Sr. Teresita Ryan, IBVM (1918-2017): Irish sister enriched lives of students, newborns, poor

Sr. Teresita Ryan, IBVM (1918-2017)

Visitation: 7:30-9:00 p.m. March 14

Rosary at 7:45 p.m. March 14 at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, 6351 N. 27th Ave.

Funeral Mass: 10 a.m. March 15 at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. Interment to follow at Ss. Simon and JSt. Francis Catholic Cemetery, 2033 N. 48th St.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Loreto Sisters’ Retirement Fund, Ss. Simon & Jude Convent, 6351 N. 27th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85017.

Sr. Teresita Ryan spent nearly 99 years strengthening the Church on earth, most notably in her native Ireland, Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix and surrounding communities. She entered eternal rest March 12 surrounded by her Loreto sisters.

Sr. Teresita was born in Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland to William J. Ryan and Julia (O’Donoghue) Ryan on April 24, 1918. She entered the Novitiate in Loreto Convent, Navan, County Meath, Ireland in 1936, and served as principal for two high school campuses.

She was an excellent administrator, and with her exceptional musical ability, she brought both of those schools to a high level in choir and musical performance. Sr. Teresita held Masters degrees from National University of Ireland with majors in Latin, French and Gaelic and she also held high-proficiency diplomas in music.

In 1975 she came to Phoenix to join the community of Loreto Sisters at Ss. Simon and Jude Convent and Catholic School. Her musical talent and expertise and her silver soprano voice were put to use as she taught singing and directed musical performances at the parish school, and, also, for some years, she directed the parish choir. In her retirement, she taught Latin, an elective for eighth grade students at Ss. Simon and Jude School.

She also volunteered at St. Joseph’s Hospital, helping with newborn babies and also serving as a minister of prayer and Holy Communion for new moms on fourth floor of the hospital. She clocked up over 1,000 hours of service at St. Joseph’s.

For some years, also, she delighted the guests at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room with her singing and piano playing. Surely she is now being welcomed to join her beautiful voice with the heavenly choirs to sing God’s praises forever.

Sr. Teresita was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers: Christopher, Michael, Sean, Bill, and Rev. Fr. James OFM Cap., her sisters: Helen, Sheila – a Presentation Sister, and Mary Celine – also a Loreto Sister.

She is survived by her sister-in-law, Norah, and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins in Ireland who will mourn her loss, as will all her former students, her Loreto Sisters and the priests and parishioners of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. May she live now in the presence of the Lord to Whom she made her commitment in Religious Life 81 years ago.

Arrangements entrusted to Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home.

More updates to come

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