Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help souls as a companion of Jesus.
Father Ryan G. Duns, SJ, 35, was born to Mary Michele (Hagan) and Robert Duns III and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He has four siblings. Father Duns first encountered the Jesuits when he was 14 and was playing Irish music in a band with a Jesuit, but he came to know the Society more deeply at Saint Ignatius High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. and a master’s degree in religious studies at John Carroll University in Ohio. During this time, he taught private music lessons and played across the country for Irish dancing competitions.
Following the novitiate, Fr. Duns earned a master’s degree in philosophy at Fordham University, where he also ran student programming for the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, taught a course on the Irish tin whistle, and began to post instructional tin whistle videos on YouTube. Father Duns spent his regency teaching theology and Latin and leading the Student Senate at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy. He later earned a Master of Theological Studies degree at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, while also serving as a deacon at Saint Cecilia Parish. He is excited to serve Saint Cecilia as a priest when he returns to Boston in the fall, where he will earn a PhD in theology at Boston College.
As I look toward my ministry as a Jesuit priest, I am humbled that my life will be spent paying off an infinite debt of gratitude. My family must be credited for giving me the love and courage to risk saying “Yes” to being a companion of Jesus. To my Jesuit brothers who have walked with me on this journey, I can only say that I am humbled to stand among your company. Without the prayers and support of the Society’s benefactors, none of this would be possible. To all who have loved and supported me in my vocation, I say thank you. At my final judgment, I can only hope that Jesus will look kindly upon me and say, “Well, Ry, I recognized some of myself in what you said and did.” Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help souls as a companion of Jesus.