Rev. Cornelius J. Ryan, C.S.C.
June 16, 1937 – December 29, 2021
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Rev. Cornelius James Ryan, C.S.C., 84, died at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind.
on December 29, 2021 after a short illness.
Fr. Ryan was born on June 16, 1937 in Peoria, Ill., the second of four children to William and Lorraine
(Conner) Ryan, who preceded him in death.
Fr. Ryan attended elementary school at St. Mary’s Grade School in Streator, Ill. and graduated from
Streator Township High School in 1956. After graduating high school, Fr. Ryan attended the University
of Notre Dame where he heard the call to serve God and entered the Old College pre-Novitiate program
in 1957. In 1962, he graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in
Philosophy and in 1966, graduated from Holy Cross College, Washington, D.C. with a Masters of Arts in
Theology. He entered the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Jordan, Minn. on August 15, 1958, professed final
vows on August 16, 1962 and was ordained a Holy Cross priest on June 9, 1966.
From 1966 to 1998, Fr. Ryan began his pastoral ministry within the District of East Africa, Uganda where
he was involved in various mission work projects. He worked to produce a new language program in
Rutoro to be used in teaching new missionaries to the Dioceses of Fort Portal and Hoima, taught in
Uganda’s National Major Seminaries where he developed “Justice and Peace Scholarships” for Ugandans
to pursue an education at Holy Cross’ universities in the United States, and was appointed the Director of
Family Ministries program in Uganda. From 1998-1999, Fr. Ryan took a sabbatical at Holy Cross
Mission House in Notre Dame, Ind. From 1999-2002, he returned to the District of East Africa to assist
the Dandora Community in Nairobi, Africa. From 2002-2011, Fr. Ryan assisted at Little Flower Parish in
South Bend, Ind. and was appointed pastor there in 2006. From 2011-2013, Fr. Ryan served as
administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Hessen-Cassel, Ind. Beginning in 2013, Fr. Ryan resided at a care
facility in St. Louis, Mo. until moving into Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind. in 2021.
The Funeral Mass will be at 9:30 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at the Basilica of the Sacred
Heart, Notre Dame, Ind. Burial will be in the community cemetery at Notre Dame. Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, is in charge of the arrangements.
Memorial contributions in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross can be
made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Advancement, P.O. Box 765, Notre
Dame, IN 46556-0765 or online at https://donate.holycrossusa.org