Two more women have come forward and claimed to be victims of child sexual abuse by a priest at the St. Jude's Shrine of the West church in Southcrest.
They claimed it occurred more than 30 years ago in the well-known and beloved parish. The priest involved is named, Monsignor Gregory Sheridan, who has already died and the victims are asking that the church to recognize the alleged crimes.
For decades, families have nurtured their faith in the parish whose masses were also visited by St. Teresa of Calcutta and Luis Donaldo Colosio.
But recently it has become a symbol of indignation for many.
Kathy Ray grew up in this community, just blocks from St. Jude's.
She said that when she was little her mother would take her with priest Gregory Sheridan to help him perform daily chores as penance. Ray recounts that she ended up in his room, sitting on his legs.
She is one of four alleged victims of child sexual abuse by the same priest who was sent to this parish in 1954.
Auggie Bareño said that, as well as the customs, the area has been transformed over time but the memory of Father Sheridan, remains fresh in her memory.
"There was a cantina down that street, we would see him drinking with two women, hugging them, and he would look at us in a way saying ‘who will believe you,’" said Bareño.
A statement released from the Diocese of San Diego acknowledged that Monsignor Gregory Sheridan has been included on a public list as a credibly accused priest of the San Diego diocese since 2007. He retired in 1983 and died in 1991.
The statement reads:
“We would encourage anyone who considers themselves a victim-survivor of Monsignor Gregory Sheridan to make sure their abuse has been reported to law enforcement and to contact us if they desire counseling at no cost to them. Later this summer, if they haven’t already filed a claim against the diocese, we would encourage them to file a claim with the Independent Victim Compensation Program, which can arrange for monetary compensation if they qualify.”