Fr Columba Ryan

Fr  Columba Ryan OP,  died on 4 August.

Fr Columba was born on 13 January 1916. He was professed  on 30 September 1936 and ordained on 25 July 1941. After schooling at Ampleforth he spent a year in France before joining the Dominicans.  He was master of (lay)brothers for many years, taught philosophy, and was bursar at Hawkesyard, and was later regent of studies at Oxford.

The second half of his life was spent in Glasgow and London. He was chaplain to Strathclyde University and became a well known figure in Glasgow, his solitary presence in a remarkable flat on George Street paving the way for the return of a Dominican community to that city.

In London he was very much loved by people from very different social, political and religious backgrounds. Having walked in CND marches in the 1950s he joined the many hundreds of thousands who marched in London on 15 February 2003 in protest at the invasion of Iraq.

He was already in his 90s when he ceased editing the weekly St Dominic's Newsletter but continued preaching his remarkable homilies until very recently.

Fr Columba had many long-standing friendships with men and women in politics, the arts and the academic world. His contribution to philosophy and theology was more through the people he taught than through any major publication. One short piece (which he said he wrote on a train on the way to give it as a lecture) has been very influential however. This is his chapter on 'The Traditional Concept of Natural Law: an Interpretation', which, though first published in 1965, is still a fresh and stimulating introduction to the question. Gifted with a remarkable intelligence, he was a pastor at heart, always ready to visit the sick, to comfort the sorrowful, and to spend time with the many friends who loved him very dearly and whom he loved.

The Reception of his body into St Dominic's Church takes place on Monday,  17 August at 4pm. His Requiem Mass takes place next Tuesday, 18 August at noon.

Source: Godsdogs blog/St Dominic’s

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