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Queensland priest a bridge between God and people

Catholic Leader columnist and prison chaplain Fr Kevin Ryan died last weekend.

The popular columnist said at that time "the best part" of priesthood was "being a bridge between God and people, between this world and the next".

Brisbane Centacare Pastoral Ministries director Fr John Chalmers said Fr Ryan's ministry took mid-20th century theologian Karl Barth's "idea of living the Christian faith with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other ... (and) made it his own".

"Kevin took the Bible to heart," Fr Chalmers said.

"Like St Augustine he met the living God on the pages of the Bible - the encounter broke his heart open and set him free ... (but) that left Kevin with two empty hands.

"With one he reached out to all God's people particularly those doing it tough - whether a prisoner, a prisoner's family, a prison officer or a fellow chaplain (and) with the other hand, he grabbed hold of, even reverenced, people's stories - whether of the outback or the great urban sprawl."

FULL OBITUARY Fr Kevin Ryan dies aged 76 (Catholic Leader)