George Reilly, OFM
1921 – 1989
Fr. George Reilly, OFM, was born on Dec. 19, 1921, in New York City. As a young boy he met Fr. Donatus Walsh, OFM, at St. Francis Church on West 31st Street, and was directed to St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
He was received into the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., on Aug. 12, 1941, and professed temporary vows Aug. 13, 1942. Fr. George made his profession of solemn vows Sept. 17, 1945, and was ordained a priest June 12, 1948.
After ordination, Fr. George was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish in Rochelle Park, N.J., the first and shortest of five parochial ministries extending over his 30 years of service. In 1949, he was transferred to St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J., where he served for nine years. In 1958, he was asked to build a friary in Narrowsburg, N.Y., which would serve Lake Huntington, Cochecton, Yulan, and Pond Eddy.
In 1964, Fr. George was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Church in East Rutherford, N.J., where he was also guardian of the friary. He supervised the building of the parish school, which was completed in 1966. He then moved on to St. Anne’s Church in Fair Lawn, N.J., where he ministered for 12 years.
In 1982, the Provincial Minister Fr. Alban Maguire, OFM, asked him to be the chaplain for the Little Sisters of the Poor in Totowa, N.J., a ministry he loved.
Fr. George was a friendly friar who possessed a good sense of humor. He was well loved by the people he served. He died June 13, 1989, in St. Joseph Hospital in Paterson. He was 67 years old, a professed friar for 46 years and a priest for 41 years and one day.