Jesuit Father Thomas M. Ryan died on June 20, 2015, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 74 years old.
Fr. Ryan was born on August 27, 1940, in Toledo, Ohio, and entered the Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus on September 1, 1958. He was ordained on June 12, 1971, and took his final vows on February 2, 1979, at Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.
Fr. Ryan attended Gesu Grade School and parish in Toledo. During formation, he earned a bachelor’s degree in classics and a master’s degree in philosophy from Loyola University Chicago. He then earned a licentiate in philosophy from West Baden College in Indiana, a bachelor’s degree of Sacred Theology from Bellarmine School of Theology, and a Master of Divinity from Loyola University Chicago.
Fr. Ryan spent most of his life teaching in high schools. During regency, Fr. Ryan helped open Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, teaching English and speech there. After ordination, he returned to Walsh Jesuit, where he taught theology and was a student counselor.
In 1980, Fr. Ryan moved to St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, where he taught theology and English, but he shortly returned to Walsh Jesuit.
Fr. Ryan then moved to Detroit, where he taught theology at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School. He then spent two years teaching religious studies at Regis University in Denver. He also was a director of Marriage Encounters in the Cleveland Diocese.
In 2008, Fr. Ryan decided to leave teaching to focus on directing retreats full-time. He directed retreats at Manresa Jesuit Retreat House and Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford. Fr. Ryan moved to Colombiere Center in 2014 where he performed community service such as driving Jesuits to appointments and visiting community members in the hospital.