Message to Delbarton Parents and Students

On January 23, 2012, a letter (shown below) was sent to Delbarton parent and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. It was also sent to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò in Washington, DC. Included in the envelope was “The Richmond Letter” (available Here).  Both offices signed for the letter. Today, three weeks later, there has been no response.

The intent of the letter was, and the intent of this message is, to serve as a warning to all members of the Delbarton community.

Since the abuse scandal broke a decade ago, the leadership at the abbey has relied of your trust, understanding, forgiveness and faith. They have done so, however, without telling you the truth.

Lawyers, public relations experts and wordsmiths have replaced those with a conscience and a desire to protect.

Those among you with a conscience and a desire to protect (and heal) must demand — in the spirit of the school’s motto, “Cut down, it grows back stronger ” — that those who participated in misconduct and those who covered up misconduct by others be held accountable.

Words will not solve this problem, nor will quoting Saint Benedict [ More ]. Discounting courageous victims is a tactic employed by cowards [ More ]. Intimidation may have worked in the past [ More ], before information and ideas were shared at Internet speed. Today, we know better.

Demand full disclosure. You deserve nothing less.

You should expect nothing less.


Letter to Governor Chris Christie

January 23, 2012

Governor Chris Christie
Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

Governor Christie,

Enclosed please find a copy of “The Richmond Letter”, a document I sent to Bishop DiLorenzo from the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia on January 10, 2012. The document served as a warning to the diocese regarding Rev. Luke Travers from St. Mary’s Abbey in Morristown, New Jersey.

This letter serves as similar warning to you and all former, current and future parents of students at Delbarton School.

The Richmond Letter describes not only misconduct by Rev. Travers but misconduct by others within Delbarton/St. Mary’s community as well.

Recent articles in the Star-Ledger and elsewhere (see for a full list of news articles) tell the story of Rev. Travers’ alleged misconduct, “mistakes” that were made by the leadership at St. Mary’s, and false statements made by abbey-commissioned investigators and spokespersons.

My research suggests that Rev. Luke Travers has been molesting young men for over twenty years. Other monks, as well as lay personnel employed by Delbarton School, also have credible allegations of misconduct against them.

When did the misconduct stop? I am not sure that it has.

You wear many hats. With each hat is a new set of responsibilities. I am calling on you — as a parent, husband, lawyer, and governor — to put an end to deceptive, destructive, and disingenuous practices employed by the leadership at St. Mary’s Abbey and Delbarton School.

Abbot Giles Hayes has been aware of Rev. Travers’ “heinous, evil, sick” interaction with young men for some time. Despite this knowledge, and an active investigation, Abbot Giles allowed Rev. Travers access to vulnerable individuals. When called on his “mistake”, Abbot Giles minimized Rev. Travers’ misconduct.

In a January 13, 2012 email to alumni, Giles referred to Travers’ misconduct as a “minor boundary allegation”. Similar minimization occurred during an all-school assembly at Delbarton the same day.

St. Mary’s Abbey and Delbarton’s well-organized and finely polished legal and public relations teams have managed to keep this “family secret” out of the public eye for decades.

As the community’s spiritual leader, the abbot’s hands should not be tied by such bureaucracy. He shouldn’t require multiple handlers to do what is best for his community… or to reach out to victims.

In an email dated Saturday, January 14, 2012, Abbot Giles told me would “certainly change on Tuesday anything that is not in my heart regarding victims first, heinous nature of sexual misconduct, gravity of the offense.”

By Tuesday the 17th, Abbot Giles had changed nothing.

Now, almost a week later, there has been no direction (other than the misdirection provided on January 13th) provided to the Delbarton community by its spiritual leader.

It is up to you and the parents of other Delbarton students to demand leadership and accountability. In the absence of leadership, you must demand change. There has been no leadership.

I request that you (and your many hats) take immediate action to:

1. Ensure the safety of all members of the Delbarton community
2. Hold perpetrators of misconduct accountable
3. Hold all who covered up misconduct accountable
4. Allow victims to be heard in a respectful manner
5. Request a special prosecutor be assigned to conduct interviews and review abbey personnel files, Abbey Review Board notes, and Delbarton School files for any indication of conspiracy, deception, corruption and intimidation.

I look forward to your immediate response.


Patrick J Marker
Circle Path Media, LLC
PO 39
Mount Vernon, WA 98273


H.E. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò
3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC, USA 20008-3687