Sister Anne Phyllis Ryan, who was a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus for 74 years, died Nov. 7 of respiratory failure at Holy Child Center in Rosemont. She was 95.
The daughter of Ann (Anderson) and Joseph Ryan, Sister Anne Phyllis was born in Rosemont and was the eldest of two children. After graduating from West Philadelphia Catholic Girls High School in 1936, Sister Anne Phyllis entered the Society of the Holy Child Jesus where she professed her first vows in 1939 and her final vows in 1944. She became well known by her religious name Mother Mary Julian.
In 1948, Sister Anne Phyllis earned her undergraduate degree in Latin from Rosemont College. She later attended Villanova University where she earned masters’ degrees in theology and substance abuse counseling in 1973 and 1987, respectively.
From 1939 through 1952, Sister Anne Phyllis began her teaching ministry in Philadelphia at St. Edward School and Assumption B.V.M. School, and then at St. Mary School in Melrose, Mass. Beginning in 1952 she served in Nigeria as principal of three schools: Holy Child Primary School in Ifuho and Holy Child Teacher Training College and Holy Child Secondary School in Ogoja.
After 15 years in Nigeria Sister Anne Phyllis returned to the Philadelphia area where she ministered for the remainder of her life. From 1967 through 1975 she taught at Holy Child Senior School, Rosemont; John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School, Philadelphia; and West Philadelphia Catholic Girls High School. For the next 15 years she taught religion and served as guidance counselor at Archbishop John Carroll High School, Radnor. In 1990 she began to devote her time and energy to the retired sisters at Holy Child Center, Rosemont, and moved there in 2004.
Sister Anne Phyllis is survived by her niece Roberta Ferris.
The funeral Mass was celebrated Nov. 12 in the New Sharon Chapel, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont. Funeral arrangements were handled by Donohue’s Funeral Home.