As Executive Director of Standing Tall Foundation, Fr. Smyth works diligently in his position and his door is never closed to a youth in need – day or night. His strength supports the weak; his power serves the helpless; and his love and dedication are given freely to any youth in need.
[Click here for Fr. Smyth’s story.]

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Rev. John P. Smyth, age 84.  June 5, 1934 - April 16, 2019. 

Executive Director of the Rev. John P. Smyth Standing Tall Charitable Foundation.  Former Executive Director of Maryville Academy and former President of Notre Dame College Prep. Devoted son of Michael and Frances Smyth. Fond brother of Frances (Joseph) Eraci, the late Patricia (the late William) Sheehan, Michael J. Smyth and Bernard J. (Lou) Smyth. Uncle to many nieces and nephews. Born in Chicago, Fr. Smyth was a graduate of St. Genevieve Grammar School and DePaul Academy. He graduated from of the University of Notre Dame in 1957. He captained the Notre Dame basketball team his senior year; was selected an All-American; and was a draft choice of the NBA’s St. Louis Hawks. He elected to forgo a professional basketball career and entered the seminary. Fr. Smyth was ordained a priest on April 28, 1962. While at Maryville, Fr. Smyth was the catalyst behind “Chuckwagon Day” the largest one-day fundraiser in the State of Illinois. He was the recipient of innumerable awards during his tenure at Maryville Academy, including the President’s Child Safety partnership award presented to him by President Ronald Reagan and the University of Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal. Fr. Smyth was inducted as a Laureate in the Lincoln Academy of Illinois for his work in the field of social services. This is the highest honor an Illinois Governor can bestow upon a citizen of the State. Fr. Smyth received the Loyola University, Stritch School of Medicine, “Sword of Loyola” in November 1994. He was the Notre Dame Club of Chicago “Man of the Year” and received numerous awards related to the University of Notre Dame. Fr. Smyth was inducted into the Sport’s Faith International Hall of Fame in 2009. He was President, Vice President and an inductee of the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. Despite his inability to speak Spanish, he is regarded by many in the Hispanic community as the founding father of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A champion for children, Fr. Smyth’s legacy will live on through his Standing Tall Charitable Foundation. “No person stands so tall as the one who stoops to help a child.”
Visitation Thursday, April 25, 2019, 3:00 p.m. – 9:00p.m. at the Chapel of Saint Joseph at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1170 N. River Road, Des Plaines, IL 60016. 

Funeral Mass 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 26, 2019 at the Chapel of Saint Joseph at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The Very Rev. Esquiel Sanchez presiding. 

Internment Private, All Saints Cemetery, Des Plaines, IL.  

Memorial contributions in support of Fr. Smyth’s mission may be made to:
Standing Tall Charitable Foundation
1045 N. Northwest Highway
Park Ridge IL 60068

Information: or (847) 675.1990