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.
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
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
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
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.