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Reverend Father Michael James Reis

Reverend Father Michael James Reis died on February 14, 2020, at Mother Angeline McCrory Manor.

The son of Leo and Margaret (George) he was born on June 29, 1941, in Columbus, and was baptized on July 13, 1941, at Saint Leo Church (Columbus) where he also attended elementary school, graduating in 1955. He graduated from Saint Charles Preparatory School (Columbus) in 1959. He graduated from the Saint Charles Seminary College in 1963, with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy degree, continuing his theological studies at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary (Cincinnati), graduating in 1967.  He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Columbus at Saint Joseph Cathedral on May 27, 1967, by Bishop Edward G. Hettinger.

During his priestly ministry and service to Christ, His Church and His people, Father Reis served as associate pastor, Saint Michael Church (Worthington) with teaching duties at Bishop Watterson High School; associate pastor at Saint Vincent de Paul Parish (Mount Vernon); instructor at Father Wehrle High School (Columbus) with residence at Corpus Christi Parish (Columbus); Catholic Chaplain at Capital University (Bexley) with residence at Christ the King Parish (Columbus);  Administrator, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish (Marysville); associate pastor, Saint Philip the Apostle Church (Columbus); Pastor, Saint Christopher Church (Columbus); and Pastor, Saint Leonard Church (Heath) until his retirement in 2013. Father Reis was very involved in cutting-edge communications for the Diocese, at one time heading up the newly-formed Diocesan Office of Radio and Television for several years in the 1970’s. His expertise in this area was recognized by others, and at one time he was released for service to assist the Archdiocese of San Francisco with their communications outreach. Father Reis also served as Director of the Cursillo Movement and Spiritual Director of the Cum Christo Movement, with residences at Saint John the Evangelist Parish (Columbus) and Holy Name Parish (Columbus). He also took graduate level courses at Fordham University (New York) and participated in priest sabbatical study programs through the North American College (Rome) and the Graduate Theological Foundation at the University of Oxford (England).

Father Reis is survived by his siblings, Reverend Father Justin J. Reis, Cecilia J. (Michael) Chambers, Catherine J. (Mark) Mitchell, Regis J. Reis (infant, deceased), Kevin J. (Linda) Reis, and Reverend Mr. Christopher J. (Lisa) Reis; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Mass of Christian Burial was February 20, 2020, at Saint Leonard Church with Bishop Robert Brennan celebrating the Mass, with Bishop James Griffin, Bishop Frederick Campbell and priests of the Diocese concelebrating. Father Justin Reis delivered the homily.  Burial was at Saint Joseph Cemetery (Newark). Father Reis’ personal request that memorial donations be made to the Priests Long-Term Care Fund, Diocese of Columbus, 198 East Broad Street, Columbus, 43215.

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