To the St Vincent Archabbey monastic community, warm greetings to all on this auspicious day, when the Church invites us to honour the memory of the Patron of Europe, Saint Benedict of Nursia.
Recently, I was delighted to meet some of the monastic community at the ordination of the nephew of Fr. Mark Gruber to the sacred order of priesthood for the Diocese of Pittsburgh at the Cathedral of St Paul. Noticeable by his absence was Archabbot Nowicki. It is my understanding that without fail, the Archabbot has attended the Pittsburgh ordinations for a significant number of years; and one has to wonder was cowardice, his primary motivation for not attending this year, as he would have to face the entire Gruber family. I had the pleasure of introducing myself to Rev. Whalen, during the refreshments that took place after the ordination of Fr. Frederick Gruber at the Cathedral in Pittsburgh.
Interesting to note in the Pittsburgh diocesan paper supplement that the Rev. Frederick Gruber cites the formative influence of his Benedictine uncle, as a constituent factor, which led him to seek ordination.
Importantly, I was able to speak with the auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Most Reverend Walter Waltersheid to thank him personally for his extremely prompt response to some pertinent questions that had been addressed to the Diocese with respect to Br. William D. Benthall in a letter.
One has to suspect that the aforementioned monk was not present at morning prayer, or the solemn monastic profession’s that took place in the Archabbey Church. One does continue to wonder as the source of Br. William’s financing, as his venture: King David Hair Shirts appears to have gone bust. If you type: “King David Hair Shirts” into Google, one can read Br. William’s blog, and one will note his arrest.
Please do ask the Archabbot why would Br. William would admit to me that he has a ‘vested interest’ in Archabbot Nowicki remaining ensconced in his current office. My telephone records will confirm the telephone conversation.
Obviously, the highlight of my trip to Pennsylvania was my visit to the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg. It is a matter of considerable pride that two state troopers, frisked me in the Cathedral; searched the car that I was driving; informed me where I could sit during the Eucharistic Liturgy, with one trooper escorting me, as I received communion. The Rector of St Vincent Seminary was standing beside the priest who gave me communion. The two Pennsylvania State Troopers were charming, professional, and I will be writing a letter commending their courtesy and professionalism towards me. One should note that Archabbot Nowicki was not beside the Apostolic Nuncio, but was relegated to the back rows during the words of Institution, and could not be seen at anytime during the liturgy. Douglas must be falling out of favour.
Lest there be any doubt, I was not escorted out of the Cathedral. Nonetheless, one has to wonder, why I had this welcoming party. Obviously, I am persona non grata, which means I am having a significant effect in highlighting the significant misconduct associated with Nowicki.
Now the monastic community most probably will not be aware that Patrick Marker had a conversation with Archabbot Nowicki. Therefore, I am wondering did the Archabbot during the recent community meetings inform the community of said conversation? Basically, Mr. Marker, who is very charming and personable, wished Douglas good luck, because [Douglas] is going to need this luck to remain in his current position as Archabbot; as we continue to highlight the systemic misfeasance associated with his tenure as Abbot.
As everybody was so obsessed with me, Patrick Marker was able to have a conversation with the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency, Archbishop Viganò. One has to wonder as to the real reason, why Archbishop Viganò came to this area. His Excellency is aware of the complaint that is currently before the Dicastery for Religious with respect to the allegation of sexual harassment made against the Archabbot. A pertinent question to be asked of the Archabbot, did His Excellency invite Archabbot Nowicki to resign, or otherwise face the possibility of an Apostolic Visitation, which will invariably result in his canonical removal. We may post a redacted copy of the complaint on website soon. It makes for troubling reading.
The monastic community at St Vincent Archabbey will be disturbed to know that the Archabbot is now a topic of gossip among a number of Vatican Dicasteries, and it’s not gossip that is positive either. There is now a sense of tangible disapprobation with respect to the Archabbot, in respect to the photograph of Fr. Becket Senchur, with the question of how was his mortgage cleared in five years particularly topical.
During the recent community meetings, I have been informed that St Vincent College is not performing as well as it should be, and is not contributing sufficiently to the coffers of St Vincent Archabbey. This is not surprising. It would be interesting to see if it is recorded in the accounts of the College the exact legal expenditure associated with the Gruber lawsuit. This will raise significant questions, which will be addressed in due course. Needless to say once the accounts are published, they will be forensically examined by a team of specialist accountant, who will provide a report to Patrick Marker and others.
Enclosed for the consideration of the community are some pages for the deposition given by Archabbot Nowicki with respect to the Brownfield case. Did the community know that Nowicki gave a deposition? Also, in my possession are 13 pages of transaction history, which detail the financial contributions, which run to several million dollars, a significant proportion of which was paid into the Archabbot’s discretionary fund dating back to 1997. Enclosed also is a copy of the court order signed by the judge, which authorised the transfer of $850,000, plus the $25,000, and her property from the Brownfield estate into the Archabbot’s discretionary fund.
Ask Douglas where is this money, how has it been spent, and has it been properly accounted for? Also, ask Douglas does the Archabbey still have title to Annette Brownfield’s house? Don’t worry, in due course, we will track down the register of title, and post it on the website, so Douglas better tell the truth.
As these are public documents, we would be entitled to display them on the Misconduct in Latrobe website. Nonetheless, mindful of the sensitivities of the Brownfield family, until we have made contact with them, and have their permission, we may not make the public.
However, it might be appropriate to ask the Archabbot for a statement of account, or a transaction history outlining his spending from his discretionary fund. Then again, I am led to believe that the late Fr. Reginald Bender, who served as the Archabbey Procurator, remarked that the incumbent Archabbot was absolutely amoral when it came to money. Indeed, his rapacious pursuit of the estate of the late Annette Brownfield raises serious questions about the Archabbot’s integrity and judgement. These documents were obtained from the courthouse at Westmoreland County. Everybody was aware of what I was looking at, and there was a tangible sense of distain with respect to this case.
It would be useful for the community to know that recently Mr. Jack Gruber had a two hour meeting with the Archabbot, to represent the views of the Gruber family about how the Fr. Gruber matter has been handled by the Archabbot. Mr. Gruber remarked that when the Archabbot is under pressure his neck turns pink, and a red blot appears on a certain part of his neck. The exact nature of the conversation between both parties must remain confidential. An attorney was present.
However, what I will share: Mr. Gruber stated if Archabbot Nowicki has deliberately misrepresented the case against Fr. Gruber or prolonging the exoneration of Gruber, which has caused considerable suffering for the parents of Fr. Gruber, there will be hell to pay. The family are considering lawsuits, which will be ruinous to the reputation of the Archabbey, and will expose further significant wrongdoing on the part of the Archabbot. Mr. Jack Gruber is not a man, I would want as an enemy. Ask “Doug” all about it.
Mr Gruber also described the modus operandi employed by Mr. Parker and I in a very particular manner, again ask Douglas all about it. We have no animosity towards the monastic community, the College or the Seminary.
From my part, I will continue to be unrelenting in highlighting the misconduct at the Archabbey until ‘Randall Flag’ identifies himself to me, and issues an apology in writing. Then, I will stop e-mailing the community. Interestingly, Fr. Randall Flag was not present at the Cathedral in Greensburg; I specifically was looking out for him. Br. Hipps did attend, but he was not wearing a Benedictine habit.
Both Patrick Marker and I have debated whether we involve the media to highlight the significant misconduct of Archabbot Nowicki. To involve the media would have ruinous reputational consequences for the monastery, and the College. It would do irreparable damage. It is my understanding that only one novice is entering the noviciate this year, and College enrolment is down significantly for first year students. Not many students will wish to come to the College, when all these matters are made very public, and nobody will want to pursue a monastic vocation; so as long as Nowicki remains as Archabbot.
Douglas is slowly destroying like a metastasising cancer everything that is good about the Archabbey of St Vincent.
I have debated about e-mailing the alumni of the College, I have 27 pages of e-mail addresses,. If, I do so, I will just alert them to the existence of issues surrounding: Becket Senchur, Benthall, Brownfield, and a few other matters that we have not posted on the website yet, but may do so, to get Douglas out. However, to do so, will destroy the reputation of the Archabbey.
The monastic community needs to think long and hard about this. The Abbot President needs to come to the Archabbey and address the community about these matters. If he refuses to do so, petition the Dicastery for Religious directly to intervene.
Until the monastic community demands the resignation of Archabbot Nowicki, we will continue to dig up the dirt Douglas. In fact, just as I was leaving Pennsylvania, I received a telephone call informing me that a woman is prepared to make a sworn affidavit highlighting the misconduct of Archabbot Nowicki, when he was diocesan secretary for education in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. I will return to Pittsburgh quite soon to met this woman, and have this woman swear her serious allegations against Archabbot Nowicki on oath in the presence of a notary/attorney.
Sadly, the monastic community does not recognise the very real misconduct of Archabbot Nowicki, and the sooner it does the better. EVERYTHING, I assert can be proven as this correspondence demonstrates.
One final point, please tell Douglas to stop wearing his mitre outside the Archabbey; he is not a bishop, and will never be a bishop. He enjoys the privilege of his mitre and crozier within his monastery; in effect, he is a priest with jurisdiction, nothing more nothing less.
Portions of Archabbot Nowicki’s Deposition ( View as PDF )
[Note: As a courtesy to the family, we have omitted several sections of the deposition]