William Bertrand Ryan, O.P.
Born: April 8, 1918
Professed: August 16, 1941
Ordained: June 5, 1947
Died: January 10, 2004
Father William Bertrand Ryan, O.P., a Dominican priest of the Province of St. Joseph, died in the morning of Saturday, January 10, 2004, at Rosary Hill Home in Hawthorne, NY, where he was being cared for by the Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of St. Rose of Lima (Servants of Relief of Incurable Cancer). Father Ryan was eighty-five years old. He was born in Yonkers, NY, on April 8, 1918, the son and only child of the late Patrick James and Rose Mary (Corbalis) Ryan.
After graduating from Manhattan Prep and Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY, Father Ryan entered the Order of Preachers in 1940 and made Simple Profession on August 16, 1941, at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, KY. Following his studies in Philosophy and Theology, he was ordained to the priesthood at St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, DC, on June 5, 1947. He continued his studies at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (“The Angelicum”) in Rome, where he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Canon Law in 1952. Father Ryan was Professor of Canon Law at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, from 1951 to 1970. The Master of the Order of Preachers bestowed on him the degree of Master of Sacred Theology in 1963.
From 1970 to 1978, Father Ryan served as Professor and Chaplain at the College and Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Dominican Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Caldwell, NJ. He served as Prior of the Dominican Community at Providence College in Providence, RI, from 1978 to 1981, and then, until 1993, he was assigned to Holy Innocents Rectory in Pleasantville, NY, while serving as Defender of the Bond and Judge in the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of New York. Father Ryan served as Chaplain to the Dominican Nuns at the Monastery of Our Lady of Grace in North Guilford, CT, from 1994-1997, and finally, until he was transferred to Rosary Hill Home, he lived in the Dominican Community at St. Mary Priory in New Haven, CT, where he assisted at St. Mary’s Church.
A devoted and highly regarded member of the Order of Preachers for over sixty-two years, Father Ryan served his Province for two terms on the Provincial Council and the Provincial Economic Council, and for twelve years as Provincial Secretary for the monasteries of cloistered nuns. In addition to his religious brothers and sisters in the Order, he is survived by his many cousins here in the United States and in Ireland.
The Provincial, V. Rev. Dominic Izzo, O.P., was the celebrant at the Mass of Christian Burial at Holy Innocents Church, Pleasantville, NY, and Rev. A. Philip Smith, O.P., was the homilist. Burial followed in the Dominican Friars’ section of All Souls Cemetery in Pleasantville, NY.