In Remembrance of

Father J. Linus Ryan, O. Carm.,

Apostle of St. Therese in Ireland

Father J. Linus Ryan, O. Carm., director of the National Office for St. Therese in Ireland, entered into life on Friday, July 17, 2009 in Dublin, Ireland.  For details, please see my blog entry about Father Ryan.  I supply below links to more information about Father Ryan.  Many of you have been touched by the Irish Web site he maintained for St. Therese. 

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Fr. J. Linus Ryan, O. Carm., was one of seven winners chosen from nominations by the Irish public to receive the "People of the Year" awards.

The 27th Annual ESB/Rehab People of the Year Awards took place on Saturday, November 19, 2001. The awards ceremony was broadcast live on RTE television.

An Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Rt. Hon. Bertie Ahern TD gave out the awards. Fr. Linus's citation read "In recognition of the outstanding success of the visit of the relics of St. Thérèse to Ireland earlier this year and his major achievement in bringing such a unique and enriching experience to the Irish public."

"Having organized the Annual Irish National Pilgrimage to Lisieux for the last 35 years and as a consequence, being well known to the authorities in Lisieux, in September 1998 I was asked by my co-trustees of the Thérèsian Trust if I would make an approach to Pére Raymond Zambelli, Directeur de Pèlerinage, about the possibility of the Relics coming to Ireland," said Fr. Ryan. "He received me very kindly and positively, but reminded me that my request would be granted only if there was a formal petition for the Relics from the Irish Bishops' Conference. This was quickly forthcoming through the good offices of my friend, Bishop Brendan Comiskey of Ferns."

On St. Patrick's Day (17th March, 1999 _ Feast of the National Apostle of Ireland) official confirmation of the visit arrived. Fr. Ryan was appointed by the Irish Bishops to co-ordinate the whole visit.

"It was left to me to decide how best to plan the whole affair and knowing that we could not visit every Church in Ireland, I decided that we would visit the Cathedral Church of each of Ireland's 26 Dioceses, as well as every Carmelite House. It was a mammoth task to get the whole programme underway and we needed all of the two years preparation," reflected Fr. Ryan.

The Relics were in Ireland from Easter Sunday, April 15 to Monday, July 2 _ a total of 80 days (cfr CITOC January-February 2002). Three million of Ireland's four million Catholics venerated the Relics, a percentage record, according to Pére Zambelli. The Irish Sunday Business Post of July 1 described the Relics visit as "the greatest mass movement of Irish people in the history of the country."

Both branches of the Carmelite Family, as well as a number of the Bishops, did tremendous work in updating our people on the spirituality of St. Thérèse during the two year preparatory period.

Seven months after the Relics have departed the visit is still a lively topic on radio and t.v. chat shows, particularly as it ran totally counter to the ongoing religious indifference and secularism in Ireland, as elsewhere in the West. Experienced Confessors were stunned at the numbers returning to the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.  -- with thanks to CITOC, where this article appeared.