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Play addresses lessons, suffering of abuse

Michael Mack performs his one man show "Conversations with My Molester: a Journey of Faith" for nearly 200 guests, sponsored by Caring for the Soul: Faith in Recovery, The St. Paul Artist's Group, and The St. Paul Laity Group at St. Paul Catholic Church in Cambridge on March 29. Pilot photo/Christopher S. Pineo

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CAMBRIDGE -- Since debuting his one-man show in January, Michael Mack has performed for various audiences at different venues, but never a Catholic audience in a Catholic church.

That changed when Mack took the play "Conversations with My Molester: A Journey of Faith" home to his own parish. On March 29, he performed the play at St. Paul in Cambridge and took questions afterward from the clergy, parishioners and guests.

The play disclosed decades of Mack's life for the audience, in a narrative form aided only by the props on stage.

At age 11, abuse at the hands of his own priest in South Carolina left Mack traumatized. Mack used the words "wrestled" and "grappled" as he described his struggles with faith and sexuality after the event.

"Let's just say it was a dark angel that I wrestled with for a long time," Mack said.

The passing of years brought Mack the chance to meet the priest who abused him, and inspired Mack to create the play that he said remains a work in progress.

Father Michael Drea said the church welcomed Mack to perform there as part of healing the damage from the clergy abuse crisis.

"I went to see the play when it was over at B.U. at the beginning of the year. I felt that Michael had really captured his own journey very, very well, and his own sense of reconciliation and peace with God and the Church," he said.

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