Born: Kilworth, Ireland, on November 14, 1839
Took the habit: Sicklinghall on July 30, 1859
Vows: Sicklinghall on April 21, 1861 (n. 544)
Priestly ordination: Autun on June 10, 1865
Died: Rock Ferry, England, July 29, 1873.
William Ryan was born on 14 November 1839 in Kilworth, in the diocese of Cork. He passed his secondary studies with brilliant results in Dublin, where his father, an engineer, had taken up residence. On the advice of a Dublin priest Father Lynch, although he had been offered a place in the Irish College in Rome by the Archbishop of Dublin, William began his novitiate in Sicklinghall on 30 July 1859 and made his oblation there on 21 April 1861. He did a year of philosophy there and a year of theology there and in Glenmary before continuing his scholasticate studies in Autun from 1862 to 1865 and was ordained priest there on 10 June 1865. In Autun the superior judges him at first to be “inclined to be argumentative, tendency to pride…with little love of the Rule and piety.” The report in July 1865 is more positive: “Ryan: character normally gentle, conciliatory, agreeable, lively. He becomes aroused, independent, and easily indignant if he believes himself injured. Spirit: when all goes well, he is reasonable and well intentioned. Capacity: above average. Studies: very satisfactory. Piety: normally praiseworthy. Aptitude for the pulpit. Bearing – good. Health – delicate.”
After his ordination he was sent to England where he worked in Liverpool, Leeds and London. In 1869 he was named superior in Rock Ferry where in response to new legislation rendering attendance at school compulsory he found the funds to erect the necessary Catholic schools, which were directed by the Holy Family Sisters. He commenced collecting funds for the building of the parish church of St. Anne, but fell ill in 1872 and spent three months in Bordeaux. Apparently cured, he returned to Rock Ferry and resumed his duties. However his illness revived and he died on 29 July 1873. He was buried in the Catholic cemetery of Bebington, near Rock Ferry.
and Michael Hughes, o.m.i.