Montville Catholic School Up For Auction as Part of Diocese Sex Abuse Settlement


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MONTVILLE — The St. Bernard School property is scheduled to be sold at auction on June 2 as part of a mediated settlement between the Diocese of Norwich and attorneys representing nearly 150 individuals who claim sexual abuse at the hands of diocese employees. 

“The Diocese is seeking to sell the Property at auction in connection with a plan of reorganization to help create a pool of cash to fund a trust that will make distributions to individuals who have asserted claims for alleged sexual abuse against the Diocese,” reads a court document requesting approval for the sale.  

In January, the diocese stated the sale of the 113.19-acre property that houses the current 6-12 school – along with contributions from 51 individual parishes in the area, the sale of the St. Mary’s property in Jewett City, and the sale of the Xavier High School property in Middletown — would go toward a $29 million trust fund for the victims. 

The diocese declared bankruptcy in 2021 after receiving 60 claims of sexual abuse alleged to have occurred at the former boys residential school Mount Saint John in Deep River. Since then, a total of 142 individuals have made claims.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut approved the auction plan this week. The plan was originally requested in April. 

The new owner will be required to enter into a 10-year lease with the school, allowing it to remain open. The school would pay $1 per year. 

According to court documents filed April 5, the diocese has spoken with two interested bidders – Thames River Acquisition, LLC and Saints Country, LLC. Both originally offered about $6 million for the property, but expressed willingness to go higher at auction. 

Interested bidders must submit written bids by 4 p.m. on May 26. The auction is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 2, with a court hearing for approval of the sale on June 7.

Emilia Otte

Emilia Otte covers health and education for the Connecticut Examiner. In 2022 Otte was awarded "Rookie of the Year," by the New England Newspaper & Press Association.