Patch Staff |
December 29, 2018
By John Ferak
Father Richard McGrath, the disgraced Catholic priest who served as principal and president of Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox for several years until his forced resignation one year ago, has now gone missing in Chicago, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
The Chicago newspaper has been tracking Father McGrath’s whereabouts ever since the Joliet Patch and New Lenox Patch broke an important news story in July revealing that the well-known Augustinian priest, who is a suspected pedophile, was now taking up residence at the Augustinian Order’s St. John Stone Friary in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood.
In recent days, The Sun-Times published a story headlined, “Priest accused of child rape, porn, now AWOL from his religious community.”
According to The Sun-Times, the Rev. Richie Mercado, secretary of the Augustinians’ Midwest province, told the newspaper that McGrath “is unlawfully absent from the community.” McGrath hasn’t been seen at the Hyde Park friary for the Augustinians for weeks.
The Sun-Times article also included the following information: “Augustinian officials would not answer questions about whether they know where McGrath is now living and, if so, whether he’s in a supervised setting, away from children.”
In December 2017, McGrath was booted out of Providence in New Lenox after school staff members notified New Lenox Police that a female high school student saw photographs of naked boys on Father McGrath’s cellphone. At the time of the incident, McGrath was sitting in the high school bleachers, all by himself, at a Providence High School wrestling meet.
Patch has previously reported that McGrath refused to cooperate with New Lenox Police, and he refused to give the cellphone with the suspected child pornography back to the Providence staff. He retained a criminal defense attorney and police were unable to interview him.
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