KY -- Louisville area nuns who are or have been accused of child sexual abuse -- SNAP FACT SHEET 3/15
We’re concerned about abuse by nuns because a disproportionately high number of accused child molesting nuns have worked and lived in Louisville. Abuse by women has gotten little attention and victims of women often get little compassion and considerable misunderstanding.
Nuns also change their names more often than priests so could more easily get access to more kids even after being publicly accused.
In very cursory Internet research, we found that the last nun on this list has been sent elsewhere and is teaching immigrants, a very vulnerable group.
1) Sr. Joseph Anthony
Named in 7/04 suit by one woman alleging abuse by Msgr. Herman J. Lammers and 5 nuns at St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage or at local schools. Woman alleges that one of her abusers was Sister Joseph Anthony at the orphanage. Order has confirmed that nun by this name worked at the orphanage in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Sister Joseph Anthony left the order in 1972.
2) Sr. Arthur
One woman filed suit 2004 alleging abuse by Msgr. Herman J. Lammers and 5 nuns at St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage or at local schools. Woman alleges that one of her abusers was Sister Arthur at Holy Spirit School. Order says that it did not have members working at Holy Spirit School.
3) Sr. Charles
Nun. One woman filed suit 7/04 alleging abuse by Msgr. Herman J. Lammers and 5 nuns at St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage or at local schools. Woman alleges that one of her abusers was Sister Charles at the orphanage. Order has confirmed that nun by this name worked at the orphanage in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Sister Charles is deceased.
4) Sr. James Patrick Cronin
Named in 8/04 civil suit by woman said she was abused by Cronin, two other nuns, and Fr. Lammers at St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage. Order confirmed that Cronin was at the orphanage between 1958-1961. Died.
5) Sr. Madeline de Paul Galatine
Sued 2004. Accused of abuse of 2 girls at St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage. Deceased.
6) Sr. Mary Camilla Donahue
Name in at least 3 2004 civil suits. Accused of abuse of at least 4 girls at St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage. Order confirmed that Sr. Camilla was at the orphanage. Deceased.
7) Sr. Jean Gish
Accused in a 7/26/04 suit of sexually abusing a girl at Presentation Academy. Same plaintiff who alleges that she was abused by Srs. Mary Ann Powers, Joseph Anthony, Charles, and Arthur.
8) Sr. Frances Howard
In a 8/3/04 addition to a suit, this nun was accused of sexually abusing a girl at St. Vincent Orphanage in Louisville, beginning in 1938 when the girl was 6 years old and continuing until she was removed from the orphanage in 1943. Complainant also accused Rev. Herman J. Lammers and Sr. Stanislas Kotska Willett, mother superior of the orphanage 1940-44. Order settled 8/06 with almost all plaintiffs with claims.
9) Sr. Eva Marie
Nun. Named as an abuser of one youth in 1960s and 1970s at St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage per civil suit filed in 2004 by approximately 50 people.
10) Sr. Mary Jane
In a 7/22/04 amendment to a suit, Sr. Mary Jane was accused of abusing a girl at Presentation Academy. Same plaintiff also alleged abuse by 2 other nuns: Sr. Caroline Mary Schneider and Sr. Jean. Order confirmed that there was a nun by that name at the school. Sister was removed from ministry pending investigation.
11) Sr. Joseph Michael
Accused in a 7/27/04 suit of sexually abusing 4 female minors in the 1950s and 1960s at St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage. Also accused in a suit filed 7/14/05 of abusing a boy at the orphanage in the 1960s and 1970s.
12) Sr. Anthony Louise Pereira
In 8/04 one man joined the multi-plaintiff suit against the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Fr. Herman Lammers and several nuns filed in summer 2004 re abuse at. St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage in Anchorage, KY. This plaintiff alleges he was sexually abused by Pereira and another nun. Order has confirmed that Pereira served at the orphanage from 1946-1965. Deceased.
13) Sr. Mary Ann Powers
Sued 2004 by 8 women and 1 man who alleged that Powers abused them at St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage in 1950s-1960s. Deceased. Order said it was not aware of any previous allegations against the nun.
14) Sr. Caroline Mary Schneider
In a 7/22/04 amendment to a suit, accused of abusing a girl at Most Blessed Sacrament, a parish school. Same woman who also alleges abuse by 2 other nuns: Sr. Mary Jane and Sr. Jean. Order confirmed that Schneider was at the school during the relevant time. She is deceased.
15) Sr. Mary Alma Stuecker
Sued in 7/04. Accused of abuse of one boy at St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage in Anchorage, KY. Order denied any other allegations against Stuecker. She is deceased.
16) Sr. Helen Thieneman
Woman filed suit 8/03 alleging that Sister sexually abused her several times in the 1974-75 school year. Sister would take her out of class for counseling and abuse her. Woman told parents in 1983 or 1984 and a psychological eval. supported her claims. Her father went to the Order in 1984 but nothing done since there were no other complaints. Woman herself went to Archbishop Kelly in 1992. He said that Sister was assigned to hospital in controlled environment. Suit withdrawn 11/03
17) Sr. Stanislas Kotska Willett
In a 8/3/04 addition to a suit, accused of sexually abusing a girl at St. Vincent Orphanage in Louisville, beginning in 1938 when the girl was 6 years old and continuing until she was removed from the orphanage in 1943. Willett was mother superior of the orphanage 1940-44. Complainant also accused Rev. Herman J. Lammers and Sr. Frances Howard
18) Sr. Marlene Bertke (of Covington, now in Erie PA)
Former student nun filed a lawsuit 10/02 alleging that she was abused in 1959 in her first year at St. Walburg Convent by Sister Christopher, whose real name is Marlene Bertke. She was 18 at the time. In same suit, woman also alleges that she had been previously abused at Villa Madonna Academy (a girls' school) by another nun and that a third nun also fondled her. Still active nun in 2008. Lives in Erie PA area. She is “a volunteer teacher of English as a second language at St. Benedict Education Center” and “works with immigrants.” (Her victim, Emily Feistritzer of Washington, D.C., was represented by Lexington attorney Angela Ford, 859 268 2923).
NOTE – These nuns belonged to two religious orders: Sisters of Charity of Nazareth or Dominican Sisters. Many of them are deceased but many of their victims are no doubt still alive, and likely trapped in shame, confusion, isolate and self-blame.
Many thanks to the dedicated staff at BishopAccountability.org for this information, culled from legal records and mainstream media news accounts.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.