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Brother Ambrose Fryer removed from ministry at Subiaco

Subiaco monk was a teacher in Louisiana before moving to Arkansas abbey in 2017

Published: February 27, 2024   

Subiaco Abbey announced Feb. 23 that Brother Ambrose Fryer, OSB, was removed from active ministry.

Abbot Elijah Owens, OSB, said in a statement posted on, “In recent months Brother Ambrose Fryer had been experiencing anxiety and stress due to what he reported was dealing with the deteriorating health of his parents and sister. As is sometimes common with people who are struggling with unusual pressures — monks, included — there were aspects of life that both Brother Ambrose and I recognized required the attention of trained medical, mental health and wellness professionals. 

“Brother Ambrose agreed to take a time-out and work with the team of experts at St. John Vianney Center in Downingtown, Pa. Since 1946, Vianney Center has focused its health care ministry on Catholic clergy and men and women religious who are experiencing emotional challenges and who need holistic help and residential treatment.”  

Brother Ambrose entered the center in mid-January and completed his evaluation and assessment at Vianney Center, the abbot said. 

“For many reasons, including both canonically and civilly, I am constrained under these laws in what I can share with all of you,” he said. “What I can write is that as a result of what was learned from Brother Ambrose in the treatment process, the medical professionals at Vianney Center — as mandated reporters of child abuse — made reports about Brother Ambrose in Pennsylvania (where the center is located) and in Louisiana.” 

The abbot said the abbey has no information of a child associated with Subiaco Academy or Subiaco Abbey being harmed by Brother Ambrose.

“Brother Ambrose has been adamant that he has never abused a minor while a monk of Subiaco Abbey,” the abbot said. “However, with this new information from the Vianney Center and out of an abundance of caution, our Office of Child Protection also voluntarily made a report to the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline.

“Moving forward, the civil authorities in Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Arkansas will take whatever action they feel is necessary. I and the abbey will fully cooperate with them. And, I want to make known that the abbey will not interfere with their investigations.”

Born John Thomas Fryer in 1972, the Benedictine monk lived most of his life in Louisiana where he entered as a seminarian for the Diocese of Alexandria when he was 19. He attended St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, La., in 1990 and after graduation in 1994 he enrolled at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. After leaving the seminary, he worked at Holy Savior Menard Central High School from 1997-2001 and 2005-2017 and St. Rita School from 2001-2005, both in Alexandria.

Fryer came to Subiaco Abbey Sept. 1, 2017, at the age of 45. He made simple vows as a monk Feb. 2, 2019, taking the religious name of Brother Ambrose. He made his final solemn profession Dec. 21, 2021. 

Abbot Elijah said updates on the investigation will be posted on

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