditional pedophile,” to think this is actually a tradition. I’d always wondered at my school why so many of the altar boys were the cutest boys in the school, but I never heard of any priest rapists there, although we usually do not hear of them. Many Catholic school abuse survivors are quite the strong, if damaged, bunch.

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  2. ‘But in that respect, I am indebted to those wretched whores of the cloth.’ – You’re dark at times, but by gum you’re sharply funny with it Peter. That last line made me laugh out loud, despite the cruelty that birthed its existence.

    I was able to avoid the nuns, but my Catholic schooling was as you described your experience. Later, we were given only two options for sixth form college; the one ran by nuns, or the one ran by monks. Perhaps it depends on one’s gender as to which one might feel best of s potentially very bad lot; I went for the monks, and found them to be very kind. The nun’s reputation was fearsome though. How power corrupts in so many guises.

    I am who I am for my experiences, I would like a wee peek into another dimension, one where I had a non religious education, curious to see how I would have turned out, for I suffered some very long lasting abuse when 7-8 years old, more mental than physical, but both featured, and it changed my personality considerably. I like who I am immensely now, but when I look back through time I feel so very sorry for that little girl and her incredibly nasty teacher, and I wish I could save her.

    I wonder if being tortured as children gave us the insight, the empathy to see animal abuse in clear light unlike so many others? It’s quite possible, humans are rather like that. I’ve often said I’d like every procedure I’ve ever had performed on me in hospital to be performed upon the Dr/clinician in charge. I am quite sure they’d be far more careful and understanding if it were the case.

    Esme Cloud x

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It is modus operandi, the Catholic abuse system and yet, miraculously, it thrives. Sorry, you had to suffer. Ours was a unique and unintended consequence of their brutal indoctrination that somehow led us to empathy and understanding.

      Thank you, Esme, for your sharing your experiences, for your courage and tenacity to make it out a free, compassionate, and wise woman.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. The Catholic schools of the Republic of Ireland were infamous for their sadism. A friend of mine still shakes in anger whenever recounting his experiences of fifty and more years ago. Horrific and utterly shameful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. And what is even more horrific and utterly shameful, is its damnable persistence. Here, people denounce the pedophilia epidemic in the church and then attend mass on Sunday with a tithe dropped in the offering plate. Go figure.

      Thank you, Hariod, for you and your comment.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you for this wonderful piece of writing and the marvelously appropriate sardonic humor, Peter. One nun at our One Holy Roman and Apostolic Church identified me as the “pupil least likely to succeed.” Once upon a movie day (“Blood on the Highway”, “Free Thinker on a Train”) a non-odious nun asked me to fetch the fourth-grade class — Sister Odious pushed down on my left shoulder, advising “Don’t send him, he can’t be depended upon.” Fortunately that only lasted eight years and my experiences outside the confines of primary-school prison were quite the adventure. One final note: I attended the 50th reunion — my two Arschloch bullies called in sick, and Sister Odious’ countenance was not to be found among the photographs on the memories table 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I’m Chicago Public School…so no crazy penguins in my life. That’s what we all called them, catholics included. All my friends were catholic, family too. I thought they were crazy then and continue to hold the same opinion. They still send the kids into the hands of rapist priests and continue to give them money for lawyers and payoffs. Their indoctrination was so complete, I don’t think they would do anything to stop the rapes if they were done in front of them. My cousin would say, “they aren’t all like that.” No hope for them. The catholics must be laughing their asses off. Kind of like the moron who pretends to lead the country. The nuns didn’t only physically abuse their students, they mentally abused them. The nuns told my best friend that she couldn’t play with me any longer because I wasn’t catholic. We were on her back porch and her mother heard her crying. She told her mom what the nun said and her mother said, “Don’t listen to her, she’s crazy. You can play with her just like always.” We were six years old. Stunted, evil nasty, repressed, out of touch hateful people. If there are any good ones, they don’t actually count. I used to wait int he pews while my friends went to confession. I said what could you possibly have done wrong and why would you tell a guy in a dress? They said they just made stuff up and lied. I felt better about that. You have to lie to evil people when your a kid. Kids are forced to do things. They have no choices. My dad’s family is from Italy, Sicily, to be exact. All catholics. But no one bothered me, or my mom. Anytime my grandfather wanted anything done, he just paid off the priest and just like that…everything went away and was fine.

    When I was in Italy a guide said the churches weren’t about religion they were about wealth. He said, “See that one? Now look at that one. The tallest one won. Churches are about which man had the most money.” The catholic church is about secrets, lies and cover-ups. They worship bits of cloth, bones, bits of body parts, heads, chains and pretty much everything anyone thinks a saint touched. They have a fortune in gold and tell poor people to give more. The same guide said, “We don’t know where any of this stuff comes from (the garments, cloth scraps, etc.). We don’t know who wore it, or held it. It’s just the way it is.” I heard the pope speak from his tiny window to a MOB of people who looked like something from a sci-fie film, completely entranced, rosaries in their hands, including my cousin’s hands. I kept thinking that if they knew what I was they would tear me to shreds. You know how loving and accepting they are of non catholics, right.
    The pope has the most droning voice I have ever heard and he talked for over 1/2 an hour. I asked what he said and was told that he asked people to give more money. LOLOL There he was, dressed in white linen, and satin, when jesus wore a robe and sandals and spoke outside. The exhibit I saw in a church was filed with gems, gold and the most amazing things. Maybe, if they could stop rapping kids long enough, they could melt down some of the gold and help the poor. They told a different cousin, who had one miscarriage after another that if she couldn’t reproduce more catholics she and her husband could no longer have sex. She divorced him. My mom couldn’t be buried in a catholic cemetery until my grandfather paid of the priests again. Poor soul, she didn’t want to end up there. I have a million insane stories about all of catholics. Anyway, I’m sorry you had to go through that torture. I didn’t and I turned out pretty much just like you did.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The strength of denial is frightful. And damning as you and I can attest. Mother was the Catholic, though father holds his share of the blame. How could it take five years to act on the complaints of a son? Religion. The power of denial, frightening to those who see. Thank you, Gigi, for your excellent comment, and candid wisdom.


      1. Seriously, I can talk AT my cousin and she just sits there and doesn’t even respond. It’s as if no one is home. I will never understand how twisted it all is. Parents don’t act. They just think their kids will get get over whatever is happening, or that it’s good for them. It’s insane. Religion controls and divides people and it’s made of lies. Seems so obvious.

        Liked by 1 person

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