Br. Leo Ryan, CSV, quietly celebrated his birthday Wednesday at the Province Center. As is the custom among his retired confreres, they remembered him at their morning Mass in the chapel and then enjoyed cake that night, before singing “Happy Birthday.”
Staff members at the Province Center also remembered his birthday last week, combining a celebration with Noé Quiroga, who works in maintenance and had his birthday on April 1.
At 89, Br. Leo’s birthday puts him in rare company among Viatorian Community members. Only Fr. Edward Anderson, CSV, is older, having turned 94 in December.
Yet, Br. Leo already is looking ahead to his milestone birthday, next year when he turns 90. Just like earlier celebrations, when he turned, 65, 70 and then 80, he hopes to throw a big party.
And why not? Br. Ryan’s years of ministry have taken him around the world, literally. From serving in Nigeria with the Peace Corps during 1967, to serving as a visiting professor and prolific writer in Poland, to serving as a member of the Viatorian General Council in Rome; he has advanced the Viatorian mission in all corners of the world.
Closer to home, Br. Ryan has led business departments at three Midwestern universities, including Marquette, Notre Dame and DePaul, whose university officials credited Br. Ryan with helping to transform its business college into a nationally ranked and internationally known institution.
In retirement, Br. Ryan continues to write for various publications and travel. But most days, he begins with daily Mass in the chapel and ends with evening vespers, much the same way as he has during his more than 65 years of religious life.