One morning in 1995, when the guilt became too heavy, Bill Quenroe says, he steered his van into the garage, threw it into park and left the engine running. He had already written a note, and now he waited for the end.
It didn’t come. Quenroe’s father found him semi-conscious. Quenroe wound up in a hospital’s psychiatric ward, he said. He told a nurse: “I was raped by a priest.”
Since then, he’s tried to reclaim a life derailed by what he says happened when he was a sophomore at St. John’s prep school in the 1980s.
Quenroe, 37, of Minneapolis, said that the Rev. Dunstan Moorse called him to a study session to help him improve his grade in theology. Instead of cracking the books, the priest allegedly cracked a bottle of whiskey, offered him a drink and demanded that he perform oral sex. Quenroe said he did as he was ordered.
A suit he filed against the abbey was recently settled, he said Friday.
“I use the word ‘raped,’ because it was forced,” Quenroe said. “I wasn’t afraid of him physically — I was afraid of his power.”
Recently, he returned to the campus for the first time in years. He walked around the grounds and the dorm, stared into offices where abusive priests had worked.
“By the time I left here, I felt like a slut,” he said.
A broken trust, a sense of shame
Published September 29, 2002