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Father Michael G. Ryan was born in Seattle and attended St. Anne's grade school. He graduated from high school at St. Edward's Seminary in Kenmore and received a Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy from St. Thomas Seminary in Kenmore. He attended the North American College in Rome, completed his graduate theological studies at the Gregorian University there and, on December 17, 1966, was ordained a priest at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. Between 1966 and 1977 Father Ryan served in pastoral roles at St. Patrick's Parish in Tacoma and St. Francis Parish in the San Juan Islands. Later he was appointed Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Seattle and a member of the theology faculty at St. Thomas Seminary. He also served as the founding director of the Archdiocese's program for the training of Permanent Deacons.  In 1977 Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen appointed him as Chancellor for the Archdiocese of Seattle and Vicar General. He served in those capacities until 1988 when the same Archbishop appointed him Pastor of St. James Cathedral where he continues to serve. In 1994, Father Ryan oversaw the nationally acclaimed renovation and restoration of the Cathedral.  Under his leadership, the Cathedral parish has tripled in size since the Renovation, drawing families from more than 180 ZIP codes.
Father Ryan has served on many church governing boards, including the Board of Directors of The National Catholic Reporter, the board of the Institute of Theological Studies at Seattle University, Catholic Community Services of Seattle-King County, the Providence Foundation, and the Church Council of Greater Seattle. His community involvements have included service on the Board of the United Way of King County and the board of the Seattle Police Foundation.  He served for six years as Chair of the Fulcrum Foundation, and is a member of the governing board of the National Cathedral Ministry Conference.  Father Ryan is also community pastor for the L'Arche Noah Sealth Community of Seattle.  In 1999 he was awarded a Doctoral Degree in Humanities, honoris causa, by Seattle University.  In 2012, the Association of US Catholic Priests honored him with the Blessed Pope John XXIII award for keeping alive the vision and spirit of Vatican II.

Click here to explore a selection of Father Ryan's homilies and other writings.


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804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303