Aloysius Reilly, OFM
1905 – 1983
Fr. Aloysius Reilly, OFM, was born on Oct. 25, 1905 in Bellevue, Pa., and baptized Joseph. After high school, he studied at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, from 1923 to 1925. Influenced by his older brother, Ralph, a missionary of Holy Name Province in China, he transferred to St. Bonaventure College in Allegany, N.Y., receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1927. He entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., in 1927, professing temporary vows one year later. Fr. Aloysius made his solemn vows and was ordained in 1931.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology from The Catholic University in Washington, Fr. Aloysius volunteered for the Province’s new mission in Shasi, China. He sailed there in 1932 and ministered in China until the communists expelled all foreign missionaries in 1949. Returning home, Fr. Aloysius spent a few months at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston before transferring to St. Bonaventure University, where he served as director of maintenance for three years.
From 1955 to 1956, Fr. Aloysius ministered as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Lenoir, N.C. He returned to Asia, this time to the Province’s mission in Gumma, Japan. He continued his missionary work until 1983, when he returned to St. Bonaventure University, where he compiled the history of the Shasi mission. Al was a friendly and warm friar who enjoyed the company of his brothers. Always calm and on the quiet side, he was dependable and zealous.
He died on Oct. 30, 1983 at St. Bonaventure University. Fr. Aloysius was 78 years old, a professed friar for 55 years and a priest for 51 years.