Former head of Maryville Academy faces sexual abuse allegations

CHICAGO — A popular local Catholic priest has stepped down from ministry after being accused of sexual abuse of minors.

Retired priest Fr. John P. Smyth most recently served as president of Notre Dame College Prep, but the allegations pertain to 2002-2003, while Smyth was assigned to Maryville Academy in Des Plaines.

Smyth served Maryville as assistant superintendent from 1962-1970, and then as superintendent from from 1970-2003. He was president at Notre Dame from 2007-2014.

"In keeping with our child protection policies, the allegations were reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Cook County state’s attorney," the Chicago Archdiocese said in a statement. "The persons making the allegations have been offered the services of the archdiocese’s Office of Assistance Ministry.”

Smyth was living in the rectory of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, but the archdiocese said he will reside away form the grounds while the allegations are investigated.

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