Archbishop Patrick John Ryan – His Life and Times

Researching the Book

When I commenced the research in 2004, I fully expected to find that a biography had already been written but perhaps no longer available.  The more the research progressed the more I was surprised by the absence of a biography and the more convinced that one was merited.

Early in the process, I experienced a stroke of luck or divine intervention.  In the web site for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia I clicked on the name, Joseph F. Martino, probably because he was a serving bishop and a possible link with the archdiocese.  His CV appeared and it stated that he had completed his Doctorate at the Gregorian University in Rome in 1982 on “A Study of Certain Aspects of the Episcopate of Patrick J. Ryan, Archbishop of Philadelphia, 1884–1911.”  He very kindly made a copy of his dissertation available to me and introduced me to the invaluable sources of research material in St Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia as described under “Acknowledgements”.  My son Stephen and I spent a very fruitful time there in June 2006, extracting the information which became the main building blocks for this biography.