My brother bishop, Tom,

My blog last Sunday about the purchase of Mullingar-based property, 4 Ardmore Hills was one of my most popular in recent times. Some of my loyal readers remain hopeful that you will (because you are a Cork-born man with a generous spirit) provide updated pictures of the interior and the tasteful improvements (possibly) carried out by St. Finian’s Diocesan Trust, ie, the Trust that is registered at the Diocesan Office, Dublin Road, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.

Encouraged by my readership, I decided to ascertain the ownership of Silverstream Priory. And, I was greatly assisted by the efforts of a solicitor who is sympathetic to my ministry.

One of your priests erroneously told me that the monastic property was owned by the Silverstream-based monks. But, another one of your priests got in contact (in light of my Ardmore Hills blog) and told me that the monastery is owned by St. Finian’s Trust. And, this is indeed the case.

As we know, St. Finian’s Trust, has as its “primary object is to act as permanent trustee for the property and investments of every kind, owned by, held in trust for, or used in connection with the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Meath”.

The Folio Number for Silverstream Priory, Silverstream, Stamullen, Co. Meath, K32 T189 is: MH75387F. It is a freehold title that comprised of 6.32 hectares. I will post a copy of this e-mail and the Folio entry on my blog.

Once, I had confirmed the ownership of the Silverstream lands, I was intrigued; so, I made some phone calls. I have learned that the founding monks of Silverstream Priory “purchased” the property from the Visitation Sisters for the sum of €600,000. Is this true?

At that time, why did Dom Mark Kirby acquiesce to the purchase of the property by St. Finian’s Trust? Because there is no burden on the title to the benefit of the community at Silverstream, the monastic community are in effect “guests” of the Trust?

I have it on good authority that there is no commercial agreement/lease arrangement between the monks of Silverstream Priory and the Trust and/or the Diocese of Meath. Is this true?

At the time, when the monks arrived in Ireland from the Diocese of Tulsa: did Dom Mark Kirby have the advice of a solicitor with an established background in conveyancing law?

It is legitimate to ask: did the Diocese of Meath/St. Finian’s Trust take advantage of naïve Americans by taking their money to purchase a property that is ultimately to the benefit of the diocese of which you are the Ordinary?

I presume you are familiar with the allegations made by one of the founders of Silverstream Priory, Dom Benedict Andersen. Have you read this article in the Pillar?

You would accept that Silverstream Priory is mired in scandal? If so, why have you not commenced the process to suppress the Priory?

If you have not done so — do you plan to petition the Holy See to issue a Decree of suppression? I am told because the community is of Diocesan Right; it is more straightforward because it is not of Pontifical Right. There would be no messy legal battles concerning the property, (which I am told is ideal for residential development), because the grounds of the Priory are owned by St. Finian’s Trust.

Now that there is a new religious superior of the community, Fr. Basil MacCabe, will the two co-founders of Silverstream, Dom Mark Kirby and Dom Benedict Andersen be returning to Stamullen any time soon?

With an assurance of heart-felt prayers, and requesting an occasional remembrance in yours; I remain devotedly yours in Christ.

+Pat Buckley

Fr. Basil MacCabe, Superior of Silverstream Priory.