Chattanooga priest who cared for sick during yellow fever pandemic and died may gain sainthood

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / The Most Rev. Richard Stika, Bishop of Knoxville, speaks during the First Session of the Tribunal of the Inquiry That Will Examine the Life, Virtues, Offering of Life, Reputation of Holiness, and Signs of Intercessory Power of the Servant of God Father Patrick Ryan at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Another step was taken Monday in the potential canonization of the Rev. Patrick Ryan as the diocese of Knoxville installed members of a group to lead the inquiry into the Chattanooga priest.

During two services at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Bishop Richard Stika of the Diocese of Knoxville created the committee, which includes the Rev. J. David Carter and Deacon Gaspar DeGaetano of Chattanooga, the Rev. John Orr, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Athens, Deacon Hicks Armor of Chattanooga, Rebecca Dempsey, Jennifer Morris and John Hilgeman.

The group will review Ryan's life and look for any reason why the priest should not be venerated to receive one of the highest honors in the church, Carter said.

(READ MORE: Request initiated to honor Chattanooga priest Patrick J.