The Rev. David F. Ryan, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish and School in Lake Zurich, is facing two allegations of sexually abusing a minor a little more than a year after he was reinstated as pastor following an investigation into claims of sexual abuse dating back 26 years.
Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago announced in a letter to St. Francis de Sales parishioners on Friday that Ryan has been “asked to step aside” from his duties as pastor while the archdiocese’s Independent Review Board investigates the allegations and reports its recommendations to Cupich.
“As is the case with all such matters, the archdiocese will report these allegations to civil authorities and offer assistance to the persons who made them,” Cupich wrote.
He added, “(Ryan) has agreed to cooperate fully with our process, which will move forward as expeditiously as possible. We will provide Fr. Ryan with pastoral assistance, and I know he is grateful for your support.”
In 2021, the archdiocese reinstated Ryan after an investigation into allegations of sexually abusing minors began in 2020 related to Ryan’s time at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines.
He began working there in 1985, and was promoted to acting executive director of Maryville Academy in 2003. He also previously worked at parishes in Godfrey, and is a former director for the Catholic Children’s Home in Alton, Illinois, near St. Louis.
When announcing the internal investigation into Ryan in 2020, Cupich wrote that the archdiocese reported the allegations to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
A representative from St. Francis de Sales Parish, part of the Archdiocese of Chicago, deferred comment to the archdiocese when reached by phone. The archdiocese did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Ryan also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A representative from the Lake County state’s attorney’s office said Monday its sex crimes division had not yet received a report about the allegations.
Ryan served on the Board of Governors for the City Club of Chicago, but the webpage which linked to his biography was no longer available Monday. Ryan was ordained in Springfield in 1979.
“We have appreciated your patience with this process in the past and your understanding that only with an impartial and thorough effort can we fulfill our duty to protect the young people in our care and, if the investigation warrants, restore the good name of the one so accused,” Cupich wrote Friday.
“Please know I am keeping all of you in my prayers as we complete this process,” he continued. “I hope you will join me in praying for everyone involved in the work of protecting children.”