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Father Philip J. Ryan


1932 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Father  Philip J. Ryan Obituary
Father Philip J. Ryan Father Philip Ryan, a retired priest of the Diocese of Santa Rosa in California, died on Thursday evening, December 14, 2017 at Sutter Lakeside Hospital in Lakeport following a heart attack on the previous day. He died peacefully in the presence of some friends who had given him hospitality in his retirement. Father Ryan was born in Upperchurch, Co. Tipperary, Ireland on February 4, 1932. He attended Milestone National School and Rockwell College Secondary School, Cashel, Co. Tipperary in June 1951. He entered St. Patrick's Seminary in Thurles, Co. Tipperary in September 1951 to pursue his studies for the priesthood. Upon completion of studies in Philosophy and Theology he was ordained for the priesthood on June 16, 1957 for ministry in the Diocese of Maitland, New South Wales, Australia and he served in four parishes as an associate pastor for ten years. In 1967 he came to the Diocese of Santa Rosa, California to exercise his priestly ministry. His first assignment was as an associate pastor of St. Joseph parish, Fortuna, where he served for two years. In September 1970 he was appointed pastor of Our Lady of the Redwoods parish, Garberville. From July 1974 to August of 1975 he served as Parochial Administrator of Our lady of Good Counsel, Fort Bragg, St. Joseph, Cotati and St. Aloysius, Point Arena parishes. Then in August of 1975 he was appointed pastor of St. Mary Immaculate, Lakeport and ministered there for twelve years. In August 1987 he was assigned as pastor of our Lady of Good Counsel, Fort Bragg and two years later was assigned as pastor of Holy Spirit parish, Santa Rosa where he served until 1993. In January 1993 he was appointed Parochial Administrator of St. Elizabeth's parish, Guerneville, where he remained until he retired in September 2002. Father Ryan was a faithful and dedicated priest who had a great devotion to Our Lady. He was his own person and not everyone saw eye to eye with him but he touched the individual lives of many people in his priestly ministry through his kindness and understanding. He will be remembered particularly as the producer of the Lake County Passion Play which has been held on the third weekend of May on the 85 acre Beltramo Ranch since 1981. It is the largest and longest running outdoor play commemorating the Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ which featured a cast of 150, all volunteers, and drew 1,500 people annually. While he ministered in Australia Father Ryan had produced an outdoor play "The Way of the Cross" and he wanted to duplicate that experience for the people of Lake County. Father Ryan said that the play should not be seen as a spectacle but rather he wanted it to be a prayerful expression of faith for all involved and for all who attended. Certainly it touched those who attended. Father Ryan had four brothers and four sisters, seven of whom along with his parents preceded him in death. He is survived by one brother, Tom and numerous nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews. May He Rest in Peace. Visitation: Wednesday, December 20, from 2:00 to 6:00 PM, St. Peter Mission, Kelseyville, Lake County. Rosary: Wednesday, December 20, at 6:00 pm, St. Peter Mission, Kelseyville, Lake County. Funeral Mass: Thursday, December 21, at 10:00 am, St. Mary of the Angels Church, Ukiah, Mendocino County. Burial: Upperchurch, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. Arrangements by Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary 707-263-0357, 994-5611 or visit chapelofthelakes.com
Published in Ukiah Daily Journal on Dec. 20, 2017
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