Benedictine monks will not fund Benet Academy after recent “events”

LISLE, IL – The Benedictine monks at the abbey that founded the Benet Academy more than 120 years ago have announced that it will be parting ways with the Catholic school in Lisle after the school hired a lacrosse trainer who is part of a same-sex marriage, school officials said on Tuesday.

In a letter sent Tuesday by Benet Academy chancellor Abbott Austin Murphy, the school announced that St. Procopius Abbey had decided after “much deliberation” that it no longer had the resources to govern and supervise the school.

The letter cited “events of the past few months” but did not specifically mention the hiring of Amanda Kammes, who is married to a woman and was hired by the school under pressure last fall. The abbey said recent events have given the monks the opportunity to consider their future relationship with the Benet Academy.

At the time, Murphy said he was “deeply troubled” by Benet’s decision to hire Kammes, which he said “calls into question (the school’s) adherence to doctrines of the Catholic faith. “.

In the letter sent on Tuesday, school officials said new alternatives for school sponsorship will be sought and the abbey will continue its governance role in the meantime.

“The aim is for the Benet Academy to continue to operate with an emphasis on academic excellence and Catholic identity within the Benedictine tradition,” said the letter, which was published by Murphy and the president of the Benet Academy Dennis Flynn.

NBC Chicago reported that St. Procopius Abbey is a major donor to the school and provided at least $ 50,000 to the school during the 2019-2020 school year, the station reported.

School officials are committed to keeping community members and parents informed as they seek new sponsorship for the school following the abbey’s decision.

“Contrary to some reports circulating in the media earlier today, we know of our unwavering commitment to ensuring that the Academy will maintain its Catholic identity, in the Benedictine tradition, for years to come,” said the director of the Stephen Marth school in a statement released Tuesday. . “A committee made up of representatives from the Diocese of Joliet, the American Congregation of Benedictines of Cassines, the Board of Trustees of Benet and the school administration is expected to work together to make this important process a success.

Benet Academy came under fire in September when it canceled an offer to coach Kammes’ women’s lacrosse after she listed his wife as an emergency contact in her onboarding documents. After outcry from students, staff and community members, Benet Academy again offered Kammes the job, which she accepted.

The job offer was made after Benet students and other supporters gathered outside the school to protest Benet’s decision to cancel the original job offer. At the time, the school issued the following statement regarding its decision.

“The Benet Academy respects the dignity of all human beings to follow their conscience and live the life of their choice,” the statement read. “Likewise, as a Catholic school, we employ people whose lives manifest the essential teachings of the Church in order to ensure the education and formation in the faith of the young people entrusted to us.

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