Our lives  begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter  -- Martin Luther King

Bernie McDaid

Bernie McDaidIn the early spring of 2002 Bernie McDaid became one of the first survivors of clergy sexual abuse to come forward in Boston, the epicenter of clergy sexual abuse. He became the first profiled victim, stating his full name in a May article in the Boston Globe, when most people were still looking up the word pedophilia in the dictionary. His ground breaking story depicted a troubled youth and the life of an abused victim. It paved the way for more survivors to come forward. In 1969, Bernie went for help to his father, along with three of his classmates. The perpetrator was removed from the parish, but not before the unknowing parishioners threw him a going-away party. Four months after Bernie’s father sought help from a priest, Father Joseph Birmingham left Saint James in Salem Ma. and was reassigned to Saint Michael’s Church in Lowell. The betrayal angered the boy and was never forgotten.

In April of  2008 in Washington DC, McDaid received an apology from Pope Benedict, becoming the first victim of clergy sexual abuse to speak to the head of Saint Peter’s Church. He warned the Pope that there was a cancer in his flock and his church needed to change. His plea apparently fell on deaf ears.

McDaid is Founder of SurvivorsVoice, Inc.

Gary Bergeron

Gary BergeronGary Bergeron is 48 years old and lives in the greater Boston area. A carpenter by trade, Gary, along with his brother came forward to his parents about his abuse at the hands of Rev. Joseph Birmingham, in March of 2002.  Within 3 months, more than 55 survivors of abuse from the very same priest came forward. The following month Gary's 78 year old father revealed to his son that he had also been sexually abused as a child, by a priest. Vowing that "There will never be another child named Bergeron abused again", Gary began publicly sharing his story and publicly speaking out about clergy sexual abuse.

Gary helped organize the only public event in which the former archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Bernard Law, met with survivors and family members shortly before his resignation. In March of 2003, Gary along with his father and Bernie McDaid, traveled to the Vatican hoping to meet with Pope John Paul II. After securing a meeting with several Vatican officials, they met with the Vatican Secretary of State and became the first survivors of clergy abuse to be officially recognized by the Vatican. Gary has been interviewed on radio and television both in the US and abroad. He is the author of “Don’t Call Me A Victim” Faith, Hope & Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church.

Bergeron is Co-Founder of SurvivorsVoice, Inc.


Joe Bergeron

Joe Standing3Joe is Gary Bergeron’s brother and Communications Director of Survivor’s Voice. Joe’s 40-year career in media has included advertising management in daily and weekly newspapers, as well as ad agencies. Joe founded Seacoast Sunday, an alternative weekly newspaper in Southern New Hampshire in the 1980s and Hilton Head Monthly a decade later. Joe has served as producer for TV, film and video, including award-winning work for Gulfstream personal jets.

Joe served as producer for the Survivor’s Voice event in Rome, planning and executing press conferences, and after more than 41,000 postings on the Web, created a video commemorating the event.

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