Having grown up Catholic in the 1970s and 1980s in Boston, I'd heard about some of the priests did to kids. This was way before the sex abuse scandal broke wide open, of course; back then it was another secret in a town webbed together with secrets. People took care of their own, and it wasn't always pretty.

New contributor Mike Townsend, also from Massachusetts, remembers as well, and he's painted a grim little picture of those days in his first piece for Weaponizer, entitled SAINT MARY'S. It's a story of innocence lost, faith betrayed, and a father's love for his damaged son.

My boy is clearly hurting. I can see it in the way he gets out of bed, still bawling. He still hasn't said word one. What the fuck? Normally by now he'd be trying to argue and convince me not to punish him. This ain't like him at all. His spirit's totally broken. He stands in the corner stiffly and begins to tone down the crying. His body still shakes with sobs though. Christ, I've got to work on toughening him up. He's seven for crying out loud. It's a bit past the point where he should be acting like a baby. As I finish the bottle I notice it and almost throw up. There's a spot of blood on the seat of his pants. Looking over, there's another one on the sheet where was sitting. My little boy wasn't in a fucking fight. Without my thinking about it, my fingers clench into fists.


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