DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. — Blaise Reinhart, OFM, 93, a professed Franciscan friar for 67 years and a priest for 64, died on Aug. 10 at St. Cabrini Nursing Home.
A Mass of Resurrection is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 14 at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel, Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., where Blaise had spent most of his religious life. Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, will preside and Kenneth Paulli, OFM, will preach. Burial will be at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands, N.Y., at a later date, following cremation.
Blaise was born on July 17, 1926, in the College Point section of Queens, N.Y., to Andrew and Ita (née Smyth) Reinhardt and was baptized Raymond Joseph in Elmhurst, N.Y. After graduating from St. Agnes Academic School in College Point, N.Y., Blaise served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a technician with an anti-aircraft artillery battalion. He was honorably discharged on Aug 6, 1946. Blaise then attended St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1949.
He entered the Order of Friars Minor in 1950, making his first profession of vows on Aug. 13, 1951. Blaise professed his final vows on Aug. 13, 1954, at St. Bonaventure before Celsus Wheeler, OFM. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Aloysius Cicognani on June 9, 1955, at Mount St. Sepulchre in Washington, D.C.
His first assignment was to Siena College where he was to spend nearly 50 years in academic and administrative roles. Blaise taught for three years before attending The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he earned a master’s and a doctorate in economics. He returned to Siena, where from 1963 to 1965 he served as assistant academic dean and from 1965 to 1970 as dean of student services. After a brief break from Siena, during which he worked at St. Bonaventure University and at the Chapel of Our Lady of the Lake in Greenwood Lake, N.Y., Blaise returned to the Loudonville campus in 1971, where he taught economics and, at various times, served as chair of the economics department, vice president of student affairs, and dean of the school of business.
Blaise retired in 2005 and was appointed an emeritus professor of economics in 2007. He remained at Siena until 2014, when he moved to Holy Name Friary, the Province’s skilled care facility in Ringwood, N.J. Blaise moved to St. Cabrini Nursing Home in March of this year.
He was known for his bridge-playing skills, and for serving as chaplain on cruise ships as part of the Apostleship of the Sea of the United States of America.
Blaise is survived by a sister, Helen Hecht, and a niece, Diana Silvestri.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars – Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001-3202.
— Jocelyn Thomas is the director of communications for Holy Name Province,