Fr. Mel Taylor used his master key to enter my locked dorm room without my permission. Looking back, I am certain that Fr. Mel knew I was in the room and in my bed enjoying some “private time.” I believe this to be true because he unlocked my door, entered, locked the door and was sitting on my bed … before I was even able to fully pull up my underwear.
Statement from Victim of Fr. Mel Taylor
June 29, 2011
My name is [Redacted]. I am [Redacted] years old and currently live in [Redacted].
Part of my high school education was spent at St. John’s Preparatory School in Collegeville, Minnesota. While attending the “Prep School” in the early 1980s, I lived in the dormitory with dozens of other male Prep School students.
Fr. Mel Taylor, a monk from Saint John’s Abbey, was one of several adult male supervisors, or “prefects”, who lived in a separate section of the dormitory building. During my junior year, Fr. Mel’s official title was “Residency Dean.”
On one occasion during my junior year, Fr. Mel Taylor used his master key to enter my locked dorm room without my permission. Looking back, I am certain that Fr. Mel knew I was in the room and in my bed enjoying some “private time.” I believe this to be true because he unlocked my door, entered, locked the door and was sitting on my bed, all in a matter of seconds. Precisely, before I was even able to fully pull up my underwear.
When Fr. Mel sat down, I was sitting up in the bed without a shirt and had the sheet up to my waist. Fr. Mel began rubbing my chest and then my nipples. He was obviously trying to keep me aroused. He must have sensed that I was uncomfortable because he kept saying things like: “relax” “calm down” “this is ok” and “you are too tense”.
It was difficult for me to react to Fr. Mel’s advances (given his position as priest and prefect) and it took me a few moments to process what was happening. It was clear that Fr. Mel was trying to convince me that his homosexual advances were something I desired though I had never before, nor since, desired such contact. Fr. Mel continued to touch me and it was apparent that he was working himself up to something I knew I did not want.
When I finally did react, I pushed Fr. Mel off the bed. I got out of the bed, with Fr. Mel facing me, and pulled up my underwear. When Fr. Mel didn’t leave, I pushed him physically toward and out of the door.
I never reported this before. I was too embarrassed to deal with the incident or talk about it at the time.
After the incident, I had many questions. Did I do something to provoke Fr. Mel? Why did he choose me? How did he know what I was doing in the room?
At the end of my junior year, I was asked to not return to the Prep School. No specific reason was given other than I was a not a positive influence in the community. I believe that Fr. Mel was part of that decision process. I was allowed to return for my senior year, though under a performance contract.
Fr. Mel Taylor did not return as Residency Dean for my senior year. There were rumors about Fr. Mel’s drinking and about the special attention he paid to his favorite students.
During my senior year, I became more rebellious. My issues with authority increased and I was ultimately kicked out of the school. I graduated from [Redacted] High School in 19XX.
I cannot help but wonder how many other students were victim to Fr. Mel’s inappropriate homosexual advances — and how many of those young men weren’t able to react in time. And I still wonder how he was able to know what I was doing in the privacy of my own room.
When I found out that Fr. Mel Taylor was still an active priest (in the Bahamas) I felt compelled to tell my story. Fr. Mel Taylor should have been removed from ministry a long time ago.
It has taken years for me to start addressing the issues Fr. Mel created for me. I do not wish this pain or confusion on anyone.