Sister James Michael Ryan, CSJ
Sister James Michael Ryan, CSJ, 82, died Monday, March 26, 2012 at St. Joseph's Provincial House, Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 64 years.
Sister James Michael, the former Dorothy Jean Ryan, was born on October 15, 1929 in Schaghticoke, NY on Green Valley Farm, daughter of the late Peter and Helen O'Brien Ryan. After graduating from Hoosic Valley Central High School in Valley Falls, NY, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, NY, on March 19, 1948 and professed final vows on August 15, 1953. Sister James Michael received a bachelor's degree in elementary education from The College of Saint Rose and completed graduate studies at Saint Rose and Siena College. For 45 years, Sister James served in the ministry of education, teaching in elementary grades in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses and catechetics in both dioceses as well. Twenty-seven years of Sister James' religious life were spent in St. Brigid's Parish in Watervliet where she taught in the school and was the cook in the convent. In addition, she was a board member and spiritual advocate at the Watervliet Senior Citizen Center.
Sister James Michael was a woman of prayer, deeply committed to her faith, her religious community, her family and her friends. Graced with a simple, down-to-earth and direct approach to life, she was blessed with a generous heart, willing hands, a booming voice, an infectious laugh and a gentle soul. Sister James Michael followed her passion for cooking, baking and gardening and was endlessly generous in sharing the fruits of her labor as well as her expertise and her thousands of recipes. Her creative energies and her devoted attention to the needs of the elderly in Watervliet made a significant difference in many lives. Sister James Michael’s life was a testimony to goodness and faithfulness, and she will be dearly missed.
Sister James Michael is survived by her beloved brother and sister-in-law, David J. and Agnes D. Ryan of Schaghticoke; her seven nephews: Michael, John, Peter, David, James, Paul and Thomas Ryan and their families; many friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister James was predeceased in September by her dear friend, Sister Ellen Michele Cullen, CSJ; and many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister James Michael's funeral Liturgy was held on Friday, March 30, from the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Interment was in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery on the Provincial House grounds. Contributions in Sister James Michael's memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.