The Rev. James F. Ryan, CSV, died Easter Sunday, April 5, 1931 at the age of 61, after suffering from a heart illness for two months.
Fr. Ryan was born in Batavia, Illinois, and was ordained as a Viatorian priest in 1895. Until 1905 he served as master of discipline at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, Illinois, and as college treasurer from 1905 until 1909.
He was assigned as pastor to St. Viator Church, Chicago, in 1909 and remained there until 1918, when he returned to the college as president. A year later he returned to the church as pastor.
The body lay in state for two days in the parish rectory until Wednesday afternoon, April 8, 1931 when the remains were transferred to the church, where they were viewed by thousands of present and past parishioners.
On Thursday, April 9, 1931 at 10:30 a.m., Cardinal George Mundelein was present at the funeral services and gave the last absolution at the conclusion. The celebrant of the Solemn Requiem Mass was the Rt. Rev. Msgr. G. M. Legris, D.D. The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Thomas V. Shannon, L.L.D, Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Church and lifelong friend of Fr. Ryan, preached a moving eulogy on Fr. Ryan’s life and works as pastor.
Shortly after the Mass and absolution, the funeral cortege, numbering some 260 cars and five miles in length, motored to Bourbonnais, Illinois. Here, with his brothers in religion, Fr. James F. Ryan was buried. The blessing at the grave was given by the Very Rev. W.J. Surprenant, CSV, pastor of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
May his soul rest in peace.
Taken from obituary published in the Northwest News, April 10, 1931 and from the St. Viator Parish Chronicle, May 1931