Father Ryan G. Duns, SJ, 39, was born to Mary Michele (Hagan) and Robert Duns III and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He has four siblings. Father Duns first encountered the Jesuits when he was 14 and was playing Irish music in a band with a Jesuit, but he came to know the Society more deeply at Saint Ignatius High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. and a master’s degree in religious studies at John Carroll University in Ohio. During this time, he taught private music lessons and played across the country for Irish dancing competitions.
Following the novitiate, Fr. Duns earned a master’s degree in philosophy at Fordham University, where he also ran student programming for the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, taught a course on the Irish tin whistle, and began to post instructional tin whistle videos on YouTube. Father Duns spent his regency teaching theology and Latin and leading the Student Senate at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy. He later earned a Master of Theological Studies degree at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, while also serving as a deacon at Saint Cecilia Parish. In 2018, Ryan graduated from Boston College with a PhD in theology. He is now an assistant professor at Marquette University. In addition to teaching theology classes, he continues to offer tin whistle lessons on YouTube, now rebranded, “Marquette University’s Irish Tune of the Week."