SISS St. Isaac Orthodox School (Boscobel WI)

St. Isaac Orthodox School in Boscobel, Wisconsin, was founded in 1994 in conjunction with St. Isaac of Syria Skete (SISS). SISS was a satellite of Christ of the Hills (COTH) Monastery. At that time all three groups belonged to the Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis.

In 1999, two monks from COTH, Father Benedict Greene and Fr. Jeremiah Hitt, were criminally charged with the sexual abuse of a minor boy. After COTH foiled the attempt of ROCOR to independently investigate, the monastery was ordered to disband. The monks refused, and ROCOR took back their antimens. (Since the property was owned by an independent nonprofit corporation, ROCOR could do nothing else.)

SISS (including the school) returned their antimens to ROCOR on November 5, 1999. Hitt was convicted of the charges against him in 1999, and Greene later pleaded guilty.

The school operated independently, under the leadership of Archimandrite Simeon Gitlis until it was received into the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia in 2001.

On April 7, 2009, Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarians confirmed in a letter (linked below) that Gitlis had been defrocked for sexual misconduct and removed as abbot of the skete. However, the property of SISS (including the school) is owned by an independent nonprofit group, not by the Bulgarian Diocese.

Although the Bulgarian website no longer listed SISS among its communities after Gitlis’ defrocking, for a time the webpage for the skete continued to indicate that it was under the spiritual protection of Metropolitan Joseph. Some time later in 2009 SISS removed all references to the Bulgarians, but did not indicate any connection to any other Orthodox jurisdiction.