Dear Bishop Konderla,
In light of further information I have received since posting my blog article of (January 25, 2022), I have some additional and legitimate questions about the relationship between Silverstream Priory, a community of diocesan right subject to the jurisdiction of Bishop Thomas Deenihan, Ordinary of the Diocese of Meath and the Diocese of Tulsa.
According to the website, Charity Navigator, within your canonical territory there exists an entity called “The Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle Foundation” (IRS EIN number 46-3574386), headquartered in the small town of Mounds, Oklahoma. The Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations to same are tax-deductible.
An internet search reveals that Mounds, in Creek County, Oklahoma, is located just south of the City of Tulsa; the address given on online charity websites is “20315 S HIGHWAY 75, Mounds OK 74047-4908”. Is this town located within the geographical boundaries of your diocese?
The Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle Foundation exists according to its self-description on the Form 990: “TO PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR SILVERSTREAM PRIORY AND THE BENEDICTINE MONKS OF STAMULLEN, COUNTY MEATH, IRELAND”.
The aforesaid website gives this charitable entity an overall finance and accountability score of 85/100, which is “passing”. The missing fifteen (15) points are deducted due to the following negative issues: lack of a conflict of interest policy, lack of a document retention and destruction policy, and lack of a whistleblower policy. Moreover, last tax return filed with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) was all the way back in 2019; it would appear, therefore, that the Foundation is rather behind in making reports of its financial activities to the American government.
Bishop Konderla, I hasten to add that I have no background in accounting, however, utilising and relying upon basic arithmetic it would appear from even the most cursory review of the accounts that are freely available on-line that the The Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle Foundation has funnelled a total of US$ 1,239,693 to Silverstream Priory in Ireland.
According to its 2019 tax return, the officers of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle Foundation are as follows:
DANIEL PICKETT (PRESIDENT)
GREG STICE (CHAIRMAN)
ROBIN PUDEWA (SECRETARY)
ANDREW PUDEWA (DIRECTOR)
TRACY LOPER (DIRECTOR)
The first two names, Bishop Konderla, are most certainly known to you. The President of the Foundation, Mr. Daniel Pickett, is a permanent Deacon of the Diocese of Tulsa, currently assigned by you to the Church of St. John Before the Latin Gate in Bartlesville. The Chairman of the Foundation, Mr. Greg Stice, is also a permanent Deacon of the Diocese of Tulsa, currently assigned by you to the Church of the Sacred Heart in Sapulpa with additional responsibilities within the “Office of Deacon Formation”.
Do you find it appropriate, Bishop Konderla, for two (2) permanent deacons of the Diocese of Tulsa to be so inextricably linked with the financing of a religious community in Ireland that has been mired in sexual and financial scandal?
May I remind you that a former priest of the Diocese of Tulsa, Dom Mark Kirby has been credibly accused of sexual and financial misconduct in the Republic of Ireland. Dom Kirby was subject to an investigation by the Irish Police Force for over a year and the force considered the allegations to be sufficiently serious to refer the matter to the Irish State Prosecutor, the Director of Public Prosecutions.
At the time of this writing, I have been unable to ascertain the reasons why Dom Kirby was not prosecuted. However, it is not unreasonable to speculate that it may-be attributable to the known ill-health of Dom Kirby. But, I emphasise that the fact it was investigated for so long would appear that the allegations made against Dom Kirby were sufficiently credible. It is noteworthy that Dom Kirby is telling benefactors that he is a priest in good standing, however, there was no reference to that reality on the website of the Diocese of Meath. And, the on-going silence of Bishop Deenihan about Dom Kirby’s canonical standing is troubling and surprising.
By the present, I wish to make it unequivocally clear that I am not suggesting there is any misconduct or wrong-doing on the part of the two (2) deacons named within the present. I would respectfully suggest they may-be guilty of naïveté in their devotion to Dom Kirby, a man who purportedly hears our Blessed Lord speaking to him from the Tabernacle. In fact, he has published a whole book to what he has “heard” from our Lord.
In any event, it would behove the Diocese of Tulsa to investigate this matter, because I am minded to bring this matter to the Revenue Commissioners of Ireland to ask them to conduct an independent audit of this financial connection. I am sure you would welcome a transparent and independent investigation into this arrangement. It may well be the case that everything is above board, however, in light of what is known about Silverstream Priory and Kirby’s nefarious past; one cannot be too careful.
Of course, I would not be so presumptuous to give any bishop directions about how to run his diocese. Nonetheless, it would be perhaps prudent for the Diocese of Tulsa to insist that the two permanent deacons mentioned to resign from the running of the entity and for them to have no further involvement with Silverstream Priory, and to be warned in writing of canonical penalties for non-compliance.
Bishop Konderla, I can assure you there is more scandal to come from Dom Kirby’s past, and I am sure that in light of my previous correspondence – the Diocese of Tulsa may wish to minimise its exposure to the collateral damage that is coming down the road.
With an assurance of ongoing prayerful best wishes,
- Pat Buckley
Bishop Thomas Deenihan.