Sandro ContentaMarch 23, 2010 05:39Updated May 30, 2010 12:26
TORONTO, Canada — As a kid, I had no idea how unfortunately common my experience of the Roman Catholic Church would turn out to be.
I grew up in the east end of Montreal, a member of a close-knit enclave of Italians in a French-speaking neighborhood near the shores of the St. Lawrence River.
On Sundays, we’d gather for mass in the gym of a local school. Around 1970, a parish church was built, partly with donations from every family I knew. It quickly became the cultural, recreational and, of course, religious center of our small community.