The Black Appendix

"Father" Richard Lavinge


This origionally appreared on a now semi-defunct site called People You"ll See in Hell
I will not use anyone's name because I have not sought permission, nor do I want to interupt anyone' healing process.
St. Mary's has sinse been renamed Mary Mother of Hope
I published this story so that the younger generations will be able to understand what the world was like before social media


            

Are there atheists in hell? Hmm.... Given an atheist is one who does not believe in God, and also seeing is believing, then I would dare say former atheists. But maybe I should ask someone who would know better.. like a priest, preferably one who is quite probably going to hell, like Richard R. Lavigne. This former priest is such a scumbag that he has his own Wikipedia page. He is the prime suspect in 1972 murder of 13 year old Danny Croteau and has 40 claims of sexual abuse filed against him. Lavinge!s rein of terror was at it!s height in the 1970!s when he was at both St. Catherine of Siena and St. Mary!s Churches in Springfield Massachusetts. Feel free to Google or Bing Richard R. Lavigne for more details.

At this point one may wonder how he got away with so much. As far as the murder goes, Danny was killed on a river bank below I-291 along Route 141 near the Chicopee - Springfield MA line. At that time Route 141 was a narrow two lane road which was much closer to the river than it is today. Police used to hide between the bridge supports as to catch speeders. I used to take my bike to the river there a lot. Lavinge lucked out as there was a rain storm that washed away much of the key evidence. Also, just after Danny!s body was discovered April 14, 1972, Richard Lavigne purchased new tires for his car. At that time many people had two sets of tires for their cars - the expensive snow tires for winter driving and a regular set. Unlike most people of that time, Richard Lavigne chose to throw out his winter tires rather than hold on to them for the upcoming winter.

So 40 cases of abuse - how could he get away with so much for so long??? Well the way to really see how is to jump into the passenger seat of Marty McFly's Delorian and go back to a time when Windows were holes in the wall with glass and only birds tweeted.

There were many things that were just not talked about then, so as kids we had very little awareness of what was happening and as a result, almost no way to talk about it. For example many adults would say that Liberace was "funny". So as kids we weren't going to learn much about homosexuality from our parents, so one can easily and correctly assume that pedophilia was a subject almost never mentioned.

Also at that time many saw rape as a "crime of passion", while today we see rape more as a crime of control. Repeated rape is all about control, and Richard Lavinge was a master of such. Lavinge took his time to control people before preying upon a selected child.

St. Mary' of the 1970's was a typical community, news traveled by eavesdropping and gossip and was also censored by the same process. St. Mary's, like most communities at the time was much like a brick wall. The bricks never touched each other, mortar keeps the bricks in place, but also keeps them just separated enough so that each one feels to be a part of a community while also feeling a bit alone. The people of St. Mary's were the bricks and Father Lavinge was the mortar. There was no "web" linking the bricks together, just Lavinge keeping us in our place, so close, but ever so apart.

On the grand scale was carefully picked theology and Bible Verses. Rammed into our heads was what I refer to as the scumbags' favorite verse Matthew 7:1 "Judge not, that you may not be judged." One can read up to verse 5 as to see how the church was able to kill the will of anyone who thought of speaking up.

Also pounded in our heads at the time was a carefully selected part of John 8:7 "He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone..." The story that was taught to us by Lavinge was that the adulterous woman's accusers had walked away when Jesus stated that those without sin could cast the first stones. When everyone left Jesus forgave her sin and she walked away. The account that Father Lavigne taught ends with John 8:11 "she said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I give judgment." It would take a new priest, Father James Scahill, to read the last 5 words that Jesus said to the woman which were "Go and sin no more. "

So I hope now one sees how Lavinge was able to set the mood as to control the entire flock though carefully picked theology. A theology which was not the entire truth. As I stated in the last paragraph it took Father James Scahill to teach us that part of the reconciliation process was a required effort on our part as to not commit that sin again

Richard Lavinge was very artistic and we all know how "those types are". Very moody, quick tempered, eccentric, etc... Just the type of person who does strange things, but also one that no one wants to question. So once again Richard Lavinge gets a free pass.

So with the church under a certain amount of control, Richard Lavigne is free to move closer to his prey. He needs to get closer to the family and become the mortar of that brick wall as well. He needs to draw the entire family close to him while separating the family members from each other. He needs to work his way between each of them, so he became a friend to each member of the family while becoming that family's worst enemy. Many parents regarded him as one of the family and he was known to reward the alter boys with trips to Riverside Park, the best of the local amusement parks. Thus Richard Lavigne made a point to become everyone's best friend, isolating anyone who even thought ill of him.

As a child, each time I heard the word Satan or any such reference, I pictured a face in the a haze of smoke where I could only see the void eyes, nose and clenched lips of Father Lavigne. Something was wrong with me....

Richard Lavigne could speak to a family all together, but choose words that meant something different to each person. Richard Lavigne asked me to become an altar boy, which at that time was an honor with a trip to Riverside Park as a big perk. My parents said that I was too lazy to be an alter boy and that waking me up 6 days a week was enough, they weren't going to wake me on a Saturday morning. Insulted by their remark, I went to Father Lavigne. His reply "they know you better than I do" set me off while sucking up to them.

Rather than address my parents' concerns, Father Lavigne's reply threw salt on a wound. I wanted grow up and be part of one of the "in" crowds, yet my parents once again treated me like a little kid. Father Lavigne could see the man in me better than my parents could, I thought.

I became an office aid for the CCD program, kind of hoping to get an in on the outer circle. One day Father Lavigne needed to meet with two of the altar boys in the library of the CCD office. None of the adults were around and I, the only one in the office, was instructed to sit out in the foyer and let no one unlock any door until the meeting was over. The main CCD office was a room with a big glass window looking out into the foyer and the equipment room was another room with a giant window with few people having the key. The library was a room off to the side of the main room with no windows either to the office or outside. All the walls were cement and the door was a heavy steel windowless fire proof door.

Looking at both boys march, one seemed quite happy while the other had a sad scared look in his eyes. One thing was certain, at that moment I was glad that I was not an altar boy. Any adult that came near the door instantly and without question obeyed the words of Father Lavigne that I repeated. When I saw them come out, One altar boy looked happy, one looked like he saw Satan himself, while Lavinge just went about some other business. I asked myself, at nine years old, if I did the right thing or was I a part of something really bad.


Resources
60 Minutes Video

Boston Globe
Boston Globe December 14, 2003
Hell's Acres Article 1
Mass Live
Catherine's Letter to the world