A collection of materials related to the life and work of Right Reverend John A. Ryan, D.D., a leading Catholic thinker on
a just economy.
John A. Ryan (1869-1945) was the foremost social justice advocate and theoretician in the Catholic Church during the first
half in the 20th century. He entered St. Paul Seminary in 1892, graduated in 1898, and received his holy orders the same year.
Throughout his life, Ryan focused most of his intellectual attention on economic and political issues. His Ph.D. dissertation
was an influential early economic and moral argument for minimum wage legislation. It was published as "A Living Wage" in
1906. His published material sometimes included social issues, such as sterilization and birth control, that were important
to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Ryan's economic thought led to his alliance with the New Deal and its creator, Franklin
D. Roosevelt, who agreed with his economic positions. In 1920, Ryan became the first Director of the National Catholic Welfare
Council's Social Action Department, a position which he held for 25 years until his death in 1945.
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