Fr. Gerard Smit – Diocese of Lafayette

| Jul 28, 2021 | Abuser Profiles

Father Gerard Smit

Diocese of Lafayette


Ordained: 1950

Removed: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Joseph (Iota, LA)
  • St. Michael’s (Egan, LA)
  • Our Lady Queen of Heaven (Lake Charles, LA)
  • Christ the King (Lake Charles, LA)
  • St. Anne (Youngsville, LA)
  • Our Lady of Assumption (Bosco, LA)
  • Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Chataigner, LA)
  • St. John of the Cross (LeBlanc, LA)
  • Our Lady Queen of Heaven (Lake Charles, LA)
  • Christ the King (Lake Charles, LA)
  • St. John Berchmans (Cankton, LA)
  • Our Lady of the Lake (Lake Arthur, LA)
  • St. Raphaels (Iowa, LA)
  • St. John the Evangelist (Lacassine, LA)
  • St. Joseph’s Mission (Chloe, LA)
  • Immaculate Conception (Elkton, DE)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Gerard Smit:

Fr. Gerard Smith came to the Diocese of Lafayette from a monastery in the Netherlands. The first allegation of sexual abuse in the 1960’s against Fr. Smit was received in 1982 by the Lafayette Sherriff’s Office. A man told police that Smit assaulted him at a weekend camp near Mamou and Estherwood, LA. The man also said the Smit stalked him and sent him a check for $10,000, which later bounced. The man was allegedly told that the statute of limitations was over.

In 1996, the same man saw Fr. Smit’s name in a church bulletin in the Diocese of Wilmington. He reported his allegation to the Diocese of Wilmington, which barred Smit from working as priest in the diocese. In 2002, the man asked the Diocese of Lake Charles for a financial settlement and ultimately filed a criminal complaint against Fr. Smit with the Louisiana State Police accusing Smit of molesting him in 1961 when he was an altar boy at St. Anne Church in Youngsville, LA. Police found credible evidence but could not prosecute the case because too much time had expired.

According to media reports, in 1986 a woman told Diocese of Lake Charles officials that Fr. Smit had sexually abused her and other girls in the 1960s when Smit was assigned to Our Lady Queen of Heaven. According to a 1986 letter, Bishop Jude Speyrer admits to receiving the allegation and acknowledges that Fr. Smit did not deny the allegation. Bishop Speyrer sent Fr. Smit to Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs, NM for treatment. After treatment, Fr. Smit was sent to the Diocese of Wilmington.

In 2010, a former altar boy who served at St. John Berchmans told Bishop Michael Jarrell of the Diocese of Lafayette that Smit had sexually abused him in the 1970s. Following this allegation, Smit was told not to have any contact with minors and to refrain from “public celebration of the sacraments or acts of worship.”

In February of 2012, Smit was listed on the Diocese of Wilmington’s list of “diocesan clergy or lay employees regarding whom there are admitted, corroborated or otherwise substantiated allegations of sexual abuse, molestation, and rape of a minor.” Both the Diocese of Lake Charles and the Diocese of Lafayette named Fr. Gerard Smit on their lists of credible accused clergy in 2019.

Fr. Gerard Smit is reported to be living in Pennsylvania.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Louisiana, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Lafayette may now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Louisiana and nationwide.  We can help.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.