Rev. Gregory Kareta, o.f.m.Conv.

Summary of Case: Kareta was charged in 2003 with having sexually abused an 11 year-old boy in the summers of 1973 and 1974. The alleged victim reported the abuse to church authorities in 1985, and was told by them not to report Kareta to the police. Three of the boy's young relatives also claimed Kareta tried to molest them. The charges included allegations that he had abused a boy in 1963-1964. Kareta's is said to have admitted the abuse to this victim in a letter of apology. All of the charges were dropped due to the statute of limitations.

: 1956
Retired: 2003
Died: 2006


Start Stop Parish Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Detroit archbishop was Edward Aloysius Mooney (1937-1958)

1958         Celebrated his first solemn mass June 17, 1956 at St. Thomas the Apostle parish in Detroit, MI. Kareta is not indexed in the 1957 or 1958 Directories.


Mooney was succeeded by John Francis Dearden (1958-1980)

1963 St. Hedwig's (Polish) Detroit MI 5/8, 2/6, 3/7, 4/8 St. Hedwig's had a grade school with 355-253 boys and 321-250 girls, and a high school with 154-166 boys and 172-211 girls.


Los Angeles archbishop was James Francis Aloysius McIntyre (1948-1970)

1964 Our Lady of Guadalupe

Hermosa Beach

The 2003 charges of child sexual abuse against Kareta included those from his time at this parish.

CA 2/3 Parish had a school with 301 students.


Milwaukee archbishop was William Edward Cousins (1958-1977)

1965 St. Josephat's


Letters from Kareta's personnel file show that Kareta was accused of molesting a boy while he was pastor of this parish. Kareta admitted the abuse in a letter of apology to the victim.

WI 4/5 Parish had a school with 527 students.


McIntyre was followed as Los Angeles archbishop by Timothy Manning (1970-1985)

1971 Bishop Montgomery High School Torrance CA   Bishop Montgomery High had 624-640 boys and 610-630 girls.
1971 1978 St. Paul the Apostle

Pismo Beach

Kareta was charged in 2003 with having molested an 11 year-old altar boy in the summers of 1973 and 1974 while pastor of this parish. Three of the boy's relatives also claimed to have been molested by Kareta.

CA 1/2 Kareta's accuser claimed he reported the abuse to the bishop in Torrance in 1985, but that he was told not to report it to the police. Church authorities did offer him counseling.
1971 1978 California Men's Colony   CA   This was a mission of St. Paul the Apostle in Pismo Beach.


San Bernardino bishop was Philip Francis Straling (1978-1995)

1979 Queen of Angels Riverside CA 2/3 Queen of Angels had a school with 260 students.
1979 1980 St. Joseph's Barstow CA   St. Joseph's had a school with 270 students. Kareta is not listed at St. Joseph's in the San Bernardino diocesan pages, but he is listed at the Franciscan Center, which was one of the parish missions.
1979 1980 Franciscan Center Newberry Springs CA Director This was a mission of St. Joseph's in Barstow.
1979 1980 MCSC Base Baker CA   This was a mission of St. Joseph's in Barstow.
1979 1980   Kelso CA   This was a station of St. Joseph's in Barstow.
1979 1980   Mountain Pass CA   This was a station of St. Joseph's in Barstow.
1980 1981 Queen of Angels

Riverside CA 3/3 Parish had a school with 300 students.
1981 1982 St. Thomas Riverside CA 1/5 Parish had a school with 345 students.
1981 1982 Our Lady of Guadalupe Riverside CA   This was a mission of St. Thomas.
1982 1984         Kareta is not indexed in the 1983 or 1984 Directories.


Fresno bishop was Jose de Jesus Madera Uribe, M.Sp.S. (1980-1991), followed by John Thomas Steinbock (1991-2010)

1996 St. Paul the Apostle Coalinga CA 1/2, 1/1, 1/3  
1996 2002 St. Joseph's Avenal CA 1/1

Parish had a religious education program with 50-70 students.

Kareta was removed from St. Joseph's when the allegation surfaced that he had molested a boy in 1973 and 1974.

1996 2002 St. Cecilia's Kavanaugh CA   This was a mission of St. Joseph's in Avenal.
2002 2003         Kareta is not indexed in the 2003 Directory.
2003 2004 Retired, St. Joseph Cupertino Friary Arroyo Grande CA   The charges against Kareta were dropped in July 2003 after the U.S.Supreme Court overturned a CA ruling that had lifted the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children.
2004 2006        

Kareta is not indexed in the 2005 or 2006 Directories.

Kareta died in 2006.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1957-2004)

Milestones in the life of our parish, St. Thomas the Apostle, Detroit MI.
Priest Who Served in Pismo Charged with Sex Abuse, By Patrick S., Pemberton, San Luis Obispo Tribune, February 7, 2003
Molestation Charges Face Ex-Inland Priest, By Michael Fisher, Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA), February 8, 2003
Woman Says in Sb Lawsuit Local Priest Molested Her, By Felisa Cardona, San Bernardino Sun, February 11, 2003
Accused Priest Had Admitted Prior Abuse, By Patrick S. Pemberton, San Luis Obispo Tribune, March 25, 2003
Clergy Abuse Details Emerge, By Alex Friedrich, San Luis Obispo Tribune, April 16, 2003
Case against Ex-Pismo Priest Likely to End, By Lisa P. White, San Luis Obispo Tribune, July 2, 2003
Diocese of Monterey, Calif., Facing Millions in Sex-Abuse Lawsuits, By Laurie Phillips, Tribune [San Luis Obispo, California], January 27, 2004

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Kareta's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on Aug. 13, 2011