Mercy Sister Mary Julia Ryan died May 6, 2003, at the Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse in Rochester. She was 100 years old.
Born Elizabeth Ryan in South Wales, N.Y., she converted to Catholicism as a teenager after moving to St. Boniface Parish in Rochester. She entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1921 and received her bachelor’s degree in education from St. Bonaventure University in 1933.
A teacher for 48 years, Sister Ryan served in Mt. Carmel, St. Salome, Holy Cross and Mercy High School in Rochester; St. Vincent, Corning; St. John, Clyde; St. Ann, Hornell; and Holy Family, Auburn. After serving in the library and media center at Mercy, she began her 17-year ministry of tutoring inmates in the Monroe County Jail until her retirement in 1992.
She was featured in an April 10, 2003, Catholic Courier article about her 100th birthday celebration.
Sister Ryan is survived by her sister, June Ryan; nieces and nephews; and the Sisters of Mercy.
Father William Donnelly presided at the funeral Mass in the motherhouse chapel on May 9. Burial was in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 1437 Blossom Road, Rochester, NY 14610 or to Mercy Outreach Center, 142 Webster Ave., Rochester, NY 14609.