Bishop of Columbus, Ohio (1945-1957)
Michael Joseph Ready was born April 9, 1893, in New Haven, Connecticut, the second youngest of 14 children. His father, Michael T. Ready, and mother, Mary A. Ellis Ready, were Irish immigrants who moved to America in the 1880s. In 1900 the Readys moved to Mansfield, Ohio, then Barberton, Ohio.
Michael attended St. Peter parish school in Mansfield. He studied at Saint Vincent, Latrobe, Pennsylvania; St. Bernard Seminary, Rochester, New York; and St. Mary Seminary, Cleveland. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland September 14, 1918, by Bishop John P. Farrelly.
Fr. Ready served as an assistant pastor and teacher for the Diocese of Cleveland. He was also diocesan director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In 1931, Fr. Ready was sent to Washington, D.C. as assistant general secretary of the National Catholic Welfare Conference (predecessor of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops). He became general secretary of the NCWC in 1936.
Fr. Ready was named a Monsignor in 1934 and was chosen Fifth Bishop of Columbus November 11, 1944, by Pope Pius XII. He was consecrated December 14, 1944, in St. Matthew Cathedral, Washington, D.C. by Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, the Vatican’s apostolic delegate to the U.S. Bishop Ready was installed in St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus on January 4, 1945.
One of his first tasks was overseeing the erection of the Diocese of Steubenville from the eastern and southeastern portion of the Diocese of Columbus and the consolidation into Columbus of portions of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (the western counties of the Diocese).
In 1949, Bishop Ready had the present Chancery Office built. As bishop, he established the Catholic Welfare Bureau (1945) and appointed a Director of Charities for the Diocese. By the 1950s, the CWB was serving Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Bishop Ready also organized the Diocesan Union of the Holy Name Society, a diocesan Parent-Teacher Organization, the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women, the Catholic Youth Council, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Bishop Ready created 18 new parishes and oversaw the construction of nine elementary and five high schools. He founded St. Raphael and St. Rita homes for the aged, the Diocesan Child Guidance Center, and the Catholic Student Center at The Ohio State University. He worked with his fellow Ohio bishops to start the Ohio Catholic Welfare Conference (now the Catholic Conference of Ohio).
Bishop Ready died unexpectedly of a cerebral hemhorrage May 2, 1957, at the age of 64. He was buried at St. Joseph Cemetery in the Columbus.