December 01, 2018
The Catholic Foundation received two generous gifts from the estate of the late Rev. Msgr. William H. Ryan, including a donation to create an endowed fund for Immaculate Conception. Fr. James “Buzz” Hall, who met Msgr. Ryan as a 9-year-old when the young Ryan was serving as a priest at St. Joseph’s Church on Hueco, said his dear friend was a humble man who did not need praise or accolades, but naming a fund in his memory seemed like the right thing to do to honor his legacy. Msgr. Ryan retired in 2006 and became Pastor Emeritus after working for 58 years as a priest and serving Immaculate Conception Parish for 20 years.
William Hugh Ryan was born in Creighton, Nebraska on December 21, 1922. He was educated at St. Ludger's Academy in Creighton, Nebraska, St. John Minor Seminary in San Antonio, Texas, and St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado, where he also received a Master of Arts degree. He was ordained to the Diaconate in April, 1948 and the Priesthood on May 27, 1948 by Bishop Hunkeler in Grand Island, Nebraska. He was named Monsignor, an honorific title, in the spring of 1975 by Bishop Sidney M. Metzger, S.T.D. His first assignment was at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in the lower valley and he served at numerous parishes in El Paso and Las Cruces when Southern New Mexico and West Texas were all in the same diocese. Msgr. Ryan was interested in promoting the renewal of the Sacred Liturgy of the Church as a revival of the life of the Church, the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, and the promotion of social justice through El Paso Interreligious Sponsoring Organization (EPISO), an organization he was instrumental in founding. He helped get water to the less fortunate in the Colonias on the east side of El Paso and called this one of his proudest accomplishments.
Msgr. Ryan served as Director of the Newman Club at NMSU in 1953; Member and Chairman of the Liturgical Commission for the Diocese of El Paso; Vicar for the St. Thomas Vicariate and St. Peter Vicariate, and was a member of the Presbyteral Council, a group of priests chosen to assist the diocesan bishop. In his spare time, he loved to golf, fish, and ride his bicycle. Msgr. Ryan came to El Paso from Nebraska in 1940 and worked as a night clerk for the FBI. Following his shift, he would walk over to Immaculate Conception where he would attend daily Mass. This would mark the beginning of his deep connection to the parish. In 1942, Msgr. Ryan answered his calling and entered St. John Seminary in San Antonio.
In addition to his gift for Immaculate Conception, Msgr. Ryan also left a generous donation for the Retired Priest Appreciation Fund, a permanent endowed fund managed by the Catholic Foundation. In 2018, the Foundation distributed $60,354 to retired priests. The Retired Priest Appreciation Fund has a value of $1.8 million and provides supplemental income and assistance to fully retired and semi-retired priests.
Gifts to the Reverend Monsignor William H. Ryan Fund will aid in the preservation of Immaculate Conception Parish. Msgr. Ryan wanted to ensure Immaculate Conception would have the necessary funds to care for the building in perpetuity. He served as Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish from 1986 until 2006 when he retired from ministry. Msgr. Ryan was called home to our Lord on September 26, 2014. 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the renovation of Immaculate Conception under the leadership of Msgr. Ryan.
Please consider gifts in any amount to the Reverend Monsignor William H. Ryan Fund for Immaculate Conception to honor his life’s work and in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Msgr. Ryan’s renovation project. Become a part of the “Century Club” with a recurring gift of $100 a month or $3.33 a day. Donors may create a Named Fund with a gift or pledge of $10,000 or more over a five-year period benefiting the parish, school, ministry or charity of your choice.
For more information, please contact Major Gifts Officer Sofía Larkin at 915.872.8412, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit elpasodiocesefoundation.org and go to the Rev. Msgr. William H. Ryan Fund page.