Archbishop Patrick John Ryan – His Life and Times


Rev. Joseph F. Martino, Bishop of Scranton, PA, made available his dissertation on Patrick John Ryan which he wrote in 1982 at the Gregorian University in Rome.  He introduced me to Cait Kokolus, Director of Library Services at the Ryan Memorial Library in Philadelphia.  She supplied research material and put me in touch with the Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center (PAHRC) where Shawn Weldon and Colin Varga guided me to the relevant files.  In addition, Shawn answered numerous queries by e-mail.  Without the help of these people, this biography could not have been written.

A key source among the many files in the PAHRC were the 5,000 typewritten, unreferenced sheets, together with newspaper clippings, letters, speeches and sermons, the work of Father Herman Joseph Heuser (1851–1933) in preparation for a biography of Ryan.  The German-born professor at St. Charles Seminary and editor of the Ecclesiastical Review died before the project could be advanced.  Stewart Ryan, Oklahoma, provided valuable family research material.  Agnes Blair in Pennsylvania and Anne Rogers Devereux and Ginny Devereux Sparrow in Maryland were very helpful and encouraging.

In Ireland, Rev. Mark Tierney, O. S. B. and the late Michael Adams gave me the benefit of their experience and Father Ignatius in the Franciscan Archives helped with research material.  Mary Guinan-Darmody, Local Studies Dept, County Tipperary Libraries, Philip Ryan, Cloneyharp and Kitty Barry, Clogher, provided local knowledge.  Evelyn Deighan worked wonders with old photographs and Joe Ryan provided invaluable expertise on the use of computer software.  Anne McManus, Finbar Breathnach and John Murray helped with specific aspects of the research.  Elizabeth Hudson, my copy-editor, was both meticulous and supportive.

I am indebted to my brother Dan.  His research of family history created the seed from which this biography has grown.  My thanks are also due to my wife, Breda, and other members of my family, Denise and John, for their support and encouragement, and especially to Stephen and Jessica who sourced out of print books, helped with the research, suggested amendments to the drafts and solved computer glitches.  I would also like to thank my friends who, by their frequent expressions of interest, helped me to persevere.

To all of the above and many others who helped in various ways, I am truly grateful.

Patrick Ryan, Dublin, August 2009.