Father Albert ‘AJ’ Ryan dies at age 82

FALL RIVER, Mass. — Father Albert “AJ” Ryan, age 82, passed away February 1 at Catholic Memorial Nursing Center after a long illness. Father Ryan was born on April 15, 1932 in Boston to the late Albert J. and Mary J. (Gill) Ryan. He attended Boston Commerce High School and St. Philip of Neri School.

He is survived by his brother, Robert Ryan and his wife Mary of Antioch, Tenn., his sister, Sheila McGrale and her husband Jack of Kingston, along with numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews and cousins whom he loved and enjoyed spending special family time with.

Father Ryan was ordained into the priesthood as a Monfort Father in 1958 with assignments in Bay Shore, N.Y.; St. Louis, Mo.; Noblesville, Ind.; and Hamilton-Ontario, Canada. He entered the U.S. Air Force as a chaplain in 1966 with assignments in Ohio, New York, Thailand, Massachusetts, Greece and North Dakota. After leaving active duty he entered the Air Force Reserve from which he retired as a Lt. Colonel with 20 years of service. He devoted many years to the Diocese of Fall River with parish assignments in Hyannis, North Attleboro, Taunton, Swansea, and Fall River culminating with an assignment to St. Francis of Assisi in New Bedford as pastor prior to his retirement. He was a long-time resident of Mashpee. 

He loved Cape Cod and enjoyed filling in at Holy Trinity Parish in West Harwich. He served as a chaplain for the Barnstable Fire Department and the Barnstable County House of Corrections.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated February 6, with Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., as principal celebrant. Burial with full military honors followed at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. Arrangements were with the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, New Bedford. 

Remembrances may be made to the Catholic Memorial Nursing Center, 2446 Highland Avenue, Fall River, Mass., 02720, or Cardinal Medeiros Residence, 375 Elsbree Street, Fall River, Mass., 02720.

© 2017 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing  †  Fall River, Massachusetts