Monk at Goochland abbey faces allegations

GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) – A Catholic monk working at the abbey where Benedictine High School students are set to move has been let go amidst allegations of inappropriate behavior.  Those incidents allegedly took place during Father Luke Travers' time at a Benedictine school in New Jersey.

Locally, abbey officials told NBC12 effective immediately, the accused monk does not live at the Goochland abbey, will no longer be its administrator nor visit the property.

Travers was brought in two years ago to deal with financial issues as the administrator of Mary Mother of the Church Abbey.

We've confirmed Father Luke Travers' abbey in Morristown, New Jersey, is conducting an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior.  He returned to New Jersey to defend himself against those claims.

NBC12 spoke with Benedictine High School Headmaster Jesse Grapes, who said he just learned about the Travers issue Wednesday.  He told us: "My priority is safety of the students.  So I think that is the appropriate decision that he not visit or live there in the future."

It is important to note, Father Luke did not have any position at the school.  In fact, we've found out during his time in Richmond, he was on restrictive service with contact limited to administration, not students and only to the sacramental and professional needs of monks of the abbey.

The president of the national organization of Benedictine monks said they've already chosen a successor at the abbey.

We also contacted the Morris County New Jersey Prosecutor's Office to confirm any criminal investigation or charges, but our calls were not returned. The Catholic Diocese of Richmond said Travers has no ministry with them.

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