Priest Profiles: Father Bill Reynolds

Fr. Reynolds

Name: Father Bill Reynolds

Age: 59

Years ordained: 28

Current assignment: Pastor, Sacred Heart Parish, Newton; sacramental minister, Immaculate Conception Parish, Colfax; dean of the Grinnell Deanery.


How did you know you were being called to priesthood?

I had thought about it in college. But I didn’t act on it at that time. I didn’t want to drift into priesthood; I wanted to have been successful at something else first. I was a high school teacher for four years after graduating from St. Ambrose College. As a young man, the thought of being a priest continued with greater frequency and intensity. So I decided to pursue the priesthood. If it wasn’t meant to be, I’d let it go. I’ve attributed much of this inspiration to pursue the priesthood to Father Greene at St. Ambrose. It was the example he set.

Aside from your ordination Mass, what was your most memorable Mass?

To say which has been the most memorable is very difficult. I presided at my father’s funeral Mass six months after I was ordained a priest. He was an older man and I was a later-in-life child. There have been a number of other funeral masses that were memorable. And I concelebrated Mass with Pope John Paul II while I was a student in Rome. That was memorable. During the fall of every year is the only time when priests from the various ecclesial universities in Rome could concelebrate Mass with the pope.

What is most rewarding about being a priest?

I think being with people at the really significant times in their lives.

What is most challenging about being a priest?

Probably the administration part of being a pastor, all the time you have to give to administration.

What is your favorite Scripture passage?

The 122nd Psalm, which speaks of being called to Jerusalem. I use this psalm often at vigil services, sometimes at funerals. The antiphon is “I rejoiced when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’” When I read the line, “And now our feet are standing within your gates, Jerusalem,” imagine Ishmael — a pious Jew all his life, wanting to go to the temple but not being able to do so because he’s poor and has livestock to feed and can’t get away. But then he’s invited by his neighbor to go to Jerusalem the next week, and his heart erupts with joy. The psalm is rich with meaning. There’s the whole business of Jews going to Jerusalem, the place God chose for them to worship at the temple, and for us Christians it speaks about the new and eternal Jerusalem in the heavens. So it has meaning on more than one level.

What is your hobby?

Computers, card games, especially bridge, at which I am a novice. And I have a new iPod.

I spend most of my vacation time working as the priest chaplain on ships, under the auspices of the Apostleship of the Sea of the United States of America, for which I am the national secretary. AOS-USA exists under the auspices of the USCCB.

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