Fordham has named Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn, J.D., J.C.L., the new vice president for University mission and ministry, and Patrick J. Ryan, S.J., who currently holds the office, as the new Laurence J. McGinley, S.J. Professor of Religion and Society. Father Ryan assumes the McGinley Chair on July 1; Monsignor Quinn takes his new position on July 31, on the Feast of St. Ignatius.
Monsignor Quinn comes to Fordham from the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., where he has served with distinction as pastor in a succession of parishes, including the diocesan Cathedral of Saint Peter. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1972, and his juris doctor’s degree from Seton Hall University in 1975. He served as a law clerk to Chief Judge William J. Nealon, and was appointed a Federal Magistrate-Judge for the United States District Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania in 1976 (the youngest person in the country to serve in that position at the time). Monsignor Quinn resigned from the bench in 1981 to pursue theological studies at the North American College in Rome. He received degrees from both the Pontifical Gregorian University (S.T.B.) and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (M.A.) and was ordained a priest. He later received dual degrees in Canon Law from the University of Ottawa and Saint Paul’s University in Ottawa.
“In light of both his great pastoral gifts and wide experience, I am confident that Monsignor Quinn will serve the University family with distinction,” said Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “I am confident that the Fordham community will welcome and embrace him with characteristic enthusiasm. I would also like to thank the Most Reverend Joseph Martino, the Bishop of Scranton, for making Monsignor Quinn available to serve as Fordham’s vice president for University mission and ministry.”
Father Ryan is a native New Yorker and a graduate of Regis High School in Manhattan. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1957, received his bachelor’s degree in English from Fordham in 1963, and a licentiate in philosophy from Woodstock College in 1964. He taught for one year at Aquinas College in Akure, Nigeria, then returned to the United States for a bachelor’s degree in divinity from Woodstock College, Maryland. Following his ordination to the priesthood, Father Ryan completed a Ph.D. in the history of religion (with a specialization in Arabic and Islamic Studies) at Harvard University. He returned to Africa to serve successively as a lecturer and senior lecturer in comparative religion and Islamic studies at the University of Ghana. He has also had faculty and administrative appointments at the University of Cape Coast (Ghana), Hekima College (Kenya), the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome), Loyola Jesuit College in Abuja, Nigeria, and Fordham.
An accomplished scholar, author and former holder of the Loyola Chair in the Humanities, Father Ryan fills the post previously held for more than 20 years by the late Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J.
“As he assumes his new post, at my request, Father Ryan will devote most of his energy toward fostering dialogue between and among Jewish, Islamic and Christian scholars, a task that has become increasingly important in the past two decades and which promises to become even more important in the years ahead,” said Father McShane. “Given both his experience in Africa and his scholarship, I am confident that he will make Fordham a center for interreligious study and dialogue.