List of Accusers from Camp Fatima Continues to Grow. Friends Honor Memory of Priest

By Kathryn Marchocki
Union Leader (Manchester NH)
May 30, 2002

Two more men claim they were molested at Camp Fatima by a religious brother in the 1970s, bringing to six the number of former campers who say they were assaulted at the Lakes Region summer camp, their attorney said yesterday.

In addition, two other men have come forward alleging the late Rev. Karl E. Dowd sexually assaulted them in the early 1960s while he served at St. Catherine Church in Manchester, attorney Peter E. Hutchins said.

The four men have joined the class action suit Hutchins filed against the Catholic Diocese of Manchester. The civil suit, which so far represents nearly 50 alleged sexual assault victims of diocesan employees, has yet to be certified by the court, the Manchester attorney said.

Two brothers from New York claim they were molested at Camp Fatima in 1972 by Brother Guy Beaulieu, who was a staff member at the Catholic boys summer camp during the 1970s, Hutchins said.

The brothers, who were 8 and 6 years old at the time, spent the summer at the camp, Hutchins said. The Manchester diocese operates the camp, located in Barnstead and Gilmanton Iron Works.

They claim Beaulieu twice invited them to his private cabin to take a nap, then climbed into bed with them and fondled them, he added.

One brother is now a 36-year-old firefighter in the Northeast, Hutchins said. The other is 38 and lives in the Manchester area. Their names are not being made public.

Beaulieu, who also was a math teacher at Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, has been accused of sexually assaulting three other men at Camp Fatima in the 1970s, said Hutchins, who represents all four alleged victims.

The third man, Kevin Dandley, 42, of Hudson, filed civil suit earlier this month alleging Beaulieu first molested him in 1973 at Camp Fatima and continued abusing him when he began his freshman year at Bishop Guertin that fall.

Beaulieu, a member of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, had no comment yesterday when contacted at the religious order's provincial house in Pascoag, R.I.

"I'm sorry, but I won't be speaking to you," Beaulieu said before hanging up the telephone.

In an unrelated development, a pair of Manchester brothers said they were molested by Dowd in the early 1960s when the priest was stationed at St. Catherine parish, Hutchins said.

The brothers, both former altar boys now in their 50s, claim Dowd molested them more than a dozen times in his car, the church and rectory, Hutchins said.

"Father Dowd became very friendly with the family and would be over their house quite a bit," he explained.

Dowd allegedly groped and fondled the brothers over their clothes, he added. The alleged abuse stopped when Dowd left the parish, he said.

Dowd was ordained in 1960 and served at St. Catherine parish until he was transferred to Holy Trinity Church in Somersworth in 1963, according to church directories.

The 67-year-old cleric died while vacationing in Fort Pierce, Fla., Feb. 18, three days after the diocese released a list of 14 priests who had been accused of past sexual misconduct with minors. While Dowd's name was not on that list, the diocese received a complaint Feb. 22 alleging Dowd sexually assaulted a minor in 1971 in Keene, diocesan spokesman Pat McGee said.

In addition, a 39-year-old Manchester man last week claimed Dowd tried to digitally rape him at Camp Fatima when he was about 9 years old in the early 1970s.

Dowd was camp director from 1968 to 1990.

McGee said the diocese has received no complaints against Dowd or any other cleric with regard to Camp Fatima.

He also said the diocese has not received any reports of alleged abuse involving Dowd at St. Catherine parish.

Manchester Bishop John B. McCormack will be questioned under oath in Manchester Monday about his role in supervising retired Boston archdiocesan priest, the Rev. Paul R. Shanley.

Shanley, who publicly advocated sex between men and boys, was arrested May 2 in San Diego, Calif., and faces child rape charges in Massachusetts.

Boston attorney Roderick MacLeish Jr. will question McCormack, who was one of Cardinal Bernard F. Law of Boston's top aides before he became bishop of New Hampshire in 1998.

MacLeish represents one of Shanley's alleged victims.

Friends honor memory of priest

NASHUA (AP) -- Days after the publication of allegations that the late Rev. Karl Dowd molested two boys, about 100 of his friends and former parishioners gathered for a memorial service in his honor.

"He was as good as gold," said Claire Rioux, a member of St. Joseph Church. "I think anybody who says anything against him is a blasphemer."

Dowd died in February while on vacation in Florida. Tuesday's service was held at St. Joseph on the 42nd anniversary of his ordination.

Last week, the lawyer for a 39-year-old Manchester man said Dowd assaulted him when he was 9 years old and serving as an altar boy at Camp Fatima in Gilmanton. The man, who asked not to be identified, has joined a class action lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Manchester.

Sunday, the diocese said another man had reported being abused by Dowd at a Keene church in 1971, when the man was a 16-year-old altar boy.

Dowd was a pastoral associate at St. Joseph's in 1967 and 1968. He was pastor of two other Nashua churches: St. Christopher, from 1986 to 2000, and St. Stanislaus, in 1999 and 2000.

Those attending the memorial service said they doubted the accusations.

Dowd would "never in a million years would do something like that. He had too much respect for people, children, parents and the community," said St. Joseph's organist Paul Jette.

A man who would not give his name said such accusations are just "an easy way to make money. It's a money racket. The guy can't defend himself."

Others said their good memories of Dowd are all that matter now.

"He did so much good for a lot of people -- more than anyone will ever know," said parishioner Pat Hurd.

The pastor of St. Joseph, the Rev. Gerard Desmarais, a close lifelong friend of Dowd, refused to comment.


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