I'm sad to share the news that a dear friend and colleague, Kay Goodnow of Kansas City, has passed away at the age of 77.
Kay was a long time member of SNAP and, years ago, of Link Up. She had an acerbic wit and a huge heart. Kay was also a firm believer in using “letters to the editor” and “comment” sections to criticize the corrupt and empathize with the wounded.
While she was healthy, Kay often attended SNAP events, especially in Kansas City. She never hesitated to speak her mind and each time she did, her words rang with truth and compassion.
Often, she spoke highly of her friends in this movement, including Nancy Meyer of Canada, Rick Springer of Chicago, Mike Hunter of Kansas City and Joe McGee of Colorado.
Just two or three weeks ago, right after a news conference outside Bishop Robert Finn's headquarters, long time SNAP member Abott Durocher drove me to the suburban retirement home where Kay was living. The three of us had a wonderful time catching up and reminiscing.
Kay was visibly glad to see us. And she recounted tales of discussing clergy sex crimes and cover ups with other residents and staff (noting with some glee, that the topic made some of her neighbors feel a little uncomfortable).
Kay was one of the 40+ brave KC victims who forced Finn to sign a contract to take 19 prevention steps as part of a historic settlement. (And because of her courage, she was able to “out” her predator, Fr. John Baskett (who also spent time in Las Vegas, North Carolina and Boonville, Missouri).
Kay was also one of the 40+ brave KC victims who took Finn to court in 2011, charging that he broke that binding contract. In an unprecedented move, as reported in the New York Times recently, an arbitrator awarded those victims $1.1 million for the further pain they suffered because Finn so clearly broke his word (in part, by taking little or no effective action, for months, to keep predators Fr. Shawn Ratigan and Fr. Michael Tierney away from children).
As a friend to the suffering and an advocate for the vulnerable, Kay will be sorely missed. Our deepest condolences to her family.