Father Joseph D. Ryan, 77, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, died Monday, April 20, 2009 at Brian’s House in Bay City.
He was born on June 1, 1931, son of Joseph M. and Mary Irene (Hagan) Ryan, in Jackson but grew up in Saginaw, where he attended St. Joseph and Holy Family schools and worshiped at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption.
As a seminarian, Father Ryan attended St. Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids, Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and St. John Provincial Seminary in Plymouth. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 7, 1958 by Bishop Stephen S. Woznicki at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw.
During his priesthood, Father Ryan served as an assistant at Sacred Heart, Oscoda; Blessed Sacrament, Midland; Our Lady of the Visitation, Bay City, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Chesaning; and as pastor at St. Joseph, Argyle; St. Agnes, Sanford; St. Anne, Linwood; St. James, Bay City; Holy Family, Saginaw; and St. Cecilia, Clare. In addition to membership on various diocesan boards and committees, Father Ryan was the diocesan director for the Christian Family Movement from 1961 to 1963 and as director fro the Pre-Cana and Family Life offices in 1970. He was granted senior priest status (retirement) in 2005.
He is survived by his sister, Judith (Larry) Moriarty of Northville; his nieces and nephews: Cheryl Moriarty, Mary (Harlow) Moriarty Naasz, Kathleen Moriarty (Jeffrey Martens), Susan (Mark) Randall, Barbara (Patrick) Robinson, and Robert Maschke; and 12 great nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Rosemarie Goceljak on June 9, 2000.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 24, at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, 1503 Kosciuszko Ave., Bay City. Bishop Robert J. Carlson will preside. Burial will follow at St. Andrew Cemetery in Saginaw.
Visitation will take place from 2 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church. The Rosary will be prayed at 2:30 p.m. and a vigil liturgy will begin at 7 p.m.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the Catholic Community Foundation of Mid-Michigan – Fr. Joe Ryan Fund (for the Catholic school education of students in the Saginaw Diocese).
Arrangements are entrusted to the care of the W. A. Trahan Funeral Chapel (989-893-6583).