Monsignor George Halpin (1954 – 1970) was familiar with Maryville. He had spent time as a “yellow jacket” while in the seminary and had returned as a young priest to teach and coach.
Under Msgr. Halpin, the large dormitories would begin to disappear and the population would continue to shrink, partly because more and more social workers felt that the days of the orphanage were outmoded. Foster homes were the preferred solution for abandoned, orphaned and neglected children.
Msgr. Halpin engaged the services of the Brothers of St. Gabriel to work with the high school boys in 1958. The brothers remained at Maryville until the high school closed in 1966. A new residence for the high school boys opened in 1961. Named for Msgr. Mulcahey this was not a dorm. There were two boys to a room and the rooms were joined by connecting baths – a far cry from the large dorms with 100 beds! The building also housed the administrative offices for Maryville.
In July, 1962, Monsignor Halpin welcomed a young, recently ordained priest to Maryville, Rev. John Smyth, whose duties would include teaching, coaching and supervising the boys. Father John was a graduate of Notre Dame and had been not only captain of the varsity basketball team but had also played for the College All Star Team and was a first round draft choice in the NBA.
Under Msgr. Halpin a new Science and Craft building was erected. On the other hand, it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and operate Maryville’s school. In 1966 the high school was phased out and the grade school closed in 1968. The children were now attending local schools around Maryville.
In 1966 Maryville established its first social services department, prompted mostly by the signs of abuse and neglect that the staff was seeing with new children. Assessments needed to be made and many of the children were in need of therapeutic treatment.
In 1970, Msgr. Halpin was transferred to Holy Name Cathedral Parish. He recommended that Father Smyth as an excellent choice for the new superintendent.