Sunday, July 26, 2009

Requiescat in Pace ~ William Ryan, SJ

Saints of God, come to his aid!
Hasten to meet him angels of the Lord!
Receive his soul and present him God the Most High.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord,
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace. Amen.

Requiescat in Pace

William A. Ryan, SJ

The Rev. William A. Ryan, SJ, 94

By Walter F. Naedele
Inquirer Staff Writer

The Rev. William A. Ryan, 94, who served the Jesuits as an educator and a Vatican official, died of congestive heart failure Sunday at Manresa Hall, the infirmary at St. Joseph's University.
Father Ryan was executive assistant to the president of what is now St. Joseph's University from 1957 to 1959 and then a teacher of Latin, Greek, and religion at St. Joseph's Preparatory School from 1959 to 1972.

From then until 1983, he worked in Rome as secretary general for the Pontifical Biblical Institute, a graduate school for scriptural studies.

Born in Baltimore, Father Ryan graduated from Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Md., entered the Jesuits in 1932, taught at his prep school and was ordained in 1945, and professed his final vows in 1949.

Father Ryan was assistant dean of students at Georgetown University in 1946 and 1947 and, from 1948 to 1951, minister to the Jesuit community there. He returned to Georgetown Prep as rector from 1951 to 1957.

During his 15 years in Philadelphia, from 1957 to 1972, he earned a master's degree in classics from Villanova University in 1970. When Father Ryan returned from Rome in 1983, he became a parish priest at St. George Roman Catholic Church in Glenolden, Delaware County, but, after three years, health problems forced him to move to the Jesuit residence at St. Joseph's University.

But he worked part time as assistant director of the Catholic Information Center of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia until retiring in 1992. Father Ryan is survived by a brother, Francis, and 47 nieces and nephews. His eight other siblings preceded him in death.

A viewing was set from 2 to 4:30 p.m. today in Manresa Hall, 261 City Ave., Lower Merion, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Thursday in St. Matthias Roman Catholic Church, 128 Bryn Mawr Ave., Bala Cynwyd, followed by an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass there. Burial is to be in SS. Peter and St. Paul Cemetery, Springfield, Delaware County.

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