Author Topic: Anyone know anything about Taylor Marshall or New Saint Thomas Institute?  (Read 7944 times)

Offline jim111

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http://newsaintthomas.com
Was thinking about joining but I was wondering if he is a pure Thomas, or if he clung to some errors. I heard he was asked to teach at Fishermore so that is a good sign. He claims to be traditional.
 
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Offline Lynne

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Re: Anyone know anything about Taylor Marshall or New Saint Thomas Institute?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 02:11:40 PM »
He was the Chancellor at Fisher More and helped destroy it.
In conclusion, I can leave you with no better advice than that given after every sermon by Msgr Vincent Giammarino, who was pastor of St Michael’s Church in Atlantic City in the 1950s:

    “My dear good people: Do what you have to do, When you’re supposed to do it, The best way you can do it,   For the Love of God. Amen.”
 

Offline jim111

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Re: Anyone know anything about Taylor Marshall or New Saint Thomas Institute?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2014, 02:13:44 PM »
He was the Chancellor at Fisher More and helped destroy it.
How and why? I never understood what happened there.
 

Offline Lynne

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Re: Anyone know anything about Taylor Marshall or New Saint Thomas Institute?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 02:18:29 PM »
Here's the background...

http://amongtheruins2.blogspot.com/

Quote
Open Letter on Fisher More, Part 1
OPEN LETTER TO A FRIEND ABOUT FISHER MORE COLLEGE


…And so, Montjoy, fare you well.
The sum of all our answer is but this:
We would not seek a battle as we are,
Nor, as we are, we say we will not shun it:
So tell your master.
                        --Henry V, Act 3


March 7, 2014
St. Thos. Aquinas, ora pro nobis

Dear Cordelia,

I received your email a few days ago; sorry I couldn’t respond right away.  It’s been a while since we’ve talked, so you didn’t know that I stepped down from the Board of Visitors of Fisher More College.  In January, I resigned because my personal circumstances made it impossible to devote meaningful financial support and impossible to devote adequate time to the College at a critical point in its life.  I still believe in the mission of the College and admire the sacrifices the Kings and others have made for the apostolate, and (unlike just about everyone else, it seems) walked away on good terms.  While I didn’t have much hope for the College's future when I stepped down—there were too many practical obstacles to overcome in my view—I didn’t anticipate this particular storm.

Who would have thought that a pastoral Bishop appointed by humble Pope Francis would do something so brash and…let’s just say it: so stupid…in the very first month of his reign?  I don’t even think the worst Mahony-ite modernist like Bishop Tod Brown would have tried such a thing.  But Bishop Olson did.

I haven’t read all the excrement that’s out there on the web—I have a lot of things going at work and at home that are more important than reading two thousand comments by ignoramuses who have never lifted a finger to do the real work of the Church, but are happy to exercise all ten of them typing calumny and innuendo on the blogs.  But I took a fair sampling of what’s out there a couple of nights ago, and I’ve received a few updates here and there, so I think I can address some of the fundamental issues.  I’ll also touch on a few of the trivial issues that are too assinine to pass without comment.  You’ll forgive me if don’t use names except for those who have thrust themselves into the public eye by their own statements.  You might be able to guess who I’m talking about even without names.  So be it.

Disclosure of the Letter.  You wondered why the Bishop’s letter was made public.  Well, how could it not be?  It wasn’t a personal letter to Michael King about him and his family.  Nor was it part of any sort of confidential negotiation with the College.  It was a letter making a definitive administrative pronouncement concerning the public liturgical life of the College by an Ordinary.  Nothing private about that, whatsoever (despite the diocesan spokeslady’s—or spokesman’s?—ludicrous assertion that it was somehow private). 

Canonical Status of Chaplains. You asked if the College really was having canonically irregular priests say their Masses.  The answer is no.  All chaplains were approved by the Diocese of Fort Worth and all our fill-ins (who were very often visiting friends from the FSSP) were in good standing.  Yes, I may presume that Fr. Gruner celebrated private Mass there when he visited, but Fr. Gruner gave evidence that he is incardinated in the Diocese of Hyderabad, and in all the years of Gruner-bashing, no one has ever produced the document that supposedly suspended him.  I’m told that a priest from the SSPX visited the College a couple of times, and that’s no surprise, because throughout the College’s history, a small minority of Fisher More students came from their chapels.  They were always welcome as fellow Catholics, and in the last few years they began to engage fully in the liturgical life of the College, which they hadn’t done in the years before Michael arrived.  The SSPX priest was welcome to visit privately, of course.  But neither the SSPX nor any other priest lacking canonically regular faculties ever celebrated the sacraments in our chapel. That leaves only the Gruner issue, and if somebody shows Michael an official document having the force of law that suspends Fr. Gruner, and it’s dated after his last good standing letter from his diocese, I’ll bet Michael will admit he was mistaken.  Don’t waste his time with a snippet from an Ed Peters blog post or an interview comment or informal statement by a curial official.  Show him the real thing.

The EF Mass at St. Mary.  You asked if we were trying to encroach upon the Latin Mass community at St. Mary of the Assumption.  The College made no effort to form its chapel into a pseudo-parish in competition with the community at St. Mary.  Everyone was welcome at Mass, of course, and since it was the only daily Mass in Fort Worth in the vetus ordo, quite a few folks did come.  And some folks preferred Mass on Sunday morning to the evening Mass at St. Mary. Who can blame them for that?  If anything, the College hoped for a closer relationship with the St. Mary community, but that was frustrated by the diocese and the Mater Dei priests in Dallas (Irving).  The one problem we had in that regard was a short-lived web page set up without authorization by an FSSP priest then in residence.  It was ordered taken down as soon as it became known to the College administration and his FSSP superiors, and that is certainly part of the reason that priest is no longer with the College.

Relations with the Fraternity of St. Peter.  Speaking of recalls, the FSSP didn’t recall their priest because of the College’s direction.  There are internal issues with the FSSP involved, and the estrangement from the two Dallas FSSP priests really started months before the infamous Dudley speech and had more to do with their personal opinions and internal FSSP politics than with the College or Michael King.  I shouldn’t give any more specifics on that topic right now, but I will say from witnessing at least three recent experiences unconnected to the College that the FSSP superiors haven’t been the greatest managers of their personnel and their apostolates.  The chaplaincy issue was the FSSP’s fourth or fifth major botch-up that I have personal knowledge of.  I’m not saying that the FSSP’s mistakes at Fisher More are a primary cause of the issues they’re dealing with right now, but I don’t want you to think their hands are entirely clean, either.  I can elaborate on those other issues when we see each other next, but there’s no benefit in elaborating on them in an open letter.

The "Big Problems." You asked what the “big problems” were with the College.  The College is indeed beset with problems.  The most fundamental problems were bad hiring and retention decisions that were made in the last three years.  For that, we do have to look primarily to Michael, but I sadly share some direct responsibility for the worst of them, which was the retention of Taylor Marshall. The others were financial difficulties and the typical Traddie sins.

Here’s how it came about:  bear with me as I give you some background.

Deep History.  Contrary to comments some disgruntled Patrick-era students and staff, Michael didn’t give up his comfortable job at Benedictine College only to teach at half-pay as a Fellow of the College and to raise money.  He was brought in as the intended successor to the College’s founder, who was in his 70s.  The truth is that the College was moribund in 2010.  There were only a handful of full-time students, serious financial problems, serious morale problems, no campus life, and no guarantee that the College would make it through the 2010-2011 school year.   In 30 years, the school never had more than a couple dozen residential students at any one time, and numbers were dwindling.  The physical plant consisted of a half-dozen converted houses, run down apartments and some outbuildings on less than one city block.  There was a fairly new chapel built in a modern style on one corner, but the rest of the campus was a shambles.  On my first visit a few months after Michael started, I saw trash everywhere.  The buildings were in disorder.  The student body and faculty didn’t regularly attend daily Mass. I was shocked that Michael had taken on the job of cleaning up the mess.  Even if he could attract more students, there was no place to house them, as the accommodations were substandard and limited, and with the campus being completely surrounded by Texas Christian University, and there was no possibility of obtaining adjacent land for construction of new buildings.  Michael spent his first year working through the financial issues that had to be addressed before serious fundraising could begin, which put him at odds with Dr. Patrick, but at the same time he struck upon a plan that gave the College time to recover and relocate.   



The College wasn’t in any position to attract substantial donors for 2011-2012.  As I mentioned, a cursory investigation by a potential benefactor would see that were almost no students, almost no faculty, significant debt (in comparison to the college revenues) and no formal program in place for recovery and growth.  So Michael’s plan was to buy time by refinancing the debt and borrowing a year’s operating budget from a prominent Fort Worth Catholic family, pledging the entire Campus as collateral.  Despite its condition, the Campus was highly valuable property due to its proximity to TCU, and because the loan would be for a little more than a third of the Campus value, there was virtually no risk to the lender.  In fact, there would have been some tremendous upside to the lender if the College failed and they foreclosed.  If Michael had not negotiated that loan, the College would have folded before the 2011-2012 school year.

....continued in Part 2
In conclusion, I can leave you with no better advice than that given after every sermon by Msgr Vincent Giammarino, who was pastor of St Michael’s Church in Atlantic City in the 1950s:

    “My dear good people: Do what you have to do, When you’re supposed to do it, The best way you can do it,   For the Love of God. Amen.”
 

Offline Lynne

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Re: Anyone know anything about Taylor Marshall or New Saint Thomas Institute?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2014, 02:23:20 PM »
Sorry, that was background on the school itself, not Taylor Marshall...

Quote
  Hiring Taylor Marshall.  And so entered Taylor Marshall.   As with Daddy’s story, I’m not telling you or anyone else about Dr. Marshall just to score some points in detraction.  I have been silent until now.  Last spring I personally told Dr. Marshall that I and the other Visitors would keep quiet about his tenure at the College and the circumstances of his departure unless he made it necessary to speak out in defense of the College.  I did my part, and held my tongue when many fathers asked me about the Scouts of Saint George.  But Dr. Marshall has made it necessary to clear the air, and I intend to do so more completely than Michael King did in his too-charitable public statement.

Bringing in Dr. Marshall as Dean in January 2012 was risky, as the ink wasn’t dry on his Ph.D., he was a recent convert to Catholicism, and his attachment to tradition was even more recent. But we didn’t have a lot of options, or a lot of time, and Dr. Marshall was highly recommended by a traditional priest who was an erstwhile friend of the College.  Well, Dr. Marshall was a popular teacher in his two or three classes each semester (as was his predecessor), but he largely neglected the mundane administrative tasks he was supposed to be performing in the other 30 + hours of the work week, instead devoting his time to self-publishing non-academic books and to becoming a celebrity blogger.  Michael and the Visitors who were seriously engaged with the College weren’t entirely happy, but we thought that after the Schutzmann debacle, we needed to tolerate and try to redirect it for the sake of continuity, and for the promise we thought Dr. Marshall held as a fundraiser.  We obviously put too much value on continuity and misjudged his willingness to help with fundraising.

The Promotion of Taylor Marshall.  After his first semester—I don’t have the precise date in my head, but it was in the summer of 2012—the Dr. Marshall told us he had a better job offer in Montana or Wyoming or somewhere like that, and he threatened to break his contract just before the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester.  Michael found out what he wanted in order to make him stay.  In my gut, I knew giving the title "Chancellor" to a newly minted PhD in his 30s with only one semester under his belt was a bad idea.  But again, for the sake of continuity, I worked with Michael to retain him, supporting him to get the title of “Chancellor,” to be relieved of his paperwork duties as Dean, and to pay him a salary substantially higher than any other staff member (including Michael).  Mea culpa.

The Departure of Taylor Marshall.  We should have seen it coming.  He certainly used the “Chancellor” title to promote himself early on, but through the 2012-2013 school year, he became increasingly disengaged and disgruntled.  He (and a couple of Michael’s other bad hires) contributed to more delay in finalizing our “Statement of the Apostolate,” which was an elaboration of our mission statement and our plan for the future of the College, and therefore a delay in kicking off our fundraising campaign, which didn’t really start in earnest until after he left.  And in his role as Dean and as Chancellor, Dr. Marshall didn’t much engage or even get along with his fellow faculty members.  He wasn’t comfortable dealing with legitimate disagreements in academic and ecclesiastical matters, and he didn’t show any leadership with the younger faculty (although he was one of the younger faculty himself).  He had one foot out the door long before the speech that he claims such pious indignation about.  And at the end of the spring semester, Dr. Marshall resigned.   I read some of the laudatory comments he garnered for himself up on his Facebook page about his courage in resigning (Oh, Dr. Marshall, you’re sooooo brave and soooo principled! Such an inspiration!).  To my wife's relief, I managed not to vomit on our carpet.  But I know the truth about his departure, because I was directly involved. The Board took the decision out of Michael’s hands, and I was one of the point men in the discussions at the end of Dr. Marshall’s tenure (it only being fair that I clean up the mess I had helped make).  It seemed that Dr. Marshall was trying to get fired so he could play the victim, and it was explicit that he wanted a substantial severance (he asked for full year’s pay) in exchange for his cooperative resignation, but it didn’t work.   At one point in my discussions with Dr. Marshall, I floated the idea that the Board should keep him and enforce his contract, but he said he wouldn’t accept that.  When we didn’t agree to a big payout, he accused us of doing injustice to him and his family, but of course, he’s the one that chose to disengage himself and finally quit, and it would have been a far graver injustice to divert almost $100,000 that we needed to pay the remaining staff (who would keep working on austerity pay) so that a narcissistic self-promoter didn’t have to give up his expensive tea.  We had paid him for a year and a half to blog and self-publish books in neglect of his administrative work, and, and even with what he's been doing since, I’m gratified that (despite our other mistakes) the Board didn’t seriously consider paying him for another year without even the pretense of working for the College whatsoever. To do so would have been an injustice…even if the College could have afforded such a payment.

And I’m also satisfied with the fact that we didn’t give in to blackmail.

Yes, blackmail.  Dr. Marshall told Michael that if we paid him that big severance he would say conciliatory things about the College when asked, but if we didn’t, he’d make sure the world knew how wicked we were.  It was a dumb move on his part, and what’s even dumber, he left an electronic trail.  He texted Michael over the course of three or four days reiterating his ultimatums and threats: messages such as “Your time is running out!”  As I mentioned, we told Dr. Marshall that we would not talk about our dissatisfaction with him unless it was necessary to counter trouble he created for the College, and in light of his conduct, we warned him that his attacks on the College—even if we didn’t respond to them—would naturally have a more negative effect on his own cherished reputation as a celebrity blogger than it would on the College’s, or Michael’s, or mine.

Well, although Dr. Marshall didn’t follow through as Dean or Chancellor, it seems that he did follow through with his threat of calumny the College, which was his dumbest move yet.  We now know he has conducted a murmuring campaign and orchestrated problems for us ever since, spreading disaffection among remaining staff members and students.  It appears that he worked to drive a wedge between Michael and the couple that ran Fisher More Academy (the high school).  It appears that he worked hand-in-hand with one of the disaffected Dallas FSSP priests to arrange secret meetings to organize a revolt among certain picked students…excluding others that weren’t deemed reliable.  And we’re pretty sure he was in Msgr. Berg’s and Bp. Olson’s ears, too, and filled those ears up to the point that they weren’t willing to hear anything to the contrary from Michael.  I'm sure that Dr. Marshall's will answer that it was his Godly duty to warn everyone.  Yeah, whatever.  And it wouldn’t have been if we’d stroked that big check?  If you haven't heard that sort of “I have a duty to warn” talk from one self-righteous prig or another before, you've been living under a rock.

So yes, bad hiring is the College’s biggest problem, and Michael is primarily to blame for being too quick to hire and too slow to fire, but I share in the responsibility for exacerbating the situation on the very worst hire Michael made.  In retrospect, Michael and I should have packed Dr. Marshall’s office for when I was down there for meetings in August 2012, rather than bent over backwards to keep him.  Mea maxima culpa.

In conclusion, I can leave you with no better advice than that given after every sermon by Msgr Vincent Giammarino, who was pastor of St Michael’s Church in Atlantic City in the 1950s:

    “My dear good people: Do what you have to do, When you’re supposed to do it, The best way you can do it,   For the Love of God. Amen.”
 

Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: Anyone know anything about Taylor Marshall or New Saint Thomas Institute?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2014, 02:28:21 PM »
I wouldnt trust taylor marshall after the FMC debacle.

Hes hardly trad.

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Offline Maximilian

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Re: Anyone know anything about Taylor Marshall or New Saint Thomas Institute?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2014, 02:54:57 PM »

http://newsaintthomas.com
Was thinking about joining but I was wondering if he is a pure Thomas, or if he clung to some errors. I heard he was asked to teach at Fishermore so that is a good sign. He claims to be traditional.

This is beyond outrageous that he would deliberately set out to destroy the institution for which he was hired, and then decide to create a new one of his own to take their place.
 

Offline rbjmartin

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Re: Anyone know anything about Taylor Marshall or New Saint Thomas Institute?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2014, 03:02:27 PM »
As a rule of thumb, I steer clear of all institutions run by "professional Catholics." The Faith, the sacraments, good spiritual reading, and good clergy are enough for me.
 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Anyone know anything about Taylor Marshall or New Saint Thomas Institute?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2014, 03:47:52 PM »
As a rule of thumb, I steer clear of all institutions run by "professional Catholics." The Faith, the sacraments, good spiritual reading, and good clergy are enough for me.

But I was gonna offer you a special rate for my upcoming online-only course on integrating gun collecting with theological studies. I mean, you'll even get a PDF certificate that you could print out and hang on the wall above your gunsafe/bookshelf! (https://www.ar-15.co/threads/135587-Secret-gun-storage-hidden-in-plain-sight). You'll learn such things as the integration of Faith (knife), Hope (pistol), and Charity (rifle) into your daily life, selling your cloak to buy a sword, etc.


http://newsaintthomas.com
Was thinking about joining but I was wondering if he is a pure Thomas, or if he clung to some errors. I heard he was asked to teach at Fishermore so that is a good sign. He claims to be traditional.

This is beyond outrageous that he would deliberately set out to destroy the institution for which he was hired, and then decide to create a new one of his own to take their place.

I don't get the impression that the NSTI is a replacement for Fisher More College. They offer a certificate which basically means nothing. Seems to me that Dr. Marshall is just trying to pay bills and perhaps teach along the way.

At most this offers a more systematic look at modern problems through the lens of St. Thomas as interpreted by Dr. Marshall and others. That may or may not be good, depending on multiple factors.

But my question is where does philosophy figure into this? The ability to argue philosophically is paramount but based on a cursory look at the curriculum there isn't instruction is that as a first step. Perhaps it's integrated or something. Seems like a quick way to know a lot of nothing.
"And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we are ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?" - St. Maximilian Kolbe

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Offline rbjmartin

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Re: Anyone know anything about Taylor Marshall or New Saint Thomas Institute?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2014, 04:14:33 PM »
As a rule of thumb, I steer clear of all institutions run by "professional Catholics." The Faith, the sacraments, good spiritual reading, and good clergy are enough for me.

But I was gonna offer you a special rate for my upcoming online-only course on integrating gun collecting with theological studies. I mean, you'll even get a PDF certificate that you could print out and hang on the wall above your gunsafe/bookshelf! (https://www.ar-15.co/threads/135587-Secret-gun-storage-hidden-in-plain-sight). You'll learn such things as the integration of Faith (knife), Hope (pistol), and Charity (rifle) into your daily life, selling your cloak to buy a sword, etc.

I might make an exception for this.
 

Offline Chestertonian

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Re: Anyone know anything about Taylor Marshall or New Saint Thomas Institute?
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2014, 06:27:05 PM »
As a rule of thumb, I steer clear of all institutions run by "professional Catholics." The Faith, the sacraments, good spiritual reading, and good clergy are enough for me.

But I was gonna offer you a special rate for my upcoming online-only course on integrating gun collecting with theological studies. I mean, you'll even get a PDF certificate that you could print out and hang on the wall above your gunsafe/bookshelf! (https://www.ar-15.co/threads/135587-Secret-gun-storage-hidden-in-plain-sight). You'll learn such things as the integration of Faith (knife), Hope (pistol), and Charity (rifle) into your daily life, selling your cloak to buy a sword, etc.

I might make an exception for this.

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