Sister Mary Kay Ryan, SSJ; teacher, found a dance group

Sister of Saint Joseph Mary Kay Ryan (formerly Sister Carmelita) passed away on September 27, 2021. She was 80 years old.

Sister Ryan entered the congregation in 1958 from her home parish of St. Charles Borromeo, Greece. She received a BA in History in 1968 from Nazareth College and an MA in Ministry in 1990 from the University of Seattle.

Sister Ryan began her teaching career in 1961 at St. Thomas More, Brighton. She has also taught at the Blessed Sacrament, Rochester; Sainte-Anne, Palmyre; Immaculate Conception, Ithaca; and Saint Theodore, Gates. In 1973, she went to New York for a year to study at the New School of Social Research. Upon her return, she taught art and dance in St. Agnes, Rochester.

In 1982, Sister Ryan became the Religious Education Coordinator at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Hamlin, where she remained for 10 years. She became a pastoral associate at St. Patrick, Victor, and in 1996 she moved to the Corning-Painted Post Roman Catholic Community. After more than nine years as a pastoral associate in St. Patrick, Moravia, Sister Ryan took up a volunteer position in St. Pius Tenth, Chile, then became director of RCIA there in 2015.

Her proudest achievement was the founding of the Hosanna Sacred Dance Group in 1979. For 15 years, members have provided beautiful dance performances for many special occasions in churches across the diocese.

Sister Ryan is survived by her brothers, Steve (Sabrina) and Phil (Sue); nieces and nephews; friends; and sisters of the congregation. His funeral liturgy was celebrated in the chapel of the mother house on October 1, 2021, with burial in the cemetery of the Holy Sepulcher.

Contributions in her memory can be made to the Ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph Fund at or 150 French Road, Rochester, NY 14618.