A Funeral Mass celebrating the life of Fr. Ronald “Ronnie” V. Boccali, PIME, 89, will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 7, 2019, at St. Leonard Catholic Church, 57 Dorsey Mill Road, Heath, with Reverend Ken Mazur, PIME Superior as celebrant. Fr. Ronnie’s body will be received at St. Leonard Catholic Church at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, with visitation following and concluding with evening prayer at 7:00 p.m. Interment will be held on Friday, November 8, 2019, in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, Michigan, immediately following a prayer service in the Rotunda Chapel at 1 p.m.
Fr. Ronnie (Reinhold) was born in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland on December 26, 1929. He died at the Mother Angeline McCrory Care Center on Monday, October 28, 2019.
During World War II, Ronnie traveled to Milan, Italy, inspired by the faith of his father, he continued to learn more about the Catholic faith and received his Holy Sacrament of Baptism. He entered the Salesian Seminary, but was denied permanence because his mother was of the Protestant faith.
Ronnie entered the PIME Seminary in 1951 and made his final promise to PIME on May 22, 1959. He was ordained a priest on June 11, 1960. While in the Seminary, Ronnie studied and completed an internship at the School of Missionary Medicine & Surgery at the University of Milano.
He was assigned to the United States Region, where he faithfully ministered almost his entire life. Fr. Ronnie was teacher, vice-rector, and spiritual director at the former Saints Peter and Paul PIME Seminary in Newark, from 1961-1988. He was sent to England for a few years as rector of PIME’s house in Watford, returning to the States in 1991 and serving as rector for the College Seminary program in the Detroit area. Fr. Ronnie eventually returned to the Newark area where he then assisted with the management of the PIME Center.
When the PIME property was sold to the Diocese of Columbus, Fr. Ronnie was welcomed locally into residence at St. Leonard Catholic Church, Heath, where he quickly gained the love and admiration of the parishioners. He continued to serve in many capacities, faithfully assisting the Catholic parishes in Licking County.
Loved for many reasons, Fr. Ronnie embodied a warm smile and gentle gait. He enjoyed gardening, plants, and animals, and especially the many great meals shared with friends at the Olive Garden and Red Lobster. It was also no secret that Fr. Ronnie enjoyed shopping for bargains, and would often be seen in the aisles at Aldi.
Fr. Ronnie is survived by his sister and her family, all of Switzerland; and the many relationships that he fostered over the years.
In 2015, Fr. Ronnie moved into the Villas at St. Therese Assisted Living until his transfer to the Mother Angeline McCrory Care Center, Columbus.
To share your special memory of Fr. Ronnie or leave a condolence, please visit www.reedegancom.