Assignment Record– Bro. Dominic Karow, O.P. aka John Walter Karow

Summary of Case: A brother of the Dominican order, Karow was accused in 1994 of having violently sexually abused a boy between 1965 and 1968. He worked for 31 years in the Boston Public School system. Archdiocesan officials knew of the accusations in 1994 when Karow was a third grade teacher, but did not notify school officials. Karow retired to Texas in 2001.


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Boston archbishop was Richard James Cushing (1944-1970).

  St. Edward's


Karow was accused in 1994 of having violently sexually abused a boy at this parish between 1965-1968. Karow, the Dominicans, and the archdiocesan settled with the accuser in 1996. One incident is said to have occurred at Karow's Cambridge apartment, whereby Karow is said to have held the boy down while another man raped him, then raped him himself.

1960s   St. Stephen's Priory


Some of the abuse of the aforementioned boy is said to have taken place at the priory between 1965-1968.

1966 1997 Boston Public Schools Boston MA elementary school teacher

When Sr. Rita McCarthy, whose job it was to take clergy sexual abuse complaints for the archdiocese, received the reports about Karow, she remembered she had once worked with him at Grew School in Hyde Park. Fr. Brian Flatley, who was the archdiocesan clergy personnel secretary, happened to be working at Grew School at the same time as Karow in 1994. Flatley knew of the accusations against Karow, but did not notify Boston Public School officials. Karow's accuser said Sr. Rita told him that if they told the school the nuns involved there might be taken away and, "We'll have the nuns keep an eye on him."

Karow was known in 2002 to have moved to Texas from Boston in 2001.


Attorneys Release Records on 10 More Priests, Brothers, By Michael Rezendes and Matt Carroll, Boston Globe, December 17, 2002
Newly Released Files Identify More Alleged Abusive Priests, By Robin Washington and Marie Szaniszlo, Boston Herald,
December 17, 2002
The Missing Names From Cardinal O'Malley's List of Accused Clerics, Boston Globe, November 20, 2011

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 Karow'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 October 3, 2015.