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In Memoriam

Barbara Shlemon Ryan
March 06, 1936 - April 22, 2011

She has been described as a rock star of the Catholic Church. Since the 1960ís, hundreds of thousands of faithful have come to hear her speak, read her books and watch her videos. Hers was a gentle message of faith, hope and healing.

Extensively traveling throughout the world to conduct evangelical workshops, she passionately shared a fervent belief that the power of prayer could bring physical healing to sick and broken bodies, and spiritual healing to broken hearts and minds. .

A graduate of St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Evanston, Illinois, Barbara began her career as a registered nurse. But while caring for her patients, she soon found that for many, their spiritual needs required as much healing treatment as their physical injuries. Thus was born her determination to become actively involved in Catholic Christian evangelism.

It was a groundbreaking achievement. An aspect of Catholicism that was not only highly unusual, it had never before been lead by a laywoman.

Barbara embarked on a mission to spread her belief that an everyday life of simple faith and prayer could restore anyone to wholeness. She devoted her lifeís work to ministering at spiritual retreats all over the world.

Barbara successfully accomplished all of this while simultaneously raising and nurturing her five children. She instilled in them her devotion to family and friends. She also shared with her children the importance of a love of live, sense of humor, kindness and most importantly forgiveness.

She passionately believed in spirits, both Holy and liquid.

Born and raised in Chicago, she experienced her first test of faith. As a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan it was a test of faith, which unfortunately continued throughout her life.

Drawn by its warmth and white sands, she eventually settled in Florida where she enjoyed walking the beaches and marveling at the sunsets.

Barbara Shlemon Ryan authored five highly successful books on inner healing, spirituality and surviving divorce and was a founding member of the Association of Christian Therapists.

Her lifeís work continues as ACT has now grown into an international organization of professionals in the health and mental health care fields seeking to integrate their religious faith with their medical expertise.

Of these many accomplishments, the role which made her most proud was that of devoted mother to her five children, grandmother to twelve grand children and aunt and sister to her extended family.

The number of lives she touched are far too numerous to mention.

Barbara's Prayer for Healing

Dear Jesus,

I believe you have

designed and created me.

therefore, you can also

repair and restore me.

In the comfort of your love

I pour out to you

the memories that haunt me,

the anxieties that bewilder me,

the fears that stifle me.

I confess my frustration

in dealing with the emotional,

physical and Spiritual pain of my life.

Help me to image your gentle touch

as you tenderly enclose me in your arms. 

Give me the gift of faith

to believe in your merciful love each

step of my earthy journey.

I trust your tender care will

yield peace to my mind,

serenity to my heart,

renewal to my spirit and

healing to by body.

I offer you a sacrifice of praise

in the midst of my suffering,

knowing that you promised to never

leave me nor forsake me. Amen

     -- Barbara Shlemon Ryan

Copyright © 2011 The Association of Christian Therapists. All Rights Reserved.
Website development: Janet Powell