Religious sisters found to have stolen money from Redondo Beach Catholic school

Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet misappropriated funds for their personal use over a period of years while working at St. James School; order promises to reimburse the school

St. James Catholic School’s former principal, Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper, and former teacher Sister Lana Chang. (image from KTLA5)

An internal investigation by a Redondo Beach Catholic parish has found that two longtime nuns who worked at the St. James School misappropriated a “substantial” amount of school funds for their personal use over a period of years, according to a letter sent to school families Wednesday.

Msgr. Michael Meyers, the pastor at St. James Catholic Church, said in the letter that the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the nuns’ order, is cooperating with the parish and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to determine exactly how much money was taken by the school’s former principal, Sister Mary Margaret Kreuper, and former teacher Sister Lana Chang.

Kreuper retired at the end of the 2017-18 school year after nearly 29 years as principal, according to a church newsletter and a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Chang was an eighth-grade teacher for about 20 years and served as vice principal for the last several years, archdiocese spokeswoman Adrian Marquez Alarcon said. Chang retired at the same time as Kreuper.

Meyers said in the letter to parents that the matter came to light during financial reviews that followed a change in leadership at the school. Other staff members were not implicated or responsible, he wrote.

The sisters’ order has agreed to fully reimburse the school and is imposing “appropriate” penalties and sanctions against each of the nuns in accordance with the order’s policies.

The archdiocese declined to pursue criminal charges against Kreuper and Chang with the Torrance Police Department and opted instead to handle the matter internally, Meyers said.

Full story at The LA Times.

Comments

  1. Financial review after change in leadership after 29 YEARS? That’s a joke. I believe there should be serious annual reviews. In God we trust, all others we audit.
    Fortunately, most clergy and nuns are honest. The few besmirch the good name of the many.

  2. Anonymous in L.A. says:

    Technically speaking, the title of the article is misleading. The two individuals are “sisters”, who are with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet.

    As “sisters” they are involved in various social justice issues and other ministries outside of their residences. On the other hand, “nuns” live a cloistered life of prayer and spiritual devotion, isolated from the outside world for the most part.

    The Congregation’s Mother House for the Los Angeles Province is located on Chalon Road, adjacent to Mt. St. Mary’s University, in the hills above Brentwood.

    As an aside, has anyone speculated whether they may have had a “closer” relationship? Sort of like the relationships in the male “network”, in violation of the…

    • Thank you- the title has been updated.

      • Anonymous says:

        The CSJ are not cloistered nuns. They are hard working women who serve those in need. To infer anything else clearly infers you do not have a true handle on the Catholic Church. Further, your other inference is VERY insulting. Would you say the same thing had they been business professional women who were accused of theft?

    • Steve Seitz says:

      Anonymous in L.A.
      Regarding the “closer” relationship issue, the same thought crossed my mind, especially since they were guilty of the same crime and retiring at the same time. However, I don’t think such a judgment is appropriate considering that the evidence could point to many different scenarios that don’t support the allegation.

      In other words, I wouldn’t have mentioned it.

      • Anonymous in L.A says:

        Steve,

        Thanks for the feedback. Just one point though: I did make eitjer a judgment or a factual assertion. Rather, it was a speculative question which should be pursued by whatever investigation conducted by the Los Angeles Province.

    • John Higgins says:

      Good catch!

  3. Warren Memlib says:

    “What’s good for the gander (priestly pilferers) is good for the goose (sisterly stealers)!”

    • Anonymous in L.A says:

      You miss the point. This latest scandal shows that such improper behavior has infected the Church at all levels.

  4. Amen, Steve S. Absent proof, why mention it?

    • It should be mentioned because ot is an obvious question to ask.

    • Anonymous in L.A says:

      The manner on which their relationship was reported shows a long-term one of at least 20 years. It stands to reason to question whether the nature of the relationship was merely superior and subordonate, or was there a deeper relationship.

      Remember, no accusation was made. However, it would be naive to ignore the possibility of an improper relationship, given the toletance of improper behavior among ordained male clergy.

  5. William Robert says:

    How much money did these sisters steal from the education of elementary age children? What did these sisters use the money for? Will the corruption in our Church never end? These sisters are criminals and should have been charged and prosecuted. The diocese has chosen to handle this crime in a manner similar to that applied to many of the sex abuse cases. “Lock them up!”

  6. Lou Varini says:

    Hete is the official response from the CSJ Los Angeles province:

    https://csjcarondelet.org/statement-regarding-financial-misconduct-by-sisters/

  7. According to the official statement from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Los Angeles Province, the province “desires and intends” to make full restitution.

    The language is equivocal. Wouldn’t it be better to definitively state that the province “will” make restitution?

    Full statement here:

    https://csjla.org

    • Cdl. Woolsey says:

      Maybe the Congregat of St. Joseph of Carondelet is equivocal because the full extent of the financial misappropriation gas to be determined.

      Once determined and assuming that there is fidelity bond coverage, the Congregation can contribute whatever is not covered by insurance.

  8. helen wheels says:

    From the picture, how can you
    tell they’re “sisters ?”

  9. They’ll just go to confession and it’s all taken care of. Wiped off their souls. God’s mercy is beautiful.

  10. Frank Johnson says:

    So, basically, they stole a bunch of money and got away with it.
    Nice work, if you can get it.

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