Rev. James "Jerry" Ryan, O.S.A. (1920 - 2015)
Our brother Fr. James Gerald “Jerry” Ryan, OSA died in the early morning of April 29, 2015. At age 94, he was the third-oldest friar in the Midwest Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel.
Jerry professed first vows in the Order of St. Augustine September 10, 1943. He was ordained a priest June 7, 1949.
Ministry in Japan and the United States
After teaching for four years at Cascia Hall and Mendel Catholic High School, he spent 28 years (1954-80 and 1981-83) as a missionary in Japan.
In his later years, he did pastoral ministry in a variety of parishes in Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, and Michigan. His most recent parish assignment was to St. Matthew Parish, Flint.
Struggles with Cancer
He was first diagnosed with melanoma in 2007. He underwent surgery to remove the cancerous tissue. The cancer reappeared in 2009, this time as a nodule in a lung. At first, this cancer appeared to be dormant, but tests in 2010 showed that it was growing. Doctors gave Jerry six months to live.
Later scans showed that the cancer was miraculously shrinking. In December, 2013, however, Jerry woke up with a numb leg which was painful to walk on. Tests showed that the cancer had metastasized into his shin. As his illness progressed, Jerry remained at St. Matthew until March, 2015, when he moved to Bl. Stephen Bellesini Friary, Crown Point.