With the death of Mary Reilich, the priests of the Diocese of Rochester have lost one of their most ardent and prayerful advocates.
Following a long illness, Mrs. Reilich died on April 12 at Monroe Community Hospital in Henrietta at the age of 90. She was a parishioner at St. Anne Church, Rochester, and a member of the Third Order Carmelites. Mary Sanders, another Third Order Carmelite and a parishioner at Rochester’s St. Thomas the Apostle Church, noted that Mrs. Reilich was always concerned for the welfare of priests.
More than 15 years ago, that concern led Mrs. Reilich to originate the “Monthly Prayer Request for Priests”, which began as an advertisement in the Catholic Courier.Today, the calendar can be accessed on the Internet by clicking the “Priest’s Calendar” at www.saintannechurch.org/church.html.A priest — whether an active or retired diocesan priest or an order priest serving in the diocese — is assigned as the beneficiary of prayers on each day of the year.
“We had a strong feeling that every priest should be singled out for a day of prayer,” said Sanders, who worked with Mrs. Reilich on the calendar ministry..
She noted that Mrs. Reilich was a very loving person; always carried a rosary; was a daily communicant; and was devoted to Mary.
“She was kind to everyone,” Sanders added. “I don’t think I ever heard her say a harsh word to anyone.”
Mrs. Reilich’s sister, Eileene Wilkin, echoed those sentiments.
“She just had a long, lovely, beautiful life,” Wilkin said. “She got along beautifully with everybody.”
Father Frank E. Lioi, former pastor of St. Anne’s, also remembered Mrs. Reilich fondly.
“She always could find the good in any situation,” he said. “I especially enjoyed her cheery smile and her friendly greeting.”
Mrs. Reilich was predeceased by her husband, Charles. In addition to Wilkin, she is survived by her brother and sister-in-law Paul and Thelma Moore; nieces and nephews, Maureen and Joseph Wilkin, Sharon and Thomas York, Kelly and Patricia Moore.
A funeral Mass was celebrated on April 18 at St. Anne Church with interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Rochester. Memorial donations may be sent to the St. Anne Church Memorial Fund, 1600 Mt. Hope Ave., Rochester, N.Y. 14620.