Fr. Ryan was a member of the St. Camillus Jesuit Community and was called to eternal life on July 28, 2019. He was 82 years old and a member of the Society of Jesus for almost 63 years. He received an M.A. in Latin from St. Louis University and a M.Ed. from Boston University. During his ministry as a Jesuit, he taught and did pastoral work at Marquette High in Milwaukee; Creighton Prep in Omaha, NE; and Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, WI. He also served as religious superior of the high schools in Milwaukee and Omaha. For 17 years he did pastoral work at the Jesuit parishes among the Lakota in South Dakota. He enjoyed being a retreat director as well as a spiritual director—something he did for the final years of his priestly ministry in Omaha. Because of declining health, he was missioned to the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in 2015.
He was born on January 1, 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska. He graduated from Creighton Prep in Omaha, NE in 1955, attended Regis College in Denver, CO for one year, and then entered the Jesuits in 1956. He was ordained at St. John’s Church in Omaha on June 6, 1969.
He was one of thirteen children. He was predeceased by Thomas Ryan, Francis Ryan, Sr. Sabina Ryan OP, Sr. Marie Colette Ryan OP, Nora Moore, Susan Rochford. He is survived by John Ryan, George Ryan, Sr. Nora Ryan OP, Virginia Garner, Imelda McMillin, and Mary Rehan.
There will be a wake at Madonna della Strada Chapel in the Jesuit Community at St. Camillus (10201 W. Wisconsin Avenue) on Thursday, August 1, 2019 from 6:00-7:30pm. The funeral Mass will follow at 7:30pm. His burial will be at 9:00am on Friday, August 2, 2019 at Mt. Olivet Cemetery (3801 W. Morgan Avenue, Milwaukee, WI).
Memorials may be sent to the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus (1010 N. Hooker Street, Chicago, IL 60642) with a notation: “In Memory of James Ryan, S.J.”