The Power of Story: Our greatest tool for healing, change & connection

Stories About Story As I prepared to send out copies of my memoir, SPLIT, A Child, A Priest, and the Catholic Church to reviewers, I decided to include a letter with each one. So last week I worked with a designer to create a letterhead. When she asked if I wanted a tag line on […]

Best of 2014: I’m honored my story is included on this list

It’s time for all the Best of 2014 lists And I’m on one of them! I’m so blessed. My coming out story was chosen as one of the best of 2014. And I was invited to tell it again on December 2nd at A Guide To Visitors, Seattle’s longest running personal storytelling event. The evening […]

On the Confession of Child Abuse

From The Washington Post: “If someone tells you a child has been abused, the confession doesn’t seem to me a cloak for hiding that business. How can you hear a confession about somebody abusing a child and the matter must be sealed up and you mustn’t talk about it?” That’s the Archbishop of York, John […]

Is the Catholic Church Stance on Gays Changing?

King 5 News interviewed me about the Vatican’s recent statement that all persons – even gays – deserve to be treated with dignity. I applaud the words, and absolutely agree. But I do like to see rhetoric followed up with action. And in this case, there’s been no suggestion that doctrinal modifications will be coming. […]

Homosexuality and the Church

There’s so much going on in the priest abuse scandals right now that it’s easy to forget there are other issues regarding sexuality and the Church. With the recent forced resignation of a gay Catholic school administrator in Bellevue, Washington, the great folks at KUOW invited me for an interview about my own forced resignation […]

The Healing Power of a Letter to the Editor

The Power of Bearing Witness Over the years, as I’ve come to grips with the things that happened to me as a child, I’ve learned to take my responsibility to tell the truth about the church and abuse very seriously. In religious circles it’s often called bearing witness. Though usually that term is reserved for […]

The Fox and Henhouse Problem of Reporting Sex Abuse

From The Worthy Adversary: “You see a child being sexually abused and beaten on a street corner. Whom do you call? Answer: The local university, your bishop, your commander or the leader of the closest nonprofit.” … “…why do we act so absurdly when we witness abuse on the Penn State campus, at the local […]

SNAP: The perfect resource for victims of Priest Abuse

SNAP is so important these days I’m in beautiful Washington, DC, getting together with other leaders of SNAP, renewing friendships and attending the SNAP Annual Conference. For those not familiar with SNAP, the acronym stands for Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests. It was founded by Chicago’s Barbara Blaine in 1988 and has become […]

Looking Forward to the SNAP Annual Conference

On July 24th (2013) I head off to Washington, DC to attend the SNAP Annual Conference. SNAP, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests founded in 1988, is the oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP’s mission is to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth. As a area rep of SNAP for Seattle/Washington, […]

Hello! I’m Mary Dispenza

I, Mary Dispenza, want to fix the systems that break people I was once a broken person. Now, through this blog, I look at broken systems and ideas for making them whole again. This blog is about finding ways to help broken people, ideas for overcoming personal breakage and how to live unabashed. As an […]