Father James Ryan, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1851-1906)

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Born William Ryan in Youngstown, Ohio on August 14, 1851, he was the son of William Ryan and Rose McKenna. His parents moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and were among the early benefactors of the Passionists in that city. They frequently went to the monastery for confession and communion and were well-received by Father Anthony Calandri, C.P. Young William received Latin training early on from the Passionists. He decided to enter the Passionists and professed his vows October 27, 1869 receiving the religious name James. He was ordained on May 20, 1875 and began to preach missions which he did successfully for twenty-five years. Early on he was important in the life of the province as a director of vocations for those interested in the Passionists. In the early autumn of 1897 he gave a mission in McComb City, Mississippi and became ill with malaria. In November 1902 he was assigned to St. Joseph’s Monastery, Baltimore, Maryland and became chaplain at St. Mary’s Industrial School. He was also a confessor at St. Joseph’s College, the Xaverian Brothers novitiate. In the spring of 1905 Father Ryan was beset with heart trouble. Prepared to die, he recovered and resumed his ministries. As a gesture of thanks he was then asked to accompany the Xaverian provincial to Belgium for the election of their Brother General. He returned in good health but then suffered from kidney problems. In December 1905 his health conditioned worsened and he was admitted to St. Agnes Hospital, Baltimore and eventually died.