Dom Michael Ryan – New Father Immediately of Mount Mellary

Mount Melleray website

October 12, 2020 8:27 am


The Conventual Chapter of Mount Melleray Abbey responded to the efforts of the General Chapter of 2017 to arrange the Paternity of Communities, whose traditional Paternity line had been altered, by requesting to be a Daughter House of Bolton Abbey.

The 2017 Chapter had assigned Mount Melleray to the Abbey of Val Notre Dame. In addition to the Abbot of Val Notre Dame’s Regular Visitation, other meetings between the Communities were arranged.

The Conventual Chapter of Val Notre Dame concluded that their fragility did not allow them to accept the responsibility of a geographically distant Community of another culture.

Upon the request of Mount Melleray Abbey, the Conventual Chapter of Bolton Abbey accepted the responsibility of being the Mother House of Mount Melleray Abbey, and so Dom Michael is the Father Immediate.

Since the relationship of Mother House to Daughter House is foundational to the Order, rather than delaying until the next General Chapter to finalize this relation, the Abbot General and his Council acting in the name of the General Chapter (C. 82.2) approved the change that the Paternity of Mount Melleray Abbey is now the responsibility of Bolton Abbey.

The effective date of the change is 28 September 2020.



In accordance with the Charter of Charity, Cistercian communities are autonomous but united in a communion implemented by the institutions of the Father Immediate, the Regular Visitation, and the General Chapter. The Father Immediate is the abbot of another monastery, whose responsibilities include a formal visit to the community every two years. The purpose of this “Regular Visitation” is to strengthen and supplement the pastoral action of the local superior, to correct where necessary, and to renew the nuns’ or monks’ spiritual fervor.


Abbot Michael Ryan
Father Immediate of Mount Mellary Abbey
Bolton Abbey.
Co. Kildale.

My Dear Abbot Michael,

I have been informed you you are now the Father Immediately of Mount Mellary. I wish you well inp your new Paternal role.

The Abbot General may have told you about my communications and telephone call with him with regard Dom Richard Purcell, Abbot of Mount Mellary?

However  as Father Immediate, I now wish to formally ask you to investigate allegations of sexual misbehaviour by Richard Purcell.

1. The allegation, told to me by the Abbot General himself, of Richard Purcell’s sexual misbehaviour with xxxxx xxxxx the former priest of Killaloe diocese who was in Roscrea to consider monastic life.

2. The allegation that Richard Purcell has attended the Boiler House gay sauna in Dublin to have anonymous sex with men, including a former seminarian.

3. The allegation that Richard Purcell is sexually involved with other priests including monks of Glenstal and the Dominican order.

4. The allegation that Richard Purcell organised a gay orgy within the environs of Mount Mellary

I have been a lifetime admirer of the Cistercian order and was a regular visitor to Mellifont Abbey.

For me  the is typified by prayer, reflection, silence, sparseness, spirituality and self control.

I am horried at the above allegations which are typified by scandal, self-indulgdnce, cynicism and a total disregard not only for Christian teaching, but a total disregard for the 900 years of monks striving for holiness.

Father Abbot, please investigate fearlessly and restore the reputation of Mount Mellary.

Sincerely yours

+ Pat Buckley
The Oratory Society.


Have you gone to any of the papers with what you know. I am sure they would love to get their hands on the story as you give off the vibes that it is all true.


Thats why I asked did Pat go to the papers. If they felt there was anything in the story, at least one of them would take a chance there was some truth in it and print what Pat is pushing out of late.


I wonder whether there is any etymological link between the words Cistercian and Cistern?
Can one hold its water longer than the other? 😂


Pat you know the way you like New Mellifont? Well, your new friend, Abbot Richard, appears to have been over that gaff for a few years according to the the Wikipedia entry on New Mellifont. Can we please have clarification? Mount Mellary the main Cistercian house in the country has an Abbot, Portglenone has an Abbot and Belmont has an Abbot. Roscrea has gone backwards and has a ‘Superior’. Does this mean that Roscrea is on its way out? And is The Abbot of Mount Mellary also the actual Abbot of Roscrea seeing as Roscrea hasn’t elected an Abbot.


Sounds like musical chairs ! It still doesn’t address the issue at hand, which is what is being done to ensure that the serious allegations of sexual misbehaviour about Abbot Purcell are being looked at, rather than just being swept under the carpet and ignored ? If the Roman Catholic Church requires those in holy orders and religious vows to live a life that is chaste and celibate, is it not reasonable to expect that when there are allegations about behaviour unbecoming of such a promise then they should be looked at ? If the RCC wants to change its teaching on sexual morality, fine. But, if it insists on and teaches what currently stands, then it is a reasonable expectation that is upheld in some form or fashion. It seems to me, especially for clergy, if behaviour is questionable and contravenes the Gospel virtues, be it sexually, financially, in the way of relating to people, in charity, whatever, then the matter is disregarded. Whereas, I am being exhorted from the pulpit Sunday after Sunday to lives a life in keeping with the Gospel, and when I don’t I am told that I am in a state of sin and should not receive the eucharist. Or, even worse, as happens in the USA in their culture wars environment, being refused the eucharist. And yet, Purcell, notwithstanding all these very serious allegations, is allowed to carry on as if nothing as happened. Celebrating the eucharist publicly. What hypocrisy, double standards, and treating us with distain.


You, Dom Richard any any other Catholic (real ones) can receive the Holy Eucharist having had contrition, resolved not sin again, and made an action of contrition and accepted your penance following auricular confession to a priest with the requisite faculties and have received absolution.


My God: leaving aside the serious sinful failure and misjudgment of one monk, the continued intrusion into the lives if mostly elderly men is titally unwarranted. The level of hypicrisy of combenters is nauseating. It’s a perversion in itself. God help any of us who are so perfect!!


Most of the monks do not do Internet.

However I think they entitled to know about their Abbot- who they must obey!


He may have allowed them to watch the alleged orgy, Bp Pat. Just because they’re old doesn’t mean they’re not also double-standard bitches.


You are right about the majority of good and holy monks in these monasteries. They are not the ones in the focus here. Who is in the spotlight, and highly so, is the Abbot who is evidently not good and holy, a man who sneaks off to a gay sauna to engage in unprotected / bareback sex, is probably also well known around the gay open air cruising sites around the country. That is what the focus is on. The monks who are faithfully following their calling, probably the majority of them, are not the issue. So, spare us the moralising narrative @8:17, and keep your focus on Abbot Purcell and his behaviour and what is happening there. I have no doubt that the substance of what is being reported about Purcell is true. If it were not, then I suggest there would have been a stronger pushback from the OCSOs, probably event he threat of legal action against + Pat. Instead, they have resorted to their usual playbook, which is to act dumb and not say anything, because they know that what they are dealing with is true. So, given that there is in all likelihood something in the reports of Purcell’s behaviour (remember, a consecrated, vowed monk !), then we are entitled to know what has happened and what is going to be done about it. After all, we pay the piper in the end.


10.22: You don’t pay the Monks – all abbeys have to be self sustaining. Truth. If one man fails, the entire community should not be harassed which is what you are doing. Did Jesus continue peeping around corners, harassing or chasing after Zaccheus or the woman caught in adultery? MERCY is the gift of God. If you have evidence of abuse or public disorder indecency, go to the Gardai. There is an all too familiar swish and stench of hypocrisy in the condemnation by you and others, who, if truth be known, are full of moral waywardness and failures, but who can hide them more carefully. The allegations are the business of the Abbot, not the merciless lynch mob led by Pat and his cohorts. It would serve you better to go out and help the elderly or homeless in these days of the pandemic. God, I’m sure would look more kindly on you!!


Oh, give us some news of Littleplonker to act as a bit of light relief. All this barebacking / rawhide stuff. A little swish of the maniple doesn’t seem so bad, after all. Bring back camp, screeching, maniple swishing Littletwat, I say !


Why were several threats made against Bishop Buckley when this issue was initially raised? Does it suggest others involvement? All very odd.


It seems unlikely Dom Richard could allegedly behave in this manner and remain Abbot, unless he has all the dirt on others at the same level or higher up. Maybe also in the wider church.


A Munster man says that he was masturbated on a number of occasions by a prominent Dominican. He also says that there is a number of Dominicans active on the gay scene.


Pat there is a Dominican who blogs, Michael Commane op. Over the years he has threatened to ‘write a book’ about the sexual goings on in the irish province. Mainly he uses it as a threat against superiors so he can do his own thing. Perhaps he can unburden himself to you. His blog is occasional scribbles.


The pseudo-traditionalists don’t like Michael Commane because he’s straight and refers to Alive as a free sheet.


Pat, is there any possibility that we could stop posters to the blog referring to Bishops, Priests etc by female ( or camp) names? I realise this is a long shot, as you are guilty of this yourself. It’s offensive on so many levels.


1:29 pm – if people on this blog started refering to Seminarians, Deacons, Priests and Bishops by their ‘official’ names then nobody would have a clue who was who 😂 😂
And yes, to ask to change this would indeed be a long shot; a very long shot.
And don’t by tell our aunty Patsy how to run her blog


I’ve tried to keep up with them all, Bp Pat, to save you the bother. Eamon Turtle Martin currently holds the most camp aliases.


I agree with this request. It demeans the blog site more than the targets for such unnecessary and sexist comment.


1.29: Pat has been asked many, many times to desist from name calling and ridiculing others through attaching effeminate names to his enemies. It is very infantile behaviour and reveals a level of psychological dysfunctionality. It demeans all debate.


The smoke of Satan has entered the Catholic Church. What’s the latest on Silverstream? I still haven’t a notion of what really went on. Could someone enlighten me on a nutshell please


2.04:…. “On” a nutshell might be very uncomfortable – might be better with a pumpkin!!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣😁😁😁😅😅😃🤣😂


2.04: Irrespective of who coined any name calling – mostly done by Buckkey – it is still unacceptable. It is the behaviour of a passive aggressive bullies and very immature behaviour. Grow up and act like real men.


Pat, you are making a number of extremely serious allegations about the Ordinary of Mount Melleray Abbey. You are alleging a level of sexual deviance that almost is preposterous. How can you be certain you are not repeating hearsay and gossip that is ruinous to the reputation of that monk and the Abbey?

Nonetheless, have you received an acknowledgement of your letter from the Bishop of Waterford? Appreciating, he has no jurisdiction within the internal affairs of Mount Melleray Abbey; he is, however, the Ordinary of the diocese of Waterford. And, as such, he could remove the priestly faculties of Dom Richard to function in the diocese. He could also refer the allegation to the competent Dicastery of the Roman Curia, the so-called, Congregation for Religious; because, if what you assert is in fact true, then the Abbot General (whom you allege is aware of the allegations) is part of an on-going cover-up.

Furthermore, again, if the allegations you assert are true and were known to certain individuals involved in the administration of the Cistercian College — that raises serious questions about the culture of safeguarding with in the Cistercian College in Roscrea, and the matter should be referred to the civil authorities. Have you written to Ronnie Culliton in his capacity as Chairman of the Board of Management of the Cistercian College, who appears to exercise the delegated authority of the College Trustees — the Abbot and Community of Mount St. Joseph asking for an independent investigation into the allegations by the police and requesting the involvement of the Charities Regulator?


Of course, Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan was not reply. Irish bishops are too pusillanimous and afraid of their own shadows to engage with anything serious.
However, I noted you did not engage with my legitimate queries — how can you be sure that you are not repeating hearsay and rumour, and you are not serving the agenda of a third party? If you are wrong, then you have irreparably traduced the good name of Dom Richard Purcell. To suggest that he organised a gay orgy within the vicinity of Mount Melleray is a particularly despicable and scurrilous accusation; but I am not suggesting what you allege is untrue.
Because, we are dealing with a safeguarding issue within the Cistercian College, are you going to refer your allegations in writing to Board of Management? And, are you going to involve the Charities Regulator? If events in Ireland have taught us anything over the past decade, the church only responds to the involvement of the civil authorities.
So, if you are not prepared to involve the civil authorities, then, I must respectfully suggest that you are peddling nothing other than malicious hearsay. However, if what you allege – is in fact, true; then you have a duty to involve the civil authorities. They can be no ambivalence because there is a safeguarding issue at the Cistercian College.


Dear +Pat,
I couldn’t care less (but one must keep up appearances, right?)
Thoughts and prayers.


It was the Abbot General himself who alerted me to Purcell’s misbehaviour in Roscrea! I had not known about it previously! When I asked him why he was was so honest with me he replied: “Well, I am talking to a bishop”.

I don’t think that Phonsie can take Purcell’s faculty in the monastery away. But he can in the diocese.

Phonsie has not acknowledged my communication. Bad manners!

There is no Abbot in Roscrea.

I know of no safeguarding issue with regard to Purcell?


There isn’t a safeguarding issue at the abbey, unless you are suggesting that an adult having sex with other adults implies he will automatically go for the kids? In which case you would have to get rid of all adult teachers who have ever had sex.
But that’s not your point is it – you’re saying homosexuality is a safeguarding issue which just means you’re a bigot.


Phonsie won’t reply unless he absolutely has to, he’s hoping it will all blow over and it probably will. Bigger Church scandals hogging the headlines.


@Anonymous 5:16 pm

No, I am not equating homosexuality with pederasty. But, what I was suggesting that if the allegations against Dom Richard are true, and were “known” and ignored with cheerful alacrity; it begets the obvious question what else has been covered-up at the Cistercian College? And, that I submit is a safeguarding issue — regardless of the separation between the college and the abbey.

You may recall that the Cistercian College was (relatively recently) in very serious financial difficulties. A sexual scandal involving the Abbot of Mount St. Joseph Abbey would have had ruinous financial consequences and would have destroyed the attempts to keep the college afloat. However, I may respectfully suggest that you familiarise yourself with the events that have unfolded at Downside Abbey/School and Ealing Abbey/School in recent years.


Well take your ‘concerns’ to the police then. Go on. See what happens.
The truth will set you free, not fantasy.


6.00: You speak like an old dame…”I may respectfully…”. Allow me to respectfully state that you are a bigot. Roscrea is a small college – fee paying and its recent financial difficulties centred around the challenge of trying to provide the best education as was the tradition. Finances are a problem in all schools. It may well have suited the Monks to finally close the college then but such was its reputation that parents and former professional alumni came to rescue it to ensure that Roscrea continues to provide the best education. You are a bigot, unknownst to yourself by insinuating that any adult male who “may” have had sex is, in your erroneous imagination, a paedophile. Study academic research first. If your contention is true, then all males (teachers etc…) who have consensual sex (and end up working with young people.. ) should be under suspicion, even you undoubtedly!


The paypers don’t seem to be arsed about clerical sexual going ons any more. It’s old news. The perception of some churches would appear to pray up pay up and shut up 🤐


Statement on Wonersh closure:
The Future of St John’s Seminary – Wonersh
Statement issued by the Trustees on 16 October 2020
Following extensive consideration and discernment, especially over the past year, including communication with the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome, the Trustees have regretfully come to the decision that St John’s Seminary cannot continue in its present form. The current and projected number of seminarians is too small to sustain a healthy formation community, and the building and staffing costs have simply become prohibitive.
We are reminded ‘that the Seminary, more than a building, is a community of formation’ (Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis 188) and the Trustees, Rector & Formation Staff, are aware of their responsibility to provide the best formation possible for those preparing for the priesthood at Wonersh.
There was no new intake this September, and the seminarian body currently numbers 17, from the Dioceses of Southwark, Arundel & Brighton, Clifton and Portsmouth. With 6 due to complete their formation in the summer, the September 2021 seminarian body will be 11 in number, and 5 of these, please God, will be deacons in their final year.
With the agreement of their Bishops, arrangements have been made for the 11 seminarians to join the Seminary community at Allen Hall – Chelsea from September 2021. A number of the Wonersh seminarians are already attending lectures once a week with those from Allen Hall at the Pontifical Mater Ecclesiae College at St Mary’s University – Twickenham.
The re-location of Wonersh seminarians to Allen Hall means that their formation will be uninterrupted while the Trustees continue to explore formation for the priesthood in a wider context in England & Wales.
While it is proposed to consider all options for the future use of the St John’s Seminary buildings, St John’s Seminary will remain a legal entity so that consideration can be given to the ways in which the tradition of priestly formation established at Wonersh in 1891 will continue into the future.
St John’s Seminary has a proud tradition of serving the Church for 130 years. There is great sadness that formation must now cease on this site. The Trustees are extremely grateful to Rectors, Staff, and Seminarians, past and present, and to all those who have supported the Seminary over the years. We give thanks to Almighty God for all that has been achieved and received. We seek to promote vocations to the priesthood, and we commit ourselves to providing priestly formation that will serve the people of our Dioceses and parishes into the future.
Most Rev John Wilson Rt Rev Richard Moth
Archbishop of Southwark Bishop of Arundel & Brighton
Chair of Trustees Vice-Chair of Trustees


The upside is that it’s 11 new lads for the Allen Hall lads. They might have to share bedrooms, like they used to do in Maynooth, contrary to all norms on seminary formation.


Sharing bedrooms never a problem in Maynooth.. Dom Richard spent a year in the seminary there.. hmm.. away from roscrea ..I’m sure he had a ball of a time that year…little ‘outings’ by the Liffey.. I’m he must have found it hard occasionally….


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