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Judge Ryan honored at Red Mass Tom Burke

October 15, 2015

The St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco will honor Judge Kevin V. Ryan with its namesake award Oct. 22 in ceremonies around the annual Red Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 666 Filbert St. on Washington Square, San Francisco. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone will be principal celebrant.

Judge Ryan is a 1976 graduate of St. Ignatius College Preparatory and holds s law degree from the University of San Francisco. He served as a prosecutor with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office before beginning seven years as a judge on the San Francisco Municipal and Superior Courts.

President George W. Bush appointed Ryan United States Attorney for the Northern District of California in 2002. In 2008, he was appointed by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom as director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. During his tenure, the city witnessed a dramatic turnaround in homicides and other violent crimes.

“The St. Thomas More Society is pleased to present this year’s award to Judge Ryan, who has sought to follow the footsteps of our patron saint through a career dedicated to public service in law and personal service to family and the community,” said St. Thomas More Society president Tim Crudo.

Ryan and San Francisco Police Chief Gregory Suhr have known each other since boyhood. “If there were ever a man true to the tenets and beliefs of St. Thomas More, it would be Kevin Ryan,” Suhr said. “In the true Jesuit tradition, Kevin has been a man for others from the time we were altar servers at St. Brendan’s Church, teammates at St. Ignatius, throughout his legal career and in his personal life.”

“My faith has always played a central role in how I view and react to and with the world,” Judge Ryan told Catholic San Francisco. “Being a Roman Catholic is not an easy task, as our faith requires that we strive to live as Christ would want us too. This means, at a minimum, to strive to live in full recognition that Christ calls upon us to live moral and upright lives and to protect the poor, the sick, the downtrodden, victims of crime, and those that have been marginalized or ignored.” 

He remains grateful to his Catholic school education: “I was educated by the nuns at Stuart Hall, and by the Jesuit priests at SI and USF law school, and they not only helped to shape my faith, they gave me a fundamental understanding that as Catholics, we are obligated to view and react to many issues through the prism of our faith. I like to think therefore that my faith has impacted me in all things: marriage, fatherhood, citizenship, and the practice of the law.” 

Ryan and Anne, his wife of 31 years, are members of the Order of Malta.

They are parents of two adult children, Patrick and William, and are very active participants at both St. Ignatius and St. Dominic parishes.


The St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco was founded in 1937 and is the oldest fellowship of Catholic lawyers and judges in the West. Information about the Red Mass and dinner can be found at www.stthomasmore-sf.org.

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