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Today, Rev. Thomas Andert was removed as Prior at St. John’s Abbey , according to a statement from the Abbey spokesperson:

We asked Father Andert to step back from public ministry and from his work until an investigation is completed

  • Andert, who was ordained in 1975.
  • President of Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in St. Louis Park from 1981 to 1987
  • Was associate pastor at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Parish in St. Louis Park.
  • He was headmaster of St. John’s Preparatory School from 1988 to 1994.
  • He also served as the academic advising director for St. John’s University

MPR reported that:

The decision to remove Andert as the prior of the monastery came in response to a letter sent earlier this month from a former student at Saint John’s Preparatory School,

The spokesperson went further to say that the allegations were old and seemed to indicate that they were new claims.  The Minneapolis Tribune included in their report:

Former monk Richard Sipe, chairman of the abbey’s Interfaith Sex and Trauma Institute in 1995 and 1996, said that a student reported to him at the time that Andert was sexually abusing him. Sipes said he reported it to then-Abbott Timothy Kelley, “who dismissed it.’’

Sipe, who has been a consultant or expert witness on more than 200 cases of sex abuse against minors, said he was baffled as to why the abbey was removing Andert at this time. The abbey has had “well documented” evidence about the abuse of the other student for years, including letters from Andert to the young man.

That young man committed suicide in December, he said.

There are many questions here including:

What did they know?

When did they know it?

Why did they act now?

It is important that the message keep getting out and that those who give voice to disclosure continue to be supported and representatives of the Church truly practice a policy of zero tolerance. Secrecy and nondisclosure is what this festering scab does not need.Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.


  1. Gravatar for Elizabeth M

    After multiple battles with Major Depression throught my adult life with thoughts of suicide I finally confronted the clergy sexual abuse i sustained. I was lied to and told by the College he attended in NY on a student visa for his degree in pastoral counseling, "they found no one by that name during that time frame" I wanted to die, but when I came back with his Obituary and their college name, they told me "they did another search and found him" My spelling was off by one letter ! How many victims have to commit suicide to end the pain?

  2. One is to many. Your story is so true with the way they have "missed things" over time and continue to find old files. Thank you for reading and the comment.

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