Sunday, January 20, 2008

Father Abram Ryan, Priest and Poet

Fr. Ryan was a priest of Irish descent who gave spiritual assistance to the Catholic soldiers of the Confederacy. He was also a poet and lecturer of note. It is beautiful how the Church goes beyond politics and the hatred of war to aid those in perilous circumstances. According to one article:
Father Abram Ryan was known as the poet-priest of the South. Abram Ryan was born in Norfolk, Virginia, on August 15, 1838, August 5, 1838, or August 15, 1839. His parents, Matthew Ryan and Mary Coughlin, were Irish immigrants. Abram was raised and educated at Christian Brothers School. After studying priesthood at Niagra University in New York State, he attended the Our Lady of Angels Seminary. He was ordained just before the beginning of the Civil War, and entered the Confederate army as a chaplain. He served in this capacity until the end of the war, delivering sacraments to the soldiers on both sides....

In 1880 he lectured in several Northern cities. As a pulpit orator and lecturer, he was always interesting and occasionally brilliant. As a man he had a subtle, fascinating nature, full of magnetism when he saw fit to exert it. As a priest, he was full of tenderness, gentleness, and courage. In the midst of pestilence he had no fear of death or disease.

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