On his Ordination to Deaconate, May 1, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio
Before Ryan began his studies at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Ryan grew up in Grove City, Ohio, attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City High School, Miami University of Ohio, and The Ohio State University where he obtained a degree in Turf Grass Science for golf course management. Not surprisingly, Ryan enjoys playing golf, but has always enjoyed playing sports in general–especially skiing and basketball.
While at OSU, Ryan fell in love with his Catholic faith anew and began to integrate it into his everyday life. During this time, Ryan began to discern if God was calling him to the priesthood. While working at a summer job in Las Vegas, his call became more clear and he began to discern whether God was calling him to a religious order or the diocesan priesthood.
After spending a year discerning between religious orders and the diocesan priesthood, Ryan believed God was calling him to stay in the diocese. Ryan’s family has always been very supportive of his discernment.
Reflecting on his call, Ryan said, “From the start of high school until the end of college, the priesthood was not even a thought in the back of my mind. So when I hear guys say that they could never be a priest; I always think back on my own experience, smile, and say, ‘Don’t be so sure about that.’ “
Ryan’s favorite passage for people who are discerning a vocation to the priesthood or religious life is Romans 12:2. “And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed in the newness of your mind, that you may discern what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
Ryan describes himself as a practical and straight-forward person and noted that, “For the past few years in my classes, I’ve always asked myself, ‘What is the best way to present what I’m learning in a parish setting?’ After all, once I’m called to Holy Orders, I will be preaching and teaching the Gospel and applying what I’ve learned in my studies and in prayer.”
During this year of preparation for diaconate ordination, Ryan has been assisting at St. Brigid of Kildare parish in Dublin, Ohio. “I have had the opportunity to help out and attend at a wide variety of groups such as the men’s group, youth group, a Confirmation retreat, Bible studies, RCIA, and I have even taught theology in the elementary and middle school classes,” said Ryan. “It has been a great experience.”
Ryan is not approaching ordination casually. “This isn’t a 9-5 job, it’s a vocation that is always lived 24/7, for the rest of my life. More than that, it’s a calling which demands that I be conformed to, and radiate, Christ in every area of my life. This is no small task. Nor is it possible for anyone to carry this out on their own. One must first die to self so that it is not their own message that they preach, but rather the message of Jesus Christ. This will be reflected in the Ordination Rite when I will lay face down on the floor as a layman, beg for the intercession of Our Lord, Our Lady, the angels, the saints, and concomitantly all those present, and as I offer my life in sacrifice to God. I will then rise, be ordained by Bishop Campbell into Holy Orders so that I may go forth in service of the Church.“
The example of the saints throughout history has helped Ryan in his journey. “Among the saints, I see brothers and sisters in Christ who have faced struggles both great and small. To see how they responded in the face of adversity is not only edifying, but also helps motivate me to live a more virtuous life conformed to Christ,” said Ryan. A few of Ryan’s favorite saints include St. Francis of Assisi, St. John Vianney, St. Therese of Lisieux, Pope St. Pius X, and St. Padre Pio.