In Your Midst
Father Ryan Honored
Summer 99

Fr. Ryan
Fr. Ryan with John Eshelman, S.U. Provost at left and S.U. President Stephen V. Sundborg, SJ, at right during Commencement excersises. June 13, 1999.
Anil Kapahi/S.U.
The following presentation was delivered by the Reverend Stephen V. Sundborg, SJ, June 13, 1999, at Seattle University's Commencement. At that time, Father Michael G. Ryan was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Humanities. So what is the proper manner of address now? Is it The Very Reverend Dr. Father Michael G. Ryan? No! The honor has not gone to his head. "Father Ryan" is still fine with him.

The Very Reverend Michael Gerard Ryan has been pastor of St. James Cathedral since 1988, directing its physical renovation and enhancing its musical and liturgical programs in order to establish St. James as a magnet parish for the entire Puget Sound region in the tradition of the great European cathedrals. At the same time, he has been a spiritual and social leader throughout the greater Seattle community, giving of his time and talents to numerous civic boards and leadership tasks.

Father Ryan was ordained at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City in 1966. Since then, he has served as assistant pastor at St. Patrick's Church in Tacoma; he has been director of vocations and the founding director of the Permanent Deacon Program for the Seattle Archdiocese. He has also been a faculty member, spiritual director and director of field education at St. Thomas Seminary. From 1977 to 1988 he was chancellor of the Archdiocese, and from 1984 to 1996 he served as Vicar General. Father Ryan has served on the boards of the United Way of King County, Catholic Community Services, Church Council of Greater Seattle, and the Providence Foundation.

Seattle University has enjoyed a very warm and special relationship with Father Ryan and the cathedral during his pastorship at St. James. As members of his parish, we have felt his spirit and been inspired by his ambition to contribute in a meaningful way to the spiritual and intellectual life of this community. We share this ambition and gratefully acknowledge his energy and dedication. It is for these qualities and activities that we honor him today, proudly presenting him with the degree of doctor humanities, honoris causa.

The Reverend Sundborg, SJ, is the president of Seattle University and former Provincial for the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus.

Back To Summer 1999 Issue