View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A good soul goes home

Mary Reilich has gone home.

She died April 12 at age 90. I just learned about it from the diocesan newspaper.

I met her years ago when I was the associate editor of the diocesan newspaper. She was soft-spoken and sweet and patient – the kind of woman who wears a perpetual smile.

She was also determined.

She’d had this wonderful idea: The people of the diocese should pray for their priests.

So she created a monthly prayer-request for priests calendar.

Each day of the month bears a different priest’s name -- either an active or retired diocesan priest, or an order priest serving locally. You pray for that priest on his day. Groups are sometimes prayed for, such as “vocations and seminarians.”

Reilich readily and humbly admitted the idea was not her own. The prayer-request calendar is an extension of an international apostolate that has existed since 1990.

But she got it off the ground here, selecting the names and assigning them days, and raising the money to run the calendar in the paper as an ad (our editor would not let it in for free).

When the money got too low to continue the ads, Reilich’s pastor offered to let her run it on the parish website (

I remember her coming in once a month. We’d sit and chat. She’d tell me how her fundraising efforts were going, how many people had contacted her about the calendar – including some priests – and how she had to keep on top of things because of so many older priests dying. She didn’t want to list a name of a priest who had just died. (I told her once that even dead priests might need a few prayers. She smiled and said I was probably right, but she didn’t want to cause hurt for loved ones left behind.)

The obituary noted that she always carried a rosary, was a daily communicant, and had a special devotion to Mary.

I’m not surprised.

She was a good soul.

Pray for her – and for priests.


Blogger Moneybags said...

I said a prayer for her. I'll write a post up too.

10:39 PM  

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