Born Thomas A. Ryan on September 6, 1900 in Cambridge, Massachusetts he was the son of Dennis Ryan and Mary Dolan. He graduated from Cambridge High and Latin in 1917 and spent two years in the work force before he entered the Passionists. In 1919 he went to the Preparatory Seminary. He professed his Passionist vows on October 12, 1922 and took the name Gerald. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1929 by Archbishop Thomas Walsh in Newark, New Jersey.
From 1929 to 1932 and from 1933 to 1936 he was a teacher at Holy Cross Seminary, Dunkirk, New York. From 1937 to 1940 he was a hospital chaplain at Creedmore, in Queens, New York. During World War II he was an Army Chaplain in England. He also had fifteen years of parish ministry in Dunkirk, Scranton, Pennsylvania and as pastor of St. Joseph’s parish in New Bern, North Carolina. He was also stationed in West Springfield, Pittsburgh, Toronto and in 1966 came to Brighton but loved to go back to the Carolinas to substitute when possible In 1974 he became a member of the Passionist Infirmary Community in Brighton, Massachusetts.