The Samples were a black Chicago family, with six children and few resources. The priest helped them with tuition, clothes, bills. He offered the promise of opportunities — a better life.
He also abused all the children.
They told no one. They were afraid of not being believed and of losing what little they had, said one son, Terrence Sample. And nobody asked, until a lawyer investigating alleged abuses by the same priest prompted him to break his then 33-year silence.
“Somebody had to make the effort,” Sample said. “Why wasn’t it the church?”
Terrence Sample poses for a portrait in Baton Rouge, La., on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. Sample, now 58, was a middle school student at St. Procopius Catholic school, when Father Terence Fitzmaurice took an interest in him. He was groomed, isolated and assaulted for several years. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Even as it has pledged to go after predators in its ranks and provide support to those harmed by clergy, the church has done little to identify and reach sexual abuse victims. For survivors of color, who often face additional social and