Returning to Campus Safely

In order to safely and effectively reopen campus, Father Ryan, in partnership with the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Nashville and Metro Public Health officials, is assessing information and developing effective guidelines and procedures in service of this community.

Check this page regularly for updates, links, and FAQs.

Below you will find the complete document entitled "Returning to Campus Safely," which lays out each detail to ensure that the return to school will be both pragmatic and safe for all. 

2020-2021 School Year Updates

List of 16 items.

  • Message from the President - March 5

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."

    These words that Mr. Charles Dickens wrote in his 1859 novel, A Tale of Two Cities, in many ways describe the last year for our community as we mark the one-year anniversary of the tornadoes that ravaged Middle Tennessee and the closing of our physical campus in response to an emerging global pandemic.

    As we rapidly approach the end of the third academic quarter, I am filled with hope and resolve that the last year has taught us many lessons, big and small, and that few are more important than these: we are stronger when we are together, and our resilience comes from God.

    As we continue to move forward with what I hope is a return to “normalcy” in the future, I pray we all take stock during this Lenten season to reflect and pray about many of the lessons we learned in our youth.  Love each other,  kindness matters, serving others feeds the soul, grace should be extended whenever possible, patience is a virtue, sometimes the best compassion is self-compassion, we are social beings, we are our neighbors’ keeper, and God is always with us. Undoubtedly, these are not all the lessons from the last year. Life will continue to teach each of us new ones as we remain open to God’s will.

    Please join me in a prayer of intercession to our Blessed Mother, seeking God’s grace and mercy for all of those affected by COVID-19 and natural disasters.

    Jim McIntyre
  • Message from the President - February 4

    At the beginning of this week, I had the honor to present to the 8th graders at Christ the King School as part of their Catholic Schools Week celebration. I thought it might be a great opportunity to have a conversation about heroes.  I asked them, “What are the characteristics of a hero?”  Leadership, role model, bravery, good example, protector, caring, and compassion were all words that students used to describe a hero.  I told them that those are words I would use to describe one of my childhood heroes, Mr. Henry Aaron. 

    A man of deep conviction and exquisite athletic ability, Mr. Aaron was larger than life for me as a young man growing up with other kids in Generation X during a time before the Internet and social media. He was a hero to me because of his baseball ability.  What I have come to appreciate about Henry Aaron today is that he was so much more than a baseball player. He was a person of deep conviction and perseverance who long after his days of playing baseball had ended was still using his celebrity to advocate for civil rights. He was a father, a son, a husband, and a Catholic. As I have grown older, my admiration for Henry  Aaron off the field has become more meaningful.  It is why I consider  him one of my heroes still, and it is why his life and example serve as inspirations.

    As the rest of my Monday continued to unfold here on campus, I found myself reflecting on that discussion with the 8th graders at Christ the King.  The words they used to describe heroes continued to speak to me - “leaders, role models, courageous, protectors, caring, and compassionate.” As I have found in my nearly 30 years in Catholic education, many times young people are simultaneously students and teachers.

    Those 8th graders’ words really describe the work and ministry of our faculty and staff. The commitment and devotion with which they have ministered to our students and families since August have been heroic.  They are heroes in addition to being fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters.  They face the same challenges in life that we all face while also answering the vocational call to serve others. Theirs is a ministry of love and selflessness that truly responds to Christ’s teaching in the Gospel of John,

    “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  (John 13:34-35)

    Remembering how as a child I saw Henry Aaron as a hero only because of his skill as a baseball player, I reminded myself this week to look beyond the obvious with our faculty and staff.  The depth of their heroism is a constant, pandemic or no pandemic.  Our faculty and staff demonstrate all the words used by the 8th graders, and so much more!  Beyond being our children's teachers, they are the people who help shape and mold them, and they are the people who light the path to their futures while guiding them to be men and women of conviction, character, and truth. 

    So as the 2021 Catholic Schools Week draws to a close, I ask that all of us take time to express gratitude to a teacher in our lives, to say thanks for inspiring us through their ministry to most fully become the person God wants each of us to be.

    In addition, we ask for the intercession of Our Blessed Mother for all who are affected by this pandemic.

    Jim McIntyre
  • Message from the President - January 15

    In his 2019 World Day of Peace address, Pope Francis said, “Today more than ever, our societies need ‘artisans of peace’ who can be messengers and authentic witnesses of God the Father, who wills the good and the happiness of the human family.” On January 10th, Pope Francis tweeted, “I am praying for the United States of America, shaken by the recent attack on Congress. I pray for those who lost their life. Violence is always self-destructive. I urge everyone to promote a culture of encounter and of care to construct the common good.” 

    These two messages from the Holy Father call upon all of us to live the message and words of Jesus Christ, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35).

    As our country prepares to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we recognize his legacy echoed in the words of the Holy Father from his general audience speech from June of 2020, “nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost.” May our country be healed and may we become “artisans of peace” to each other.

    We continue to be thankful to our dedicated faculty, staff, coaches, students, and Medical Advisory Committee for their commitment to each other for a safe and healthy learning environment.

    As always, we seek the intercession of the Blessed Mother to envelop us in her arms and draw us close to her Son, Jesus Christ, in prayers, peace, and health.

    Jim McIntyre
  • Message from Superintendent Hammel - December 30

    Father Ryan Returns to School In-Person on Monday, as Scheduled
    Following a virtual meeting of the Catholic school principals this morning led by Superintendent of Catholic Schools Rebecca Hammel, it was confirmed that the Catholic schools of the diocese, including Father Ryan, will return to campus on Monday for the start of the second semester of the school year, as scheduled and in-person.
    Superintendent Hammel has provided a letter regarding the decision. Click the link below to read the letter. Parents are encouraged to review the campus protocols for Returning to Campus Safely in preparation for Monday.
    We hope everyone enjoyed a restful, joyous, and healthy Christmas Break. As we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Blessed Mother on Friday, January 1, we ask once again for Her intercession for all who have been affected by this pandemic.   
    We look forward to seeing the students, faculty, and staff on Monday morning.
  • Message from the President - December 18

    The last exam has been taken, the semester has come to a close, and a much-anticipated break has begun. For all of us, the celebration of Christmas Day this year is especially welcome. 

    At a time when the world appears, feels, and is often out of order and scary, the message of hope and renewal sent to us by God with the birth of His Son is and remains a constant. As we join with Christians all over the world next Friday, December 25th, to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, may we all be strengthened by His message of hope and renewal. 

    Along with our prayers for the intercession of our Blessed Mother for all affected by this pandemic, we send our prayers and wishes to each of you. May you enjoy a restful and Merry Christmas, one filled with joy and love.

    Jim McIntyre
  • Message from the President - November 20

    Dear Father Ryan Community,

    With the myriad of challenges facing our city, state, country, and world no one could be blamed for walking into this extended Thanksgiving holiday week with a sense of relief and exhaustion rather than gratitude and hope.  However, this time of year provides us incredible opportunities to reflect on just those two things - gratitude and hope.

    Many of us would agree that when we began this “new normal” in August there was no certainty that any of us would be on campus in November to see our students depart for the Thanksgiving break. And yet, here we are. This is, in and of itself, a reason to be thankful.
    Each day that we have together is precious. Words cannot express the debt of gratitude that we owe to our faculty and staff, who have developed, taught, coached, mentored, guided, loved, and supported our students and their colleagues through these first fifteen weeks of the school year. They have responded to the call to teach as Jesus did, and for that they deserve our gratitude, respect, and love.
    • Our students have been engaged, day after day, in an educational environment unlike any in their lives: masks, hand cleaning, cleaning of desks, social distancing, digital learning, single seats during lunch, not being able to see their teams or band perform on a regular basis. Yet, they have persevered.  We are so thankful for their willingness to care for each other and us. They, too, are worthy of our respect and gratitude, as are so many others in this exceptional community.
    • Our parents, especially the Parent School Network, have provided breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and cards of encouragement for all of us. They have been present at all lunches, each day, ensuring that our students and faculty have a safe and clean place to rest while having lunch.
    • Our Purple Masque Players performed an incredible fall production, presented online.
    • Our Marching Band labored, as they usually do, under the summer and fall sun (in masks and with covered instruments) to “light up” the darkness with their beautiful music and showmanship.
    • Our coaches and athletes have competed with an Irish Pride that is awe-inspiring and energizing.
    • Our students and faculty were able to raise more than $160,000 for the American Cancer Society during an abbreviated Relay for Life, at a time when the need for their service has never been greater.
    • Our Campus Ministry team and Fr. Simpson have adapted and found ways to bring Holy Mass and the Eucharist to our campus daily.
    All of these expressions of love are rooted in the hope and belief that we have in Christ and each other to persevere. We have cared for each other in simple and complex ways. All of these achievements are the result of “WE”, a community.

    I am struck by the idea that our challenges and our gifts are often the same right now. Those things which we used to take for granted are seen anew, as gifts. And while the challenge of how to spend Thanksgiving may be new this year, our desire to care for each other, to express our love for one another, and to be thankful for the smallest personal contact takes on a deeper meaning.

    When we return from the break we will be in the season of Advent. The example of faith and surrender to God’s will by our Blessed Mother Mary and her spouse, Joseph, serves as an example to all of us. It leads us to the hope provided to the world with the birth of Christ. This is a beautiful guide for each of us as we walk through our challenges, whether alone or together. In the end, it is this hope of renewal that will sustain us in the days leading to Christmas and every day thereafter.

    As always, I ask all of us to seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother for all of those affected by COVID-19, seeking God’s grace and mercy.

    We all wish you and your family the safest, healthiest, and most joyful of Thanksgivings.

    Jim McIntyre
  • Message from the Dean of Students - October 30

    It has been 81 days since Father Ryan returned to school in August, and as the administrator charged with implementing and enforcing our new safety protocols, I am pleased to tell you that the return has gone well. 

    Our Returning to Campus Safely Plan with its specific protocols was provided to all families before the start of school.  Since then, we have continued to respond to this evolving pandemic.  As a result, we have adapted, updating the Returning to Campus Safely Plan as needed to reflect new knowledge and changing protocols.  We continue to consult with the Catholic Schools Office and our Medical Advisory Committee on all of our planning and will adapt again, if necessary.

    With the unpredictability of this coronavirus and the continued rise in the number of cases reported here and across the world, we expected to have cases on our campus.  We have been reporting our COVID cases weekly, both when active and when the individuals are cleared to return to campus. That information is shared in Ryan Connections and is resident on our Coronavirus Updates webpage. 

    In the first weeks following our return to campus, we had very few cases reported.  The number has increased in the last few weeks, reflective of the increases experienced throughout the area.  However, we have not had an outbreak on campus within any group, club, sports team, or organization. 

    To date, we have had 16 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in students, and 11 of those are active. There is no way to be 100% positive, but through our contact tracing, we believe that we have eight family transmissions (a parent or sibling), six as the result of off-campus gatherings, and two unknown transmissions. In all of these cases, we have followed our protocols for testing, close contact notification, and an individual’s return to campus, as outlined in our Returning to Campus Safely Plan.  
    You may have heard from your student that additional students have been sent home recently.  This does not mean that these students are positive for COVID-19.  It simply means we are following our protocols regarding individuals who are in close proximity to a positive case.  In doing so and sending specific students home, we are making sure that we minimize the chances of the virus being spread. To help us with that effort on the campus, we encourage everyone in our community to continue wearing your masks, social distancing, and washing your hands when away from campus.

    We feel that what we are doing is keeping our students safe.  Based on the number of cases reported, we are not expecting to return to digital learning for everyone. However, we continue to monitor the situation every day so we can respond in a responsible way to this ever-changing pandemic.

    Thank you to all the faculty and staff for their work in making our return work.  And thank you to all Irish families for your patience and understanding and for trusting your students to us.
    Joe Crumby ‘95
    Dean of Students
  • Message from the President - October 23

    Every morning since returning to campus in August, Father Ryan’s students, faculty, and staff have completed the health screening app to determine if they should come onto campus.

    This morning in completing the screening, and since I had a new mild cough yesterday that I had attributed to seasonal congestion, I was unable to answer “NO” to all the questions on the Ascension Health app. Out of an abundance of caution, I remained at home, contacted my physician, and proceeded to get a COVID test. While we maintain the policy of not disclosing the names of members of our community who have tested positive, I made the decision to let all of you know that I received a positive test for COVID-19 this afternoon.

    This test result does not have any impact on the daily operation of Father Ryan High School or on the students at the school.  School will be open on Monday as usual, and we will continue to monitor the presence of COVID cases on the campus. I have reported the test result to the school leadership, all of my close contacts have been informed, and my family and I are quarantining at home, according to the protocols detailed in our plan.

    My family agreed that our transparency might serve others. We hope this will remind everyone that contracting the virus is possible, even when you are hyper-vigilant. It confirms that completing the health screening app every morning is vital to protecting others.

    This afternoon as I planned to inform our community, I did a Google search of “principal had tested positive for COVID.”  I was really surprised at how many articles and news stories I found regarding school leaders who have contracted the virus. I was trying to see if any of my colleagues had found a way to communicate and reassure their community following their own results. What I found typically was just that, a report, usually followed by information that included that he/she was self-quarantining at home, close contacts had been made aware, reports had been made to the health department, and that all the protocols were being followed.

    It was interesting to see that so many schools and leaders had chosen to communicate this information about their own positive test in an impersonal way. None of the articles sounded like me or reflected the deep love and care I have for our community and those in it.

    I want everyone to know that I feel fine. The only symptoms I have are the cough and a headache. My senses of smell and taste remain. I am working from home and will continue to do so when possible throughout my quarantine. In addition, my family is following the protocols related to a positive case, as outlined in the Returning to Campus Safely Plan.

    I have spoken with Superintendent Rebecca Hammel, Board of Trustees Chair Julie Norfleet,  and Principal Paul Davis since learning the news. We are blessed with an outstanding leadership team focused on the safety and health of our faculty, students, and community. As parents, Amy and I continue to have confidence in our safety protocols, trust in our leadership team, and faith in each other to place our faculty’s and students’ health first.

    I hope my personal experience and my willingness to share it with you serve as a reminder of how critical it is to follow the protocols. This will enhance the health and safety of everyone here.

    You may wonder how I contracted the virus, and I can tell you confidently that I don’t know. I have been following the protocols that have guided us throughout this pandemic and informed our return to campus. I wear my mask, I wash my hands regularly, and I practice social distancing on and off the campus. However, we are all reading about the increase in cases in Davidson County, throughout this region, and throughout the nation.

    I am asking, once again, that all of us double our efforts to combat the virus by following the protocols diligently, on and off campus. By doing so, we can continue to advance the mission of the school by keeping the campus open and enjoying the uniqueness of the Father Ryan community.

    As always, we seek the intersession of our Blessed Mother, asking for God’s grace and protection over you, your family, and our community. 

    Jim McIntyre
  • Message from the President - October 2

    As we stand on the cusp of Fall Break, we all are filled with a sense of gratitude and relief that our school community has had a minimal number of positive COVID-19 cases and has avoided any traceable transmission of COVID-19 on our campus over the last nine weeks. We all appreciate the vigilance and patience shown by our community as we navigate unchartered waters.  This is an opportunity to express gratitude to our students, families, and especially our faculty as they have carried a significant load in leading us to this benchmark. Benchmarks serve two purposes, one to show how far one has gone, the other to show how far one must still go.

    Fall Break represents the longest amount of time that we will have been apart from our campus since we were forced to close at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Even with significant protocols, mitigation strategies, and expense to create a safe environment for our faculty, staff, and students, the ability for us to remain open for the second quarter of this school year and beyond rests not with the school but with each of us in the community.

    Given our arrival at this benchmark of success, who could blame anyone of us for surrendering to the temptation to relax while simultaneously trying to shed the exhaustion from all the additional considerations that we have had to endure since before our return to campus. We are all tired of wearing masks 8-10 hours a day. We are all tired of having to maintain social distancing and make responsible choices when socializing away from campus. We are all just tired. 

    At the same time, we have been blessed in returning to campus and, in some capacities, to our athletic and extra-curricular programs. To date, this return has not resulted in a spread of COVID-19 on our campus.  However, other schools and communities have not been so lucky. I say that in all sincerity. The reality is that any school community engaged in person-to-person instruction could have an outbreak, whether a result of circumstances beyond their control or because of a poor decision by one person or group.  I mention these other school communities as a cautionary tale for all of us in the Father Ryan community.  We are all responsible not just to each other, but to each other’s extended families, workplaces, and friends. In the Gospel of John, chapter 13, verse 34, we read this truth that is at the heart of Christ’s teachings. “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” This is one of the lessons we want our students to learn. We are all connected. Vigilance is not always convenient or easy, but when done with love, it is one of the most beautiful expressions.

    I am not suggesting that we should lock ourselves in our houses and spend the entirety of Fall Break looking out the windows to prevent the potential spread of the virus on our campus when we return. The first nine weeks serve as an example of what we can accomplish together. With that said, we should also turn our eyes towards the next nine weeks between October 12, 2020 and Christmas Break.  As the parent of a senior, I have seen the life and light return to my daughter from being back on our campus.  As I have interacted with students over the past several weeks, I have seen the comfort, love, and peace that they experience from being together on campus in a place where they are known and loved.

    Last spring, all of us learned the difficult lesson that being on campus is a privilege, and we all experienced a sense of loss when that was not possible.  I am asking for all of us to reaffirm our vigilance to making the best decisions socially, to wash our hands frequently, not to attend large gatherings, and to wear our masks when social distancing is not possible. I am asking for all of us to think of others over our own fleeting desires for temporary “normalcy.”  We are committed to being in school for the long haul. We need everyone in the boat as we sail towards second quarter, exams, and semester grades.

    In closing, I ask you to join me in seeking the intercession of our Blessed Mother in caring for those who are suffering as a result of the pandemic. May we seek her healing touch as Mother of us all, for our city, state, nation, and world.

    Have a great Fall Break!


    Jim McIntyre
  • Letter from Superintendent Hammel - October 1

    Rebecca Hammel, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Nashville, has released today a letter to all families with an update on the Cognia accreditation process and other Catholic Schools Office news.
  • Message from the President - September 4

    As we conclude the fourth week of the 2020-2021 school year, we are so deeply thankful to our students, faculty, and staff for their commitment and diligence, which have made it possible for us to be together at this moment in our school’s history. The school is once again alive, with students and teachers developing relationships that will lay the foundation for faith, intellect, and adulthood.

    Even with this milestone, we are reminded of how far we must still go. As we roll into the Labor Day weekend, it would be easy for us to relax and use less caution as it relates to good practices in social distancing.  We are deeply thankful for everyone’s compliance and focus on keeping our campus safe and healthy to this point, and I want to challenge all of us to remain vigilant, even in times away from the campus.

    We all have learned over the last several months that being on campus with our students and faculty is a privilege.  This privilege offers all of us the opportunity to be physically present in the lives of our friends, colleagues, and community. With that privilege comes a responsibility, a “social contract” if you will, that challenges us to think beyond ourselves and to care for each other. That is why we ask our parent community to speak with their students about making healthy and safe choices for socializing away from our campus so that we can continue to be together on our campus.

    Finally, we ask that you take a few minutes today, our “Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day,” to say a prayer of thanks for our faculty and staff.  These are extraordinary men and women who know and love our sons and daughters, and they are committed, every day, to help these students reach their full potential and to be followers of Christ.
    As always, please join me in seeking the intercession of our Blessed Mother in whose example of love we are called to care and support each other.  Have a great Labor Day weekend!  

    Jim McIntyre
  • Update on Reporting Cases/Monitoring Contacts - August 27

    On August 24, 2020 the Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance: “Diagnostic testing categories have been edited to focus on testing considerations and actions to be taken by individuals undergoing testing.”  The new guidance from the CDC specifically states
    If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person witha COVID-19 infectionfor at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms:
    • You do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or State or local public health officials recommend you take one.
      • A negative test does not mean you will not develop an infection from the close contact or contract an infection at a later time.
    • You should monitor yourself for symptoms. If you develop symptoms, you should evaluate yourself under the considerations set forth above.
    • You should strictly adhere to CDC mitigation protocols, especially if you are interacting with avulnerable individual. You should adhere to CDC guidelines to protect vulnerable individuals with whom youlive.  
    As a result of this updated guidance from the CDC and in consultation with members of our Medical Advisory Committee, we are making the following change to the Returning to Campus Safely Plan on page 7, Responding to Positive Tests, Bullet 2
    Families notified by Father Ryan that their students were in close proximity to someone in their classrooms, mentor groups, or on a team who has tested positive will not be required to have a physician’s note to return to campus as long as: 
    • The student is able to answer NO to all the electronic health screening survey questions (Ascension Health) required to be completed before arrival each day.
    • The student is not experiencing symptoms.
    • The student has reviewed the chart entitled “When to Stay Home” on page 6 of the Returning to Campus Safely Plan and is NOT required to stay home under this flowchart. 
    As already stated in the plan on page 7, parents whose students have been in close proximity to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, in their classrooms, mentor groups, or on a team, will to be notified both by phone and via myFatherRyan. 
    Thank you for your cooperation and assistance in keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe.  
  • Message from the President - August 14

    Coming onto campus on Monday morning and seeing our students back at Father Ryan was both emotional and energizing for me and all the faculty and staff.  Even with their masks in place and practicing social distancing, the students had smiles that were visible in their eyes, letting us all know how much it means to them to be back on campus.

    This first week has gone well, which is a tribute to the dedication, planning, and tireless efforts of the Leadership Team, particularly Academic Dean Jennifer Anton and Dean of Students Joe Crumby '95. They, working with so many of our staff, led our Returning to Campus Safely planning, and I am proud of their work in preparing us to return. In addition, it's clear that our parents and students embraced the process and prepared appropriately to be at Father Ryan again. A friendly reminder to our students, please remain socially distant while away from campus to minimize the potential spread of the virus.

    To remain transparent with our community, we are adding a COVID tracking chart to our coronavirus webpage to keep everyone informed of any positive cases reported to Father Ryan.  The first installment includes a summary of cases reported to Father Ryan from the summer and prior to the start of school. This chart will be updated and posted each Friday. 

    As always, we are grateful to parents for entrusting their students to us. We call upon St. Maximilian Kolbe, the patron saint of Elliston House and whose feast day is today, for his intercession for all the families who are dealing with this virus.

    With gratitude,

    Jim McIntyre
  • Message from Pedestal Foods - July 28

    Pedestal Foods has implemented many new and enhanced safety features to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff. 

    Please click here to learn more.
  • Message from the President - July 23

    Dear Father Ryan Community,
    Just after closing our campus in the spring, many of our administrators sent video messages of favorite places on campus. All of us in the Ryan community have a place on campus that brings us rest, peace, or a special memory. Even so, it is the people, the faculty, staff, and students who truly make Father Ryan. We find ourselves in times of enormous complexity readying for a return to school days on Norwood together. As we move towards the opening of school, each day brings with it new opportunities and challenges.
    The basis of the Returning to Campus Safely plan (below) that we are providing you today is our fundamental priority to provide a safe and healthy educational environment for everyone involved in our endeavor to form lives of excellence in the Catholic tradition. Even with the hope that this plan brings, the unpredictability of the circumstance demands of all of us a flexibility and a trust that we are in this together to serve our students, faculty, and each other.
    What follows in the Returning to Campus Safely plan is our best sense of the way forward built around the basic principles below. We recognize the complexity of the pandemic as well as its varying effects on our families’ personal circumstances. Additionally, this plan includes a REQUIRED SURVEY of all our families to choose which delivery of instructional environment will best serve their needs and circumstances.
    The following are the principles we have used in developing the plan for returning to campus:
    • Protect the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff
    • Comply with diocesan, public health, and government orders
    • Utilize guidelines from the Catholic Schools Office of the Diocese of Nashville, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Metro Public Health officials
    • Establish effective use of spaces and places to support physical distancing
    • Provide students with some familiarity of school routines for learning
    • Set clear expectations for everyone. 
    We anticipate and must be prepared for a return to remote learning for some interval(s) in the coming school year, and we will remain attentive to any Metro Public Health directives. The reality is that we earnestly want to be back together. That commitment is written into the plans described and detailed in the pages that follow. Of course, with emerging science, empirical data, and government directives, this is the first of our campus plans. Future updates/changes in protocols will be sent to all our families and placed on our coronavirus updates page on the Father Ryan website.
    We call upon the entire Father Ryan community to join in prayer, seeking the intercession of our Blessed Mother for all within our world who are experiencing loss, illness, fear, and anxiety as a result of this pandemic. We invite everyone to join in an active, working partnership that will provide a means to our students’ success in this historic season, benefiting everyone within our family.
    Jim McIntyre
  • Letter from Superintendent Hammel - July 8

    Superintendent Rebecca Hammel has issued a letter pertaining to the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. Click here to read the letter.

Message from Pedestal Foods

Past Updates from the 2019-2020 School Year

List of 31 items.

  • Message from the President - June 12

    Step by Step

    Slowly, step by step, our campus is beginning to teem, literally and figuratively, with activity and community.
    After almost three months of being away, except for a couple of special visits, we are all eager to rejoin life here on campus with our community. That has begun. We welcomed students back this week to the whistle blows and encouraging words of Coach Kyle Feldman, Director of Strength and Conditioning, Coach DuJuan Sharp, Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning, and our coaching staff as they directed socially distant conditioning workouts for our fall athletes. 

    Additionally, we look forward to welcoming the Class of 2020 to campus next Friday to confer diplomas on this accomplished and very patient class. We were all excited to hear the announcement this week from diocesan Superintendent of Schools Rebecca Hammel that school will reopen in August, as scheduled, dependent on the phased status of Nashville’s reopening and following the appropriate CDC and local health guidelines. Yes, it is starting to feel like school again.
    However, our return will be different, because after all that we have faced as a community and as a nation, Father Ryan as well as each of us are different. Ever hopeful, we are confident that our school community will emerge from this ever-changing and challenging world renewed in our mission to be a living experience of the Gospel to each other and our world.

    We are reminded in scripture that “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). That is true for Father Ryan today. When we return in August, we will welcome the Class of 2024, implement our new House System and recommit to our pursuit towards social justice. Born of the experiences of this spring, all of us will bring a renewed focus and vigilance to our mission and our responsibility to educate and form lives of excellence in the Catholic tradition.

    As always, we seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother for our school, community, and world. 

    Jim McIntyre
  • Message from the President - June 5

    Opening Our Hearts 
    Holy Scripture boldly proclaims, “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are” (1 Jn 3:1). This love “comes from God and unites us to God; through this unifying process it makes us a ‘we’ which transcends our divisions and makes us one, until in the end God is ‘all in all’ (1 Cor 15:28).”  By the work of the Holy Spirit, the Church is called to share with all the world this gift of love.  
    This is the first sentence of “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love,” a pastoral letter against racism issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November of 2018. For a full version of this pastoral letter, please click here.  Its message is important. 
    We all watched last night as thousands of our fellow citizens, led by five high school students who connected on social media, came to downtown Nashville to march in peaceful protest in memory of George Floyd and many others. What a powerful example of Christ’s message: “let the little children come to me.” (Matthew 19:14) 
    As we witnessed the impact of these 15- and 16- and 17-year-olds, we naturally thought about our own students, most of them these same ages, many of them with the same concerns.  We saw their courage, their curiosity, and their willingness to stand up for what they believe.  Last night is a strong reminder to all of us of the real responsibility we have to teach our young men and women more than the core subjects and to be rooted in our Catholic social teachings.   They have questions that we need to address. 
    We have spoken this week of recommitment, and that is what our campus community is doing.  We are asking questions. We are reaching out for guidance and insights so that we can look at ourselves and learn.   Very simply, we are listening.  The concern of our students and alumni and their suggestions for action and improvement will make us a truly inclusive school for our black students and all people of color.  If we are to honor and truly extend our legacy of Catholic social justice into the future, we must act, and that begins by listening.   
    God of peace, justice and love, fill us with courage that we might seek to heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven, and establish peace and equality for all in our communities, through Christ our Lord. Amen.” 
    Jim McIntyre 
  • Message from the President - May 29

    To Infinity and Beyond
    The words of Buzz Lightyear have inspired many an explorer, which is what many of us are today as we continue to navigate this uncertain time.   Buzz’s words are particularly timely as two U.S. astronauts prepare to launch tomorrow to the International Space Station in SpaceEx, the first manned launch from American soil in 10 years and the first-ever NASA launch with a private partner.  In thinking about that important mission – and continuing this theme of exploration – I also have thought of the movie “Apollo 13” and a line that always resonated with me.  When Mission Control was told that the mission was a disaster, the flight director responded “I disagree; this will be our finest hour.”  That’s how I feel today.
    Reflecting on all that the last few months have presented us, it is clear that we are being challenged to go boldly into a still-unsure future.  We are all explorers in today’s world, one whose landscape has changed, but one that still calls on us to respond with our best.  As we learn more about ourselves and our relationship with God, we turn to our tradition of faith, knowledge and service, a tradition that makes us continuous explorers and heralds of service.  As explorers, we each have a role to play.  Whatever that role and whatever the setting might be, Father Ryan’s explorers have responded.
    Our faculty, students and families explored and embraced the new Digital Learning environment and produced an outstanding year-end educational experience.  Our alumni and their families throughout Ryan Nation, as first responders, healthcare professionals, and innovative members of our community, answered the call to serve.  They are volunteers at a food bank, clinicians exploring medical solutions and nurses, responding to a patient and family with care and concern. 

    This spirit of service is reflected in our students.  Even though their opportunities to serve became limited because of the stay-at-home directives, their commitment to serve filled the rest of the school year.  They too are explorers, discovering needs throughout our community and reaching out to serve, all to the benefit of the poor and the marginalized in our midst; all to the benefit of our community. 

    Those students are members of the St. Vincent de Paul Service Society, and the more than 25 seniors who are inductees into this special society are saluted in today's Ryan Connections. 
    We remind all of our students that they are asked each day to be living examples of the Gospel. The members of this Society, through their service to this community,  are that example, for today and for the next generation of students.  We are proud of them and proud of their dedication to serving others and embracing the tradition of faith, knowledge and service.  They have produced many a moment that makes this, truly, our finest hour.
    We don’t know what the future holds as we live with this pandemic, but we know we can trust in God.  So with prayers to St. Vincent de Paul and our Blessed Mother for all who are affected by this virus, we ask for God’s blessing as we look forward to a summer of hope and healing for our community and our world.  May we all make this our finest hour.
    Jim McIntyre
    P.S.  We are pleased to announce that the Graduation and Liturgical Celebration for the Class of 2020 will take place on June 19, 2020, at 6:30pm on the Father Ryan campus.  More details to come.  Go Irish!
  • Message from the President - May 22

    Encouraging News from Mayor Cooper

    From the number of inquiries we received from my message in last Friday's Ryan Connections, I am reminded how eagerly our seniors and their families are waiting to hear news about a possible Graduation day and when and how it could happen. While we do not yet have approval on a date, we are encouraged by Mayor John Cooper's announcement that phase two of Nashville's reopening begins on Monday. I am hopeful that after Memorial Day weekend we will have an idea of whether we will be able to see our campus come alive again soon, in some capacity, in keeping with the Mayor's plan. 

    As we look at continued plans for the senior class, we also are looking forward to the arrival this fall of the newest Irish, the Class of 2024. Last night I was pleased to join Principal Paul Davis '81, Director of Admissions Marisol Preston, Associate Director of Admissions Erin Riggs '00 and more than 140 families to welcome - virtually - this new class to Father Ryan.  In the process, and once again guided by Mayor Cooper's plans, we were able to share with these families information about summer communications as we move toward the return to campus.  It was an energizing meeting for all of us and a reminder of the enthusiasm and spirit of all of Ryan Nation.
    Jim McIntyre
  • Message from the President - May 15

    Planning Patiently

    On this last day of the 2019-20 school year I must begin by expressing my most sincere gratitude for our community’s hard work, flexibility, compassion, grace, creativity, and good humor. Here we sit, having navigated our way to the edge of summer and trying to balance between what we knew so well and what we’ve learned to do since.  Many of us are emotionally, spiritually, and physically ready for summer. Given our journey to this point, summer will look different as our communities, cities, and nation begin to “reopen” in a new context. Even with the relief that undoubtedly washed over parents, students, faculty, and staff as we arrived here, questions remain about what, when, and how we might regain our balance and rhythm, on campus and in life.
    Following continued consultation with medical, civil, and Diocesan authorities it seems most prudent to think and plan in increments, combining a desire to be flexible to emerging circumstances with a consistent effort to plan for what might lie beyond.  We will do everything we can to safely return to our beloved home and campus in August.  Until then, we remain committed to an in-person Baccalaureate and Commencement experience for the Class of 2020 in either June or July, keeping our 94-year tradition alive. As a prelude to that experience, we are hosting the class on campus tomorrow for a “Senior Parade.” 
    As our city begins to emerge under Mayor Cooper’s Road Map to Reopening Nashville, I am hopeful that after Memorial Day weekend we will have an idea of whether we will be able to see our campus come alive again, in some capacity, in the month of June.  My hope exists in part because of Bishop Spalding’s announcement that the public celebration of Mass may resume on Monday, May 18.
    Let me assure you that we are looking at the fall and at the reopening of the campus, guided by the words of St. Paul’s message to the Romans.  "But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."   We clearly hope for the normalcy of the school calendar, the vibrancy of campus life, and the energy provided to us through personal interaction with colleagues and our community.   As we hope, I ask for your patience.  Father Ryan’s campus may be physically closed today but Father Ryan remains completely open and active.  Our students are known and loved, our faculty are incredible servant-leaders, our alumni remain engaged, and we remain connected in prayer. I am grateful for all of that.   

    We will continue to focus on what is most imminent, knowing that planning in discrete and realistic periods of time is prudent, given the still-changing situation.

    We continue to seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother for all those affected by this virus. We salute and thank our students, families, and faculty for their dedication and commitment to our mission to be a living example of the Gospel. I am praying for all of you, praying that the Holy Spirit descends on you and your family, providing His grace, compassion, and strength.  Go Irish!


    Jim McIntyre
  • Message from the President - May 8

    Endings and Beginnings

    I found myself reflecting this week on the scripture from Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.” What began as a very exciting 2019-2020 school year is moving toward an ending that is anything but predictable, but nonetheless exciting.

    The class of 2020 completed its “classroom” time on Thursday, and save for the AP Exams that they have this week, this incredible collection of young men and women have drawn to an end of their days walking the halls of Father Ryan. A beautiful video salute from faculty and staff to these remarkable students capped their last day and reminded me of what they have accomplished for themselves and for this school. We continue to plan, as much as any of us can plan these days, to make their ending celebration as special as they have been.
    In God’s appointed time, powerful beginnings still emerge from unusual endings. As we prepare to say goodbye to the class of 2020, we prepare to welcome the class of 2024. As unique a year as 2020 has been, new things are starting now that are energizing the entire community. Earlier this week the rising sophomore, junior and senior classes learned which house they will call home in our new House System. House day was today, and based on the reactions on social media, and the friendly competitive “Irish” jabs from the various Heads of House, faculty and staff members, this will be a remarkable and memorable beginning for all of Ryan Nation. I am so proud of this introduction and appreciative of Elizabeth Elfers ’02 and Amy Duke, our new Director of Houses, all the Heads of Houses and the entire campus community for the way they have embraced this new system for our students. As a group, we look confidently to the future with an excitement that the Father Ryan House System will enhance our unique experience in dramatic ways, all consistent with our mission to be a living example of the Gospel and our tradition of faith, knowledge and service.

    Notably, as we congratulate the Class of 2020, knowing that they are the last class not to be part of a House System, we remember that fifty years ago this month the Class of 1970 graduated, the last all-male graduating class of Father Ryan High School. History, I believe, will kindly remember both classes as markers of Father Ryan’s longstanding ability to adapt and grow in order to form lives of excellence in the Catholic tradition.

    I am especially mindful of all of our mothers this week as we honor all of them during this Mother’s Day weekend. We especially seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother for all who continue to be affected by this virus. Happy Mother’s Day!


    Jim McIntyre
  • Letter from Bishop Spalding - May 7

    Bishop Mark Spalding has provided guidance on the resumption of public Masses in a letter to the community today.

  • Message from the President - May 1

    Called by Name to Serve

    Today, as we wrapped up an enjoyable Senior Week with Senior Skip Day, I found myself thinking about the other part of the educational experience at Father Ryan, the part that guides students through their educational and spiritual formation…our teachers.

    Early in my career as a classroom teacher I was given some advice by an experienced member of the faculty at my first school. She said, “Anyone can be an instructor, very few can be true teachers. You need to decide early in your career which you want to be?” It was soon after that challenge that I was reminded that teaching is a vocation. The best teachers don’t choose teaching as a career, it chooses them as a vocation.
    Inarguably, the faculty and staff at Father Ryan are very talented, educated, and experienced. Any school would be extremely thankful to count them among their professional staff. But there is something about the teachers and staff at Father Ryan that sets them apart. Each of them has been called by their vocation to serve, form, and educate our children. This is not true of all people in education.

    When our students’ days of formal education draw to a close, they will have something in addition to being prepared for college, something that will anchor them all the days of their lives. They will have mentors in the form of the Father Ryan Faculty and Staff. Let me be clear, this is not some ideal I want our faculty to aspire to; it is something I have seen every year as graduates return to campus to continue their relationships with their teachers deep into adulthood and possibly the rest of their lives. I know because I, like many of you, have experienced firsthand the guiding, loving, demanding mentorship in the relationships my children have formed with these incredible people. There is really no expression of gratitude that any of us can make to people who selflessly sacrifice themselves to better our children. I am honored, humbled, and deeply thankful to witness this generosity of vocation and dedication on a daily basis, even now as distance separates us from our students.
    The last several weeks have once again revealed to us something that is precious and all too often overlooked as we all get caught up in grades, athletics, and other events. Our faculty and staff care deeply about our children, and the heartache we all feel in being separated is equally difficult for them. As they experience this crisis themselves and within their own families they continue to serve, to teach, to advise, to mentor and to be present. As we read in the Gospel of John, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give you. This I command you: love one another.” This is vocation. These are not instructors, these are teachers. They carry on the legacy of Christ, our first Teacher.

    I continue to be thankful to all of you for your trust, support, compassion, and feedback. Please continue to seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother for the healing of all those affected directly and indirectly by this pandemic.


    Jim McIntyre
  • Letter and Decree from Bishop Spalding - April 24

    Bishop J. Mark Spalding has issued the following letter and decree on April 24, 2020 pertaining to the attendance of Mass. 

    Please click on the links below to read each. 


  • Message from the President - April 24

    Called by Name to Serve

    Today, as we wrapped up an enjoyable Senior Week with Senior Skip Day, I found myself thinking about the other part of the educational experience at Father Ryan, the part that guides students through their educational and spiritual formation…our teachers.

    Early in my career as a classroom teacher I was given some advice by an experienced member of the faculty at my first school. She said, “Anyone can be an instructor, very few can be true teachers. You need to decide early in your career which you want to be?” It was soon after that challenge that I was reminded that teaching is a vocation. The best teachers don’t choose teaching as a career, it chooses them as a vocation.
    Inarguably, the faculty and staff at Father Ryan are very talented, educated, and experienced. Any school would be extremely thankful to count them among their professional staff. But there is something about the teachers and staff at Father Ryan that sets them apart. Each of them has been called by their vocation to serve, form, and educate our children. This is not true of all people in education.

    When our students’ days of formal education draw to a close, they will have something in addition to being prepared for college, something that will anchor them all the days of their lives. They will have mentors in the form of the Father Ryan Faculty and Staff. Let me be clear, this is not some ideal I want our faculty to aspire to; it is something I have seen every year as graduates return to campus to continue their relationships with their teachers deep into adulthood and possibly the rest of their lives. I know because I, like many of you, have experienced firsthand the guiding, loving, demanding mentorship in the relationships my children have formed with these incredible people. There is really no expression of gratitude that any of us can make to people who selflessly sacrifice themselves to better our children. I am honored, humbled, and deeply thankful to witness this generosity of vocation and dedication on a daily basis, even now as distance separates us from our students.
    The last several weeks have once again revealed to us something that is precious and all too often overlooked as we all get caught up in grades, athletics, and other events. Our faculty and staff care deeply about our children, and the heartache we all feel in being separated is equally difficult for them. As they experience this crisis themselves and within their own families they continue to serve, to teach, to advise, to mentor and to be present. As we read in the Gospel of John, “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give you. This I command you: love one another.” This is vocation. These are not instructors, these are teachers. They carry on the legacy of Christ, our first Teacher.

    I continue to be thankful to all of you for your trust, support, compassion, and feedback. Please continue to seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother for the healing of all those affected directly and indirectly by this pandemic.


    Jim McIntyre
  • Message from the President - April 17

    Signs of Hope All Around Us

    Today was a wonderfully uplifting day.

    After receiving the disappointing – but not unexpected news – from Superintendent Rebecca Hammel yesterday that our beautiful campus would remain closed and digital learning would continue through the end of the school year, I was a bit saddened for our community, particularly the Class of 2020. But that sadness didn’t last long.

    This morning, I joined Mr. Davis, Mrs. Anton, Mr. Crumby, Mrs. Preston and Coach Mullins in traveling throughout our area to place congratulatory signs in the yards of every member of the Class of 2020 and to leave a Father Ryan blanket at each home. As I put the signs in the yards, I paused to look at the residences, and I was struck by the thought of the families living in each one and what the senior there was thinking. I found myself reflecting on that student and what he or she has meant to Father Ryan. I thought about their arrival as freshmen, of their experiences across the spectrum of activities, of their leadership, their commitment, their faith and their devotion to Father Ryan. And I found myself even more humbled by the opportunity my leadership team and I have to be a part of this remarkable school.

    Even though these students are not going to have the traditional ending of their Father Ryan years, I have no doubt that they will be exemplars of Father Ryan, perhaps in an even more special way than other classes. These last six weeks and the ones that follow have given them a practical experience in dealing with unexpected obstacles – always a valuable experience – and the way they have responded to these hurdles gives me even greater confidence in who they will be in the years to come. They have proved to be resilient, responsive, able to adapt and focused on serving others, and they will be able to deal with, learn from and succeed greatly because they are the Class of 2020.

    Yes, this was a wonderful day, one that will inspire me often in the coming weeks. Knowing our future for the remainder of the school year has given us clarity for our end of year events. I encourage you to view the new calendar that we have developed to detail the planned status of events for the year’s end. That includes a Senior Celebration on June 18-20 on the campus – depending on government directives – where we will honor this exceptional class. I salute them and their families and I look forward to celebrating with Ryan Nation this memorable year.

    With our ongoing prayers to our Blessed Mother for those who are affected by this virus and for all throughout our community, I am reminded that WE are Father Ryan.

    Jim McIntyre
  • Letter from Superintendent Hammel - April 16

    Superintendent Rebecca Hammel has issued a letter pertaining to the remainder of the school year. Click here to read the letter.
  • Letter to Senior Parents - April 16

    Dear Seniors and Senior Families,
    This letter is specifically for you and particularly bittersweetNone of us could have imagined when you left our campus on Thursday, March 12 that it would be the last time that we would be together this academic yearIn a letter from Rebecca Hammel, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville, announced this news today. Her letter has been added to our coronavirus webpage, and we encourage you to read her letter and to visit this page regularly for updates. 
    We recognize that this is not the way any of us saw your time ending at Father RyanThank you for your continued patience, love, and compassion. Do not let your hearts be heavy, we are a people of faith. We are all with you and despite that we cannot see what is ahead, we will walk the path  together. In times of uncertainty, it is our faith that brings us hope. In Hebrews 11:1, we are reminded: “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” 
    Despite the circumstances of the world and the distance between us, we plan to celebrate each of you and your accomplishments in a way that honors our history and traditions. As such, we are celebrating Senior Week as planned the week of April 20-24. Additionally, we plan to celebrate together Baccalaureate Mass, Graduation and all your accomplishments during the summer of 2020. 
    Please click here for end of year academic information and our planned events for you and your families based on the current recommendations of the state and local governments, in partnership with the Catholic Schools Office.  
    Class of 2020, thank you. Thank you for your flexibility, resilience, and determination during this time.  Words fall so infinitely short in expressing to each of you how much we love you, miss you and how thankful we are that you have walked the halls and grounds of our campus! Know that we are sending you all our love and support.  
    With gratitude and appreciation, 
    Jim McIntyre

    Paul Davis '81
  • Year End Information - April 16

    Dear Parents 
    We hope this letter finds all of you healthy and safe. We could not have imagined when we dismissed students on March 12 that we would be communicating to all of you today that our beautiful campus will remain closed and digital learning will continue the rest of this academic year. In a letter from Rebecca Hammel, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville, this news was announced today. Her letter has been added to our coronavirus webpage, and we encourage you to read her letter and to visit this page regularly for updates. 
    This news causes so many emotions in all of you and all of us. More than anything, we desire to be with our students: to teach, to mentor, to share the living experience of the Gospel, which is at the core of who we are and what we do in this ministry. Having spoken with many of our students, we truly believe they share this desire as well. If we have confirmed anything, community is at the heart of Father Ryan. No matter the distance or challenges, we cling to our faith and each other in the storm. We are so thankful for the kindness, patience, and compassion extended to all of us by our parent and student community. In addition, we are so proud of the Herculean job and dedication of our faculty and staff. They are truly remarkable; we are honored to have them serving, teaching, and mentoring our students 
    Please click here for detailed information about the remainder of the academic year as well as planned, postponed, and cancelled events for our students, especially the Class of 2020.   
    A special word about the Class of 2020. Oh, how we love them! For the last four years, this group of remarkable sons and daughters of Father Ryan have represented us with honor, fierce loyalty, and leadership. They have glorified God through their talents in performance halls, on the fields of competition, and in the classroom. We could not have more Irish PRIDE. Please keep them and their families especially in your prayers.   
    Throughout our school’s 95-year history, Father Ryan has been and is committed to being a place of consistent calm and faith for people in storm. During this storm, our traditions of Faith, Knowledge and Service and dedication to knowing and loving each other will continue to sustain us as we move forward in forming students in our Catholic traditionAnchored by the presence of the Risen Christ in the Eucharist, we know that WE are Father Ryan. We are reminded in scripture, “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” (Philippians 4:13) 
    We seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother to heal those affected by this illness and to guide us as we continue our mission to be a living example of the Gospel every day. 

    Jim McIntyre
    Paul Davis '81                                                                     
  • Message from the President - April 8

    An Easter to Anticipate

    We all have heard the expression “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” This has never been more true than today.
    Recently, several of our seniors wrote in English class about how they are adapting to the “Safer at Home” order. I was so honored and humbled, but not surprised, to read how much students truly love their connections with their teachers and our campus. They miss the simplest of things, like chicken biscuits, mentorship from faculty, the beauty of our campus, and just being present and part of the Ryan day-to-day. They expressed over and over the idea of Father Ryan being their HOME. This is one of the lessons we can learn. The beauty of life so often can be found in the simplest of things, the things that in a “normal” situation we take for granted.

    This is also true for us as we experience Holy Week. The beauty found in our families, the gratitude for our health, the inspiration found in first responders and healthcare workers, who are heroes every day, the blooming of flowers and the singing of birds. When the distractions of life are stripped away, this is where we need and should find connection, to each other and to Christ.
    The last 40 days have undoubtedly been filled with challenge, anxiety, disappointment and unpredictability. But I hope too that they have been filled with opportunity to focus on the importance of compassion, patience, kindness, empathy, and love. This week is an opportunity for all of us, individually and collectively, to focus on the greatest expression of LOVE – Christ’s passion, death, and Resurrection. To pray, reflect, and examine the weight of this expression of love and let it wash over us as we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection. While we are unable to gather in our churches this Easter morning, we are united with Christ and the HOPE His return brings to all of us.
    We all desperately want to return to a time when we can celebrate Ryan Nation and the experiences we share. At this time, we are uncertain when that time will come. But in our waiting for that re-connection, we remind ourselves that whatever the connections, in-person or via computer, WE are always together through Father Ryan and through Christ.
    I was grateful to receive so many responses to our Parent Survey from last Friday, and I am encouraged with your words of support for all the Father Ryan faculty and staff. That means so much to all of us. I am also appreciative of the many suggestions you offered in response to your experiences during this Digital Learning period.

    The most frequently mentioned area was the need for more connections among the community, to learn and to gather. To provide ways for us to establish more of those connections, we are adding a new element this week – our Irish Webinars. These 30-minute conversations among Father Ryan’s faculty, staff and leadership are designed to share knowledge and to keep us together. We began with today’s Keeping the Faith discussion with Mrs. Elfers and Father Simpson, which allowed us to share ways to celebrate Holy Week and strengthen our family connections to our faith. I invite you to join us whenever you are able as we bring new topics to our Irish Webinars. And please remember to connect with us via myFatherRyan, our website and on social media.

    Questions remain about the coming months, the schedule, and the year-end events. We will communicate information on all of those in coordination and in partnership with the decisions made by our Bishop and government officials related to the campus being closed.
    Be assured of our prayers for the healing and grace of Christ for all affected by this virus.

    May all of you have a special Holy Week and a glorious Easter Sunday. Alleluia. He is Risen.

    Jim McIntyre
  • Message from the President - April 3

    The Irish Connection is STRONG

    Greetings to Ryan Nation,

    One of the single most inspiring things I have had the honor of witnessing during my time at Father Ryan is the instantaneous connections throughout Ryan Nation! Each time I see alumni or families realize in conversation that they are connected to Father Ryan, I am humbled to watch the automatic understanding and connection shared in their common experiences. This period of social distancing makes these connections even more vital to our faculty, alumni, students, families, to each other and to Father Ryan. WE are Father Ryan!
    Our connection to our faith, our classmates, our teachers, and our community must be nurtured for this experience to be truly Father Ryan. This is why we have added more elements to our digital faith experiences, partnered with our club moderators and coaches to engage – virtually – with their members and athletes, and reached out to celebrate our Irish Heroes, our alumni and Ryan Nation, all to keep our connections to each other alive and vibrant.

    As a parent of a Father Ryan student, your insights and experiences are extremely important. By the time this newsletter has reached you, you should have already received a Parent Survey via email. This survey will give us feedback into your student’s digital learning. It also asks for your insights into how your family is personally coping with these unprecedented times. The survey will remain open until 5:00pm on Saturday, April 4. I encourage all of our parent community to participate.
    Please know that we will communicate plans regarding spring events, including commencement exercises, in coordination and partnership with the decisions made by our Bishop and government officials related to our campus being closed.
    As we enter into Holy Week, please be assured of our thoughts and prayers for the healing and grace of Christ to descend upon all of us and those affected by this virus.

    “Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10

    Peace to you and your family.

    Irish Pride,

    Jim McIntyre
  • Letter and Decree from Bishop Spalding - March 31

    Bishop Spalding has issued this letter and decree on March 31, pertaining to how the Diocese of Nashville will be handling services, including Easter, over the next few weeks. 


  • Letter from Superintendent Hammel - March 27

    Father Ryan announced today that the campus will remain closed and digital learning will continue through April 24, 2020.  Rebecca Hammel, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville, released this news in a letter.
  • Message from the President - March 27

    Campus to Remain Closed through April 24

    Father Ryan announced today that the campus will remain closed and digital learning will continue through April 24, 2020.  Rebecca Hammel, Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville, released this news in a letter today, which we have added to our coronavirus webpage.  Please visit this site for ongoing updates.
    Our talented and dedicated faculty and staff will continue delivering the Father Ryan experience through digital learning.  As we continue to expand in this environment, we encourage you to visit our Digital Learning webpage regularly. 

    In experiencing these unusual times, we are reminded that for 95 years Father Ryan has been a powerful presence, providing comfort to our community through our tradition of Faith, Knowledge, and Service, anchored always by the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  We know that WE are Father Ryan and that God never leaves us to face our perils alone.  
    On this Friday in Lent, we are called to draw closer to Christ and to seek the intercession of our Blessed Mother, asking her to heal those affected by this illness.  We join Superintendent Hammel and the entire Catholic community in prayer for all whom we serve.
    Jim McIntyre
  • MAC Doctors Spread Awareness - March 27

    Amid the outbreak of COVID-19 and Nashville's efforts to prevent the virus from spreading rampantly as it has in other cities, Dr. Shindana Feagins and Dr. Robert Labadie, both members of Father Ryan's Medical Advisory Comittee, are playing crucial roles in helping and informing the community. 

    Dr. Feagins warns that a carefree attitude, especially among young and otherwise healthy individuals, could further exacerbate the virus' spread in the community.  

    Dr. Labadie says he's more concerned than he's been in his career about the virus' spread and impact, and he's stressing the importance of staying home, as well as the need for personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. He's working with engineering students at Vanderbilt to get more masked produced

    These are unprecedented times, but we're proud to have members of the Father Ryan community playing a role in making our city, and country, safer.
  • Father Ryan Prepares to Launch Digital Learning - March 19

    At various times when our school is not in session and we have visitors to our campus, I caution them that during a tour they may see beautiful buildings and athletic facilities, and mistakenly think they have seen Father Ryan. However, Father Ryan is more to all of us than beautiful buildings and athletic facilities, it is the peopleWe are Father Ryan. Despite the current circumstances, this remains true - yesterday, today and tomorrow. In a very unsettled world with lots of anxiety and concern, we do what we always do. We turn to God. Pope Francis has called all of us “to rediscover the concreteness of small things, the small acts of kindness shown to those who are close to us, family, friends. Real relationships made of attentiveness and patience.” 
    While we all begin this journey and transition to digital learning together, I ask that we all lean into and respond to the calls of the Holy Father and our BishopPrecaution, prayer, prudence, patience, concern, compassion, empathy and kindness. This is a time when all of us can answer the challenge of our mission to be a living example of the Gospel while challenging students to reach their spiritual, academic, and personal potential.   
    This is a new experience for you, your students, our faculty and the entire Father Ryan community.  To help everyone in your household prepare for the transition to digital learning, we have created a Digital Learning webpage, with specific links, one for parents and one for students.  The Digital Learning webpage includes information to help students be successful and resources from various departments. We will add to this page as information develops.   
    Here’s what we ask you to do in preparation for our launch on Wednesday, March 25.

    • Review the Digital Learning webpage and familiarize yourself with our expectations for students and families.
    • Work with your student to set up their learning area in your home. Information and suggestions on this are on the webpage.
    • Please make certain that your students are logged into myFatherRyan on Monday and Tuesday, March 23 and 24. Students are expected to participate and engage with their teachers on those days to ensure they are receiving messages and instructional information from their teachers.
    • If your student needs technology assistance, there is a form on the webpage for them to complete and submit.
    • Understanding that this is a new experience for all of us - students, parents and faculty -we will need grace, compassion and patience as we make this transition together.

    I cannot imagine that our mission as a school has ever been more important and vital to students, parents, faculty, alumni, and the Nashville community. Today, March 19, our Church celebrates the Feast of St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus. On his feast day we seek his intercession and use his example of humility, kindness, compassion and caring for how we might “rediscover” each other and the world around us.  
    Peace to you and your family. 
    Jim McIntyre 
  • Bishop Spalding's Decree and Letter - March 17

    Bishop Mark Spalding issued a decree on March 17 regarding Mass and a letter the same day regarding school closings.  We encourage you to click below to read these communications from our Bishop.   Thank you.


  • Update from the President on Schedule - March 17

    Father Ryan Campus Closed Through April 3rd

    Digital Learning Begins Monday, March 23rd

    Bishop Mark Spalding decreed today the dispensation of Mass obligation through and including April 3, 2020.  In conjunction with the decree, Bishop Spalding announced the closing of diocesan schools through the same date. Please click to read his dispensation decree and his March 17 letter.  
    Throughout our 95-year history, Father Ryan has been called to respond to the challenges that our nation has faced.  In every instance, the strength of our response has been rooted in our community and in prayer.  We call on Ryan Nation to respond again, as a community, to meet this health challenge, and to begin that response in the same way we begin everything at Father Ryan – with prayer.  We invite you to join us in asking for the intercession of our Blessed Mother with a prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe from the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez. 
    With the Bishop’s announcement today, Father Ryan will launch digital learning for all students this Monday.  That schedule includes:  
    • March 23 and March 24 – These are professional workdays for faculty to launch digital learning. We expect your student to be connected during both Monday and Tuesday.  The faculty will be sending communication during each day, and we ask your students to respond timely to ensure the digital learning is working as planned. 
    • March 25 - Digital learning schedule begins with a B day on Wednesday, March 25.   
    Look for additional communication from us on Thursday, March 19, with more details on the digital learning implementation. 
    While we have used online teaching for summer school classes for several years, we know that this will be a new educational experience for most of our faculty and students, as well as for our parents.  While it will not be the same as being in the classroom, we are confident that you will have an educational experience that is both rigorous and uniquely Father Ryan.  
    To help us all understand this new environment, we will launch a digital learning webpage this Thursday.  The link will be sent in the communication referenced above.  We will update that webpage regularly throughout this digital learning environment. 
    We appreciate your patience, your support and your prayers as we respond once again during this new phase of the Father Ryan school year.   
    Jim McIntyre  
  • Message from the President - March 13


    Father Ryan was informed late this afternoon – Friday – that a part-time member of our faculty/staff, who is also a member of the parent community, has tested positive for COVID-19.  This individual was last on the Father Ryan campus on Tuesday, was not symptomatic while on campus, and now is quarantined at home and under observation by health department officials. Privacy rules prevent us from disclosing the member of our community.
    We are working with the Metro Public Health Department, and they have confirmed that “the risk to the student population is low and no students require isolation or public health monitoring at this time.  The case is mild and the patient is appropriately isolated.  No one else in the family, including the student, has symptoms. Due to the incubation period of the virus, there is no evidence that the student was infectious at school.  The family continues to work closely and collaboratively with the Department of Health.” 
    We appreciate the responsiveness and communication of the Metro Health Department.  We join with that department to continue encouraging all in our community to follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for dealing with this virus.  Those guidelines and additional resources are available at our coronavirus webpage.
    In light of this news, we also wanted to share with you the letter about the coronavirus from Bishop Spalding, distributed to all the faithful throughout the Diocese of Nashville.  Please join the Bishop in his call for prayer, for the intercession of our Blessed Mother, and for this family and all who are dealing with the effects of this virus.
  • Message from Superintendent Hammel - March 12

    We ask you to read the letter below from Superintendent Rebecca Hammel regarding the suspension of school-sponsored activities next week.
    Thank you.
  • Message/Update from President - Afternoon of March 12


    We have received word this afternoon that the spouse of the faculty/staff member who went through various tests has tested NEGATIVE for COVID-19. We are pleased for this family.
    We have also been informed by the diocese that a decision on when Father Ryan and all diocesan schools will reopen will be made no later than Thursday, March 19, as communicated by Superintendent Rebecca Hammel in her letter from yesterday.  See the link below (March 11) to read that letter.
    We continue to pray for all in the community during these unusual circumstances.
  • Message from President on March 12, 2020

    Father Ryan was informed this morning that the spouse of one of our faculty/staff members was not feeling well and underwent several medical tests, including the test for COVID-19.  This person has self-quarantined at home and is awaiting the results of the testing, which we anticipate being available in the next 48 hours. 
    As a result of this news, after conversations with Metro’s public health officials, the Diocese of Nashville, the Catholic Schools Office and our Medical Advisory Committee, we believe the overall risk of exposure to our students and faculty remains low.  However, out of an abundance of care, we are taking the following steps:
    • We are dismissing students today at 11:15am.  All students must be picked up by noon.
    • Faculty and staff will remain on campus until 3:30pm.  Tomorrow’s professional workday has been cancelled and is being replaced with a half-day workday today. 
    • ALL after-school activities for today – on and off campus - are cancelled.
    We are following plans for addressing the coronavirus that we had communicated earlier this week.
    • We began our deep cleaning of the entire school yesterday, and will continue this cleaning through next week, as planned.
    • School will remain closed Friday, as planned.
    We are in regular contact with the Diocese of Nashville, the Catholic Schools Office, our Medical Advisory Committee and state and local health officials.  We will continue to provide updates for you as soon as we learn more.  We ask you to continue praying for all in our community and throughout the world who are dealing with this illness.
  • Message from Superintendent of Schools Rebecca Hammel on March 11, 2020

    Dear Families, 
    Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Nashville Rebecca Hammel has sent an important letter regarding the coronavirus outbreak and new directions for all diocesan Catholic schools. 
    Click below to read this important letter. 
    Please join Bishop Spalding and all in our community in prayer for those affected by the coronavirus here and throughout the world. 
  • Update to Families on March 10, 2020

    Dear Families,
    As we approach spring break, and in light of the announcement today by local universities and county school systems to close, we hope this prompts all of us to be ever more vigilant about travel that may be planned. Current circumstances provide ample reason to review any travel internationally. As of Sunday, the World Health Organization (WHO) had identified 100,000 cases of COVID-19 in 100 countries. Additionally, the presence of COVID-19 domestically means we should all exercise careful judgment, even when traveling within the United States. Airlines and travel agencies are proving more than amenable to changes, given all we can gather.
    In addition, we are announcing today that Father Ryan will cancel classes this Friday, March 13.  We will hold a professional workday to support our faculty as they continue making plans in the event that we need to shift our academic program online for a time. We ask that students gather all necessary books, technology, materials, and school supplies before leaving school on Thursday in the event we shift to remote learning following spring break. 
    Visit Father Ryan Coronavirus Updates for up-to-date school news and public health resources on COVID-19. This webpage centralizes information and resources for the Father Ryan community. Visit the page regularly for updates, links, and FAQs. While Father Ryan does not have current knowledge of exposure to coronavirus on campus, we are working proactively. This includes a thorough, deep cleaning of all campus buildings during Spring Break. In addition, we remain in regular contact with our Medical Advisory Board, the Diocese of Nashville and the Metro Health Department.  All have been available as steady sources of guidance.
    We understand that there is very little that is easy about navigating our individual and collective way through these uncertain days, waiting for the next worrisome announcement or headline, but we are resolved to support our students and your family. Thank you for your willingness and trust in walking this unchartered road with us.
    If there is anything that I can do to help you or your student, any extenuating circumstance or information that you feel necessary to share, please feel free to reach out to me.
    We continue to pray for all those affected here in Nashville, our country, and throughout the world.
    Jim McIntyre
  • Update to Families on March 5, 2020

    Dear Parents:

    With the announcement by Governor Bill Lee today that the state of Tennessee has its first confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to communicate with all of you regarding Father Ryan's schedule and upcoming school activities.

    First, Father Ryan will be open tomorrow, Friday, March 6.

    Second, there are several upcoming school trips planned. Dr. Lisa Piercy, Commissioner of Health for the State of Tennessee, commented during Governor Lee’s press conference the “overall risk of transmission remains low at this time.” As such, our plans for travel with our students domestically are unchanged. We continue to monitor the situation closely, with a focus on our continued partnerships with the Father Ryan Medical Advisory Board, as well as our partners at the Diocese of Nashville.

    Additionally, we continue to encourage families, faculty, and students to follow the resources for symptoms and prevention at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

    As always, we encourage and support our parents as the primary educators to make individual decisions that they believe are in the best interest of their student.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions or concerns at 615-383-4200.
  • Update to Families on March 2, 2020

    Dear Father Ryan Families,
    Father Ryan's leadership team, along with the leadership of the Catholic Schools Office, has been watching with increased focus the coronavirus COVID-19 story in order to be best prepared for what is clearly an uncertain, unpredictable and emerging set of circumstances.  In consultation with the Father Ryan Medical Advisory Board and the diocese, we continue to follow and consult with a wide range of medical resource sites to assess day-to-day reports.  Here are some recommendations on resources for your family.
    We are encouraging all families to review the information at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website regarding symptoms and diagnosis, transmission, and prevention and treatment of the COVID-19.  We remind you that the best first preventative step is regular hand washing.  Please remember if a student has a fever, he/she may return to school only after being fever-free without the assistance of medication for at least 24 hours. We appreciate your reporting “flu-like” symptoms to the office when your student must be home due to sickness. 
    If your family has international travel plans for Spring Break, the U.S. State Department website offers an excellent real-time resource.  All planned Father Ryan overseas trips have been postponed. 
    Father Ryan has contingency plans prepared for school closures so that learning may continue.  In the event of a closure, we will communicate with all of you and our students via myFatherRyan.
    In the interim, we will continue to monitor the situation with our Medical Advisory Committee, the diocese, and the State of Tennessee, with our primary focus on the health and well-being of our students, faculty and community.  Please join us in prayer for all those affected, and thank you for your partnership in making Father Ryan such a great community. As always, we are available to answer any questions or concerns. 
    Jim McIntyre