Ryan, John Augustine

Ryan, (Michael) John Augustine

(1869–1945) Catholic priest, social reformer; born in Vermillion, Minn. An ordained priest (1898), he earned a doctorate in sacred theology (1906) while he was teaching at St. Paul Seminary (1902–15); he then taught at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. (1915–39). He published a liberal social-justice platform in the Catholic World (1909), lobbied for the minimum wage for women and children in Wisconsin and Minnesota (1913), taught at various Catholic colleges, founded the Catholic Charities Review (1917), directed the National Catholic Welfare Council's social action department (1920–45), and was an ardent backer of the New Deal. Through years of teaching, lecturing, writing, and political support of reform candidates, he showed Catholic Americans a means of integrating Catholic principles of social justice into an industrial American society.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.