We commend you for a balanced and sensitive report about Father Michael Kelly's appearance before his congregation after he was held liable for abusing a child. It is no accident that the congregation of St. Joachim's Church is solidly behind him and refuses to accept the jury's verdict as being fair or factual.
Those of us who have known Father Kelly for many years have gotten to know him as a truly compassionate man who has spent his entire life solving other people's problems and ministering to those who need his help. Such a priest has a deep belief in God and his love for mankind — and just does not have it in his make-up to hurt others, and especially young children.
Skeptics can call us wrong-headed idealists, but there are certain judgments about people that come from personal experience and cannot be changed by someone with a repressed memory or lawyers who specialize in child abuse cases.
We are certain that all of us who love Father Kelly will demonstrate our love for him in words and in deeds in the days to come, and lighten the burden which must be afflicting him at this time.
Peig and Paul Fairbrook