Rev. Rickard/Richard J. O'Donovan

Summary of Case: Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian released a list on April 11, 2012 of clerics accused in cases that he had settled in the previous year. Rev. Rickard/Richard J. O'Donovan was included on the list. The settlement involved an accuser who said O'Donovan sexually abused him beginning when he was a nine-year-old boy and occurring repeatedly over a two year period, during what were supposed to be private Confirmation classes. O'Donovan died in 2000.

: 1949
Incardinated: Boston
Died: August 7, 2000


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes
May 16, 1949 June 3, 1949 Immaculate Conception Somerville MA Assistant pro tem  


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

1965 St. Colman's


O'Donovan was accused publicly in 2012 of sexually abusing a boy, age 9 to 11, in the St. Colman's rectory in the 1960s. His accuser said that O'Donovan offered to prepare him individually for confirmation, but that there were no confirmation lessons over the two year period, and that he was molested more than 20 times.

MA 3/3, 4/4, 3/4, 2/4 St. Colman's had a school beginning in 1963 with 97-135 boys and 135-364 girls.
    Catholic Youth Organization Brockton MA chaplain  
    Ancient Order of Hibernians Brockton MA division chaplain  
    St. Paul Brockton MA    
Sept. 8, 1955   Plymouth Deanery   MA Director of Vocations  


Cushing was succeeded by Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983).

1974 Most Precious Blood Boston (Hyde Park) MA 3/4, 2/4 Most Precious Blood had a school with 766-403 students.


Bernard Francis Law followed Medeiros as Boston archbishop (1984-2002).

1986 Sacred Heart Weymouth MA 2/4, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2 Sacred Heart had a grade school with 569-295 students, and a high school with 74-155 boys and 237-141 girls.
1986 2000 St. Dorothy's Wilmington MA 1/2 O'Donovan died August 7, 2000.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1950-2001)

Obituary; Rev. Rickard J. O'Donovan of Wilmington, 77, Pastor, Boston Herald, August 7, 2000
Archdioces of Boston Assignment Record
Settlements Reached in Clergy Sex Abuse Cases, By Lisa Wangsness, Boston Globe, April 11, 2012
Sex Abuse Cases Settled by Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, WWLP, April 11, 2012
Sex Abuse Claim against Former Brockton Priest Settled, Patriot Ledger, April 11, 2012
New Garabedian List,, April 11, 2012
Church Settles Dozens of Clergy Sex Abuse Claims, Boston Channel, April 11, 2012
Mass. Attorney Releases 6 Accused Clerics' Names, By Jay Lindsay, Coshocton Tribune, April 11, 2012
Boston Archdiocese Reaches Settlements in Sex Abuse Cases, NECN, April 11, 2012

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 O'Donovan''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 April 13, 2012.