Frederick I. Ryan, O.S.A.

1906 – 1996 (August 24)

Frederick Ignatius Ryan, son of Edward Ryan and Emma Schwartz, was born in Schaghticoke, New York, on August 13, 1906, and baptized in St. John’s Church on August 26, 1906. He attended St. Augustine Academy and Troy High School in Troy, New York. In 1922, he was admitted as a postulant at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, and a year later was accepted into the novitiate. On June 22, 1924, he professed first vows and made solemn profession on August 13, 1927. That same year he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy at Villanova College. He pursued theological studies at St. Monica College, Rome, Italy, where he was ordained to the priesthood on July 6, 1930.

In 1931, Father Ryan was assigned to Saint Rita Parish, Philadelphia. Beginning in December 1936, he spent two years as an assistant in Saint Rita Parish in Chicago Illinois, before returning east to serve at Saint Thomas of Villanova Parish in Rosemont, Pa. On September 6, 1939, Father Ryan was assigned to teach History and English at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, where he helped guide postulants toward the novitiate. On August 7, 1941, he continued his high school teaching career at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine School, Bronx, New York. On September 8, 1945, Father Ryan became a member of the Augustinian Mission Band, in which ministry he spent the next fifteen years.

Father Ryan was prior, pastor and treasurer of various Augustinian communities. In 1936, when asked to be Master of Professed Students, he declined feeling inadequate for that responsibility. In 1957, due to failing health and reasons of conscience, he chose not to accept the offer to be vicar-prior at San Agustin, Marianao, Cuba. In 1959, Father Ryan was appointed prior and pastor of Saint Mary’s Parish, Waterford, N.Y., where he was instrumental in designing and erecting a new friary. He continued his priestly ministry in New York, when in 1965, he was appointed pastor and prior of the Saint Patrick Parish, Cambridge, and in 1968, became an assistant at St. Augustine Church in Troy.

In 1969, when Father Ryan’s health began to decline, he was moved to Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital in Philadelphia. The pastor of Saint Augustine Parish in Troy, bore witness to Father Ryan’s life of generosity, stating that, “He has been very good here and has been a mighty right arm for me so that I wouldn’t make too many mistakes. He has never shirked doing anything that he had been asked. He will be more than welcome back here.”

In 1985, Father Ryan’s progressive illness made it necessary for him to take up residence at the Teresian House Nursing Home in Albany, New York, where he received proper medical and spiritual care until March 5, 1991, when he retired to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, Pa. Father Ryan died on August 24, 1996, at the age of 90. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in Saint Mary Church, Waterford, New York. Interment took place in the Ryan family plot at Saint Mary Cemetery.