Rev. Michael E. Nowak

Summary of Case: In May 2011 two girls, ages 14 and 17, separately reported to police that Nowak had made sexual comments to them over the phone. According to the police reports, Nowak asked the 14-year-old if he could perform oral sex on her, and he invited the 17- year-old to a "Valentine's dinner," asking her to wear a low cut shirt to show off her "cha-chas." Nowak was placed on administrative leave. He initially pleaded "not guilty" to two counts of inappropriate use of a telephone, and later pleaded guilty. He was sentenced in July 2011 to 30 days in jail and one year probation.   

: 1997


Start Stop Parish Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Milwaukee archbishop was Rembert George Weakland, O.S.B. (1977-2002), followed by Timothy Michael Dolan (1977-2009)

2003 Christ the King Wauwatosa WI 2/2 Parish had a school with 465-430 students, and a religious education program with 267-173 students.


Dolan was succeeded by Jerome Edward Listecki (2009-)

2011 St. Therese's


Nowak was accused in May 2011 of making sexually explicit comments in a phone call to a 14-year-old girl, asking her if he could perform oral sex on her. The girl told her parents, who called local police.

The day after the 14-year-old girl filed a police report, a 17 year-old girl reported to the police that Nowak had made sexual comments to her over the phone. The girl said Nowak took her to a movie, then called to invite her to a "Valentine's" dinner. She also said Nowak asked her "to wear a low cut shirt to show off your cha-chas."

As of May 25, 2011 police were investigating a possible third victim of Nowak, regarding an incident that may have happened in Racine.

WI 1/1

Parish had a school with 121-75 students, and a religious education program with 209- 145 students.


Nowak was placed on administrative leave in May 2011 after police informed the archdiocese of accusations against him.

Nowak was charged with two counts of inappropriate use of a telephone. He initially pleaded not guilty. In July 2011 he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and one year probation.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1998-2010)

• Priest Placed on Leave for Alleged Sexual Comments, By John Fauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentiel, May 7, 2011
• Letter from Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee, May 7, 2011
• Will It Ever End?…third Priest Removed from Ministry in the Milwaukee Archdiocese in the Last Two Months, Voice from the Desert
May 7, 2011
• Pastor on Leave during Investigation, By Tracy Rusch, Catholic Herald, May 10, 2011
• Second Girl Accuses Priest of Inappropriate Comments, By Lacey Crisp, WTMJ, May 11, 2011
• Kenosha Priest Charged, TMJ4, May 24, 2011
• Kenosha Priest Charged with 2 Misdemeanors, WLS, May 25, 2011
• Police Investigating Third 'Possible' Fr. Nowak Victim, By Tracy Rusch,, May 25, 2011
• Kenosha Priest Gets Jail TIme for Sexual Comments toward Girls, By Melissa McCrady, July 21, 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 Nowak'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 February 18, 2021.