In Netflix's newest true crime series The Keepers, the 1969 murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik is revisited in an effort to figure out what might have led to her shocking death. But exploring what happened to Cesnik opened up another story: one of alleged sexual abuse within the Catholic high school Cesnik worked at. Multiple former students of Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore claim to have been sexually abused during their time at the school. These women have suffered an incredible amount of trauma, and some viewers might be wondering how to support the victims on The Keepers.
The reported abuse at Keough seems to have been possibly orchestrated by the school chaplain, Father Joseph Maskell. At least 30 people have come forward in the 20 years or so since Cesnik's death to testify about Maskell's alleged abuse. Keough's Director of Religious Services, Father Neil Magnus, was also reportedly involved. Neither of the men were ever formally charged and have denied the allegations up until their deaths, though last year the Archdiocese of Baltimore settled with 12 of the victims. It's heartbreaking to think that justice may never have been truly served, but the Keough survivors are still making their voices heard.
While there doesn't currently appear to be a way to donate or volunteer that specifically benefits the victims of Maskell's alleged abuse, there is a Facebook group run by former Keough students Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub that you can join. Called "Justice for Catherine Cesnik and Joyce Malecki" (murdered shortly after Cesnik, Malecki could have been a victim of the same killer), the group is a place where people can share stories and information that might provide help or clarity. By joining it, you can keep an eye out for future opportunities and stay informed about the case.
While the Facebook group can act like a support group at times, they also provide links to other local support groups for survivors. And it gives those most closely involved in the case a platform.
Exposure and discussion is important to keep focus on the case with the hope of uncovering the truth. While the group is concerned primarily with Cesnik and Malecki's murders, listening to the reported survivors and helping them achieve their goals is a way of supporting them. Taking a note from the survivors themselves is a good start.
You can learn more about Sister Cathy Cesnik's case when The Keepers premieres on Friday, May 19.