Benvenute Ryan, OFM
1867 – 1953
Fr. Benvenute Ryan, OFM, was born in Southington, Conn., on Nov. 5, 1867. He was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure’s College in Allegany, N.Y. April 27, 1890.
After professing temporary vows on May 3, 1891, he went to Rome with Fr. Matthew Fox, OFM, to continue his theological studies. He made his profession of solemn vows May 5, 1894, and was ordained a priest in Rome on Aug. 11, 1895.
He was assigned to be the master of clerics and professor of philosophy at St. Joseph Friary in Winsted, Conn. In 1900, Fr. Benvenute began his brilliant career as a professor of sacred theology at St. Bonaventure’s.
From 1925 to 1931, his teaching career was interrupted while he served as Provincial Minister of Holy Name Province. During his two terms, Holy Name College in Washington was completed, and Fr. Benvenute was appointed guardian and took up the work he loved, teaching theology. He served the Province faithfully for over 60 years.
Fr. Benvenute devoted himself for 45 years — 25 at St. Bonaventure’s and 20 at Holy Name College — to one subject: moreal theology. During the final two years of his life, he was unable to teach because of advanced age. Shortly before he died he commented: “The century went by very quickly.”
He died in Washington, D.C., on July 2, 1953. He was 85 years old, a professed friar for 62 years and a dedicated priest for nearly 58 years.