Letter from Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, on Father David Ryan
Dear Saint Francis de Sales Parish and School Family,
With this letter, I write to share some difficult news about your pastor, Father David Ryan. In keeping with our child protection policies, I have asked Father Ryan to step aside from ministry following receipt by the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Archdiocesan Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review of allegations of sexual abuse of minors approximately 25 years ago while he was assigned to Maryville Academy in Des Plaines. Allegations are claims that have not been proven as true or false. Therefore, guilt or innocence should not be assumed.
Father Ryan has been directed to live away from the parish while the matter is investigated, and he is fully cooperating with this direction. Father Jerome Jacob, pastor of Saint Mary of the Annunciation in Mundelein will serve as temporary administrator of Saint Francis de Sales Parish. Father Jacob, a seasoned pastor and Dean of the area will attend to the needs of the parish and school community.
Moreover, as is required by our child protection policies, the allegations were reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Cook County State’s Attorney. The persons making the allegations have been offered the services of our Victim Assistance Ministry and the archdiocese has begun its investigation of these matters.
In the days and weeks ahead, members of the archdiocese’s Office for the Protection of Children and Youth will be available to answer any questions you may have and provide you with support during this challenging time.
It is crucial that you know nothing is more important than the welfare of the children entrusted to our care. The Archdiocese of Chicago takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and encourages anyone who feels they have been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee to come forward. Complete information about reporting sexual abuse can be found on the Archdiocesan website at www.archchicago.org.
Please know that you are in my prayers. We will do our best to keep you informed of developments as they occur.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Cardinal Blase J. Cupich