Born: Castle Durrow, Ireland, January 1815.
Took the habit: in England, October 18, 1844.
Vows: Marseille, November 1, 1845 (N. 145).
Priestly ordination: Montreal, August 22, 1847.
Left the Congregation: 1852.
Died: Oakville, Ontario, Canada, April 15, 1880.
Jeremiah Ryan was born in Castle Durrow, Ireland, in January 1815. He began his novitiate in England on October 14, 1844, and continued in Marseille and then Notre-Dame de l’Osier. He took vows in Marseille on November 1, 1845. After some months of study in the major seminary of Marseille, he left for Canada with Brother Faraud at the beginning of June 1846. In a letter dated May 14-16, the Founder informed Father Guigues of their forthcoming departure in these words: “They are both very good, but not very advanced in their studies … I deliver them therefore to the protection of God and of our good Mother Mary. They leave contented; that is the essential.”
The scholastic remained in Longueuil in 1846-1847, was ordained to the priesthood in Montreal on August 22, 1847 and was assistant in Ottawa cathedral (1847-1852). He then left the Congregation and went to work in the diocese of Toronto. On July 26, 1852, Bishop de Mazenod wrote to Bishop Charbonnel reproaching him for accepting Oblates too easily when they left the Congregation: “I would not have dared, my Lord, to address to you the slightest observation regarding the facility with which you receive apostates from our Congregation, but you have yourself mentioned it to me, I cannot help saying how deplorable it is that men wavering in their vocation should be encouraged in their apostasy by the assurance that having left the society in which they had sworn solemnly to remain until their last breath, they would be received with open arms in a diocese which would be their refuge, patronizing their disobedience and their insubordination and providing sufficient nourishment for their cupidity. That is a four fold profanation of what is most sacred on earth: the perpetual vows of religion and the oath of perseverance, commitments accepted in the presence of Jesus Christ and sealed immediately by participation in his adorable Body. … The most recent of these about whom you speak, Father Ryan, is a real apostate. Being bound by his vows and his oath, he has withdrawn, not only without my permission, but contrary to my instructions. I did not consider the reasons that he gave me to be sufficient for me to give him a dispensation, since that is something I cannot do arbitrarily. He therefore bears the weight of all the censures which the Canons impose on apostates.” It was not until June 23, 1857 that Bishop de Mazenod sent to Bishop Guigues “the certificate of dispensation which you have requested for a certain Ryan whom we made the mistake of receiving into the Congregation.”
In the diocese of Toronto, Father Ryan ministered in Windham (1853) and Brantford (1853-1859). He was pastor in Oakville (1859-1876), Galt (876) and Waterdown (1876-1880). He died in Oakville on April 15, 1880.
Sources and Bibliography
G. A.: oblation
formula, Marseille, November 1, 1845.
Carrière, Gaston, o.m.i., “Jeremiah Ryan”, in Dictionnaire biographique des Oblats de M.I. au Canada, Ottawa, 1979, Tome III, pp. 150-151.