Fr. Herbert J. Ryan, S.J. (1931 - 2010)
Former Professor of Theological Studies and a director of The Spiritual Exercises at Loyola Marymount University
Born in Scarsdale, N.Y., on Feb. 19, 1931, Father Ryan attended Fordham Preparatory, and earned his doctorate in theology at Rome’s Gregorian University. He entered the Society of Jesus at St. Andrew on Hudson, Poughkeepsie, New York on July 30, 1949 and pronounced his final vows in August 1966 in Maastricht, Holland. During his time in Europe, he served as secretary to John Courtney Murray, S.J., a major figure in Vatican II Council’s Declaration on Religious Liberty, Dignitatis Humanae.
Father Ryan was a much-beloved professor in the Theological Studies Department for more than 30 years. He was fluent in Latin, Greek, German, Italian and Spanish. An author, a scholar and a much-sought mentor, Father Ryan’s gift for encouragement led many students to stay in contact with him long after they had graduated. In 2001, Father Ryan was awarded the university’s Fritz B. Burns Distinguished Teaching Award. Fr. Ryan published several books and 65 articles in numerous journals.
In conjunction with the Center for Ignatian Spirituality, he guided many members of the faculty and staff through The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and had an online “advice column” called Ask Father Herbie, in which he would answer e-mailed theological and religious questions. Father Ryan gave considered answers to concerns that his correspondents might not feel were appropriate for a group or conversational setting.
Father Ryan was deeply involved in the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission, which seeks common ground between the two churches. For his work in furthering this official-level dialog, he was awarded the Papal Medal of Merit and the Medal of the Cross of Saint Augustine.
Fr. Ryan died in Santa Monica, California, on April 8, 2010, at the age of 79, having been a Jesuit for 61 years, and a priest for 40 years.