Dominican Sister of Peace Cathleen (Campion) Ryan, OP (94), a native of New York City, died on February 24, 2023, at the Dominican Sisters of Peace Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus, OH.
Sister Cathleen was one of four children born to Catherine Hazel and Edwin Ryan. In an interview with a student at her alma mater, Dominican Academy, she said that she felt drawn to mission work as early as high school but tried to push it away. She attended business school and began a successful career in real estate and advertising. Our community is blessed that she did, at last, heed God’s call to Dominican life and mission. She entered the Congregation in 1954, made first profession in 1956 and took her final vows in 1959. She would have celebrated her 67th year of religious life in 2023.
Sr. Cathleen earned her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from St. Mary of the Springs College, now Ohio Dominican University. She earned a Master of Science in Education/Secretarial Science from Hunter College, and her Master Arts in Theology /Religious Education from St. John’s University. She also attended many conferences, workshops, and convocations to stay updated and prepared for her various ministries.
Sr. Cathleen’s ministry in education centered in Ohio and her native New York, serving as a teacher and as principal of Dominican Academy, the Congregation’s founded high school in New York city. She served as the treasurer for Ohio Dominican University as well before her focus changed from academic education to religious education.
Motivated by the spirit of Vatican II, Sr. Cathleen devoted her energy to a variety of pastoral ministry positions in New York and Connecticut, and then from 1999 to 2003, she served the Congregation’s CoPromotor of Dominican Charism. After “retiring” in 2001, she volunteered as an ESL tutor, ministered part-time as a bereavement counselor, and served at the Siena Learning Center in New Britain, CT. One of her personal commitments was to keep the Spirit of Vatican II alive, and she was tireless in calling individuals or groups to accountability. She wrote letters to editors, to the church hierarchy, to leaders of the LCWR, and to Church leaders.
During her final ministry of prayer and presence at the Mohun Health Care Center, Sr. Cathleen was a lively member of the community, always ready for a gathering or a party.
She was preceded in death by her parents Edwin and Catherine Hazel Ryan, and a brother, Paul Ryan. She is survived by her brothers, Msgr. George Ryan and William Ryan.
A wake and Vigil of Remembrance Service was held at the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel on March 3, 2023. The funeral liturgy was held at the Columbus Motherhouse Chapel on Saturday, March 4,2023, followed by burial at St. Joseph Cemetery in Columbus.
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Memorial gifts in Sr. Cathleen Ryan’s memory may be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Office of Mission Advancement, 2320 Airport Dr. Columbus, OH 43219 or oppeace.org.