Fr. Donald P. McCarthy – Diocese of Alexandria

| Sep 15, 2021 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Donald P. McCarthy

Diocese of Alexandria

Ordained: 1959

Retired: 2009

Death: 2017

Assignment History:

  • 1962-63: Assistant Pastor at Seven Dolors, Manhattan, and Guidance Counselor at Luckey High School;
  • 1963-65: Assistant Pastor, Sacred Heart Cathedral (Salina, KS);
  • 1963-70: Guidance Counselor and teacher at Sacred Heart High School in Salina;
  • 1965: Assistant Pastor at St. Mary, Queen of the Universe, Salina;
  • 1965-70: Pastor at St. Ignatius Loyola, Kanopolis, and St. Mary’s, Holyrood;
  • 1970-71: Pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Salina;
  • 1970-72: Principal, Sacred Heart High School;
  • 1971-72: Pastor at St. Patrick’s, Gypsum, and Assistant Chaplain at St. John’s Military School, Salina;
  • 1971-2005: Diocesan Director of Scouting;
  • 1972-82: Principal of Tipton Catholic High School in Tipton and St. John’s Catholic High School in Beloit;
  • 1973-75: Pastor at Sacred Heart, Esbon, and St. Mary’s, Smith Center;
  • 1975-78: Pastor at SS. Peter and Paul, Cawker City, and St. Mary’s, Downs;
  • 1978-82: Co-pastor at St. John the Baptist, Beloit;
  • 1980-82: Pastor at Cawker City;
  • 1982-86: Pastor at St. Patrick’s, Ogden, Chaplain at Fort Riley;
  • 1982-83: Guidance Counselor at St. Francis Xavier High School in Junction City;
  • 1983-84: Principal at St. Francis Xavier High School;
  • 1984-86: Superintendent at Manhattan Catholic Schools;
  • 1986-89: Superintendent of Diocesan Schools;
  • 1988-93: Pastor at St. Joseph’s, Oakley;
  • 1988-89: Principal at Oakley and Colby Catholic grade schools;
  • 1989-92: Principal, St. Joseph’s Grade School in Oakley; 1992-93, Pastor at St. Paul’s, Angelus;
  • 1993-2009: Pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Hill City, and St. Joseph’s, Damar;
  • 1993-96: Principal at Tipton Catholic High School;
  • 1996-97: Principal at St. Mary’s Grade School in Ellis;
  • 1997-98: Principal at Sacred Heart Grade School in Colby;
  • 2002: Retired

Summary of the Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Donald McCarthy

In 2005, a man sued Fr. Donald McCarthy for a rape the man says took place when he was a child in the 1950s. In the complaint, the man (the Plaintiff) alleges Fr. McCarthy acted with Fr. Legér Tremblay to abuse him. While Fr. McCarthy was never incardinated in Louisiana, Fr. Tremblay was “under the supervision and control of the Alexandria Diocese” when the incident was said to have occurred.

2005 Complaint and Allegation

In the summer of 1955, the Plaintiff says he was a 14-year-old living in the St. Landry parish of Louisiana when Fr. Tremblay persuaded the Plaintiff’s mother to allow the Plaintiff to accompany the priest on a trip to Cow Island.

According to the complaint, Fr. Tremblay “showed up to [the Plaintiff’s] home with his redheaded driver.” Fr. Tremblay introduced the redheaded driver as “Don his seminary driver”, later identified as Fr. Donald McCarthy. At the time, the complaint contends that Fr. Donald McCarthy was a seminary student in Texas and that the Plaintiff met him a month prior at Camp Maryhill.

As the trip began, the Plaintiff says Fr. Tremblay started groping him. After the Plaintiff and the priest went to Cow Island and found Fr. Tremblay’s acquaintance unavailable, the Plaintiff claims Fr. Tremblay asked for sexual acts, to which the Plaintiff resisted.

Throughout the complaint, the Plaintiff asserts Fr. Tremblay continued to pressure him for sex. “I fought for the next nine hours, begging him to stop,” the Plaintiff states in his complaint. The Plaintiff says he thought he would be safe when Fr. Tremblay instructed Fr. McCarthy to drive to find “Jimmy” because “he would cooperate.

When the priests were unable to find “Jimmy”, the Plaintiff says Fr. McCarthy “drove into the dark on the side of a theatre on Cameron Street in Lafayette. According to the Plaintiff’s account, Fr. Tremblay told the Plaintiff “if he submitted, [Fr. Tremblay] would take him home. The complaint then states both Fr. Tremblay and “Don the seminary” driver raped the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff says the priests warned and threatened him not to tell. In the complaint, the Plaintiff says Fr. McCarthy sent him letters after the incident occurred.

2005 Litigation and Result

After identifying Fr. Donald McCarthy as an abuser in his complaint, the Plaintiff alleges that for “50 years, [Fr. McCarthy] engaged in a continued coverup of the incidents in Lafayette” and “sought and secured transfer from Austin to Kansas in an effort to evade the Plaintiff.”

The Diocese of Alexandria was also a party to the suit. Fr. Tremblay, however, was deceased when the Plaintiff brought suit.

Ultimately, the case was dismissed because the Plaintiff was unable to overcome the statute of limitations.

Fr. Donald McCarthy’s Career and Whereabouts

Ordained May 23, 1959, Fr. Donald McCarthy served in New York, Texas and Kansas; he was incardinated into the Diocese of Salina on October 29, 1968.

Throughout his career, Fr. McCarthy served as a counselor, teacher, and school director. In 1970, he was made director of Sacred Heart High School in Salina. According to sources, Sacred Heart had about 300 pupils at a time. Seven years before his promotion, Fr. McCarthy was a teacher and counselor at Sacred Heart.

Sources—including the Plaintiff’s complaint—say Fr. McCarthy was placed on medical leave shortly after his ordination and returned to teach in Kansas and mentor boy scouts. Although any mention of leave is absent from the assignment history detailed in his obituary, news articles from the 1970s confirm Fr. McCarthy was a promotor of the Boy Scouts.

Fr. Donald McCarty retired in January 2009 but continued to serve in ministerial capacities. According to his obituary, he became chaplain of Mt. Joseph’s Senior Village in Concordia, Kansas. He also served as a sports official for volleyball, football, wrestling, and basketball. He worked at Kansas schools like Summer Lake Ministry at Glen Elder State Park.

Fr. Donald McCarthy died on November 27, 2017.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Alexandria in Louisiana. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Louisiana, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Alexandria may now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Louisiana and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.