Well, as soon as I returned on Friday morning to New York from all of the Rites surrounding Monsignor Reynold’s Funeral last week in Atlanta I immediately jumped into all of the Christmas celebrations. And, of course, this year as soon as Christmas was complete we had all of the regular Sunday Masses. Now that we have come through all of that we are enduring a major blizzard here in New York and as I write this there is already over a foot of snow on the ground and it just keeps piling up! We are expecting atleast a foot and a half and possibly two feet of snow by the time all is said and done with winds blowing up to 50 miles per hour in most spots! I mention all of this because I now finally have an opportunity and plenty of time to update my blog with all of the information and photos from Monsignor Reynold’s funeral last week.
It is hard to put into words exactly what occurred last week. There were thousands of people who came together to pay tribute to Monsignor Paul Reynolds. The network news stations in Atlanta covered his death and funeral activities. There was great sadness but also a real spirit of thanksgiving on that part of everyone who was there. I suspect we all felt the same way – deeply saddened by Monsignor Reynold’s death, but so very grateful that we had been so fortunate to have known him! Below I will include photographs from the start of the funeral services right through to the burial and reception following. I do this mostly for the benefit of those who were unable to attend and I hope that what you see here will also include you in the services for this very special man to all of us – Monsignor Paul H. Reynolds.
This is Northside Chapel Funeral Directors in Roswell - The funeral home that prepared Monsignor Reynold’s body. It is a very beautiful place and they did a very fine job!
The flags flew at half-staff at Saint Brigid’s Church to honor their revered Pastor.
I stayed here at the Rectory as I always had where Monsignor Reynolds lived. I want to thank Pat, the housekeeper, for always taking such good care of me. THANK YOU PAT!
Another view of the Rectory from the front entrance gate.
A view of the Rectory from across the street.
Here Monsignor Reynolds is seen reposing in the the casket at the funeral home prior to being brought to the Church for the public viewing. I feel very fortunate that Trish and Monsignor Reynold’s niece Mary and her husband Eamonn invited me to accompany them to the funeral home to assist in the preparations there. Thank you very much!
Here is a view of the full casket. It was a Batesville Premiere Mahagony casket. It was stately and classy just like Father Reynolds. It was very fitting!
Monsignor Reynolds is very much at peace.
A view from a slightly different angle.
Monsignor Reynolds always wanted to be buried wearing his Notre Dame shirt under his vestments. Monsignor Reynolds was always a faithful Notre Dame fan. I am happy to report that his wishes were carried out as he expressed and if you look carefully in the above photo you can see the gold Notre Dame shirt showing! Monsignor Reynolds would be VERY happy!
I like this photo because as I stand at the head of his casket it appears that I am giving Monsignor Reynolds a big embrace which is what we all did over these last few days as we honored and celebrated his memory!
Here I stand with Archbishop John Donoghue, the Archbishop Emeritus of Atlanta, as we wait for Monsignor Reynold’s body to arrive at the Church.
Monsignor Bill Hoffman, who has been assisting at Saint Brigid’s during Monsignor Reynold’s illness, and I wait for Monsignor Reynold’s body to arrive.
The Knights of Columbus Honor Guard stands at attention as Monsignor Reynold’s casket arrives at Saint Brigid’s.
Monsignor Reynold’s body arrives at the church.
Monsignor Reynold’s body is recieved at the entrance to the Church on Wednesday afternoon to begin the public viewing. Seen on the other side of the casket is Archbishop John F. Donoghue, Archbishop Emeritus of Atlanta, Monsignor James Fennessy and Monsignor Bill Hoffman.
The line of mourners stretched for 6 hours from the casket, down the aisle, out the lobby, down the hall, down the steps, and into the parking lot. The line never let up all night!
The line of people just kept coming and coming…
Here Bishop Luis Zarama, Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta, incenses the body of Monsignor Reynolds during the Vigil Service. Also in attendance was Bishop Boland, the Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah.
Following the Vigil Service a Rosary was prayed and the viewing continued. The Church remained open throughtout the night and the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard stood watch through the night. People kept vigil with Monsignor Reynolds all night.
Here, Monsignor Reynold’s casket is seen at 1:00 AM before the Altar of Saint Brigid’s. The casket had been closed and covered with the Pall about 11:00 PM the evening before in preparation for the Funeral Mass the following morning.
Above the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard are seen assembling at the entrance to the church just before the start of the Funeral Mass at 11:00 AM.
Priests begin to line up for the procession into the church. Here, four of Monsignor Reynolds’ good priest friends who served as pallbearers are seen. From left to right, Monsignor R. Donald Kiernan, P.A., Father Mike Redden, Father Walter Foley and Father G. Philip Ryan.
Above, Bishops and Archbishops prepare to enter the church. Seen here are Archbishop Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Atlanta, Bishop Luis Zarama, Auxiliary Bishop of Atlanta and Archbishop John F. Donoghue, Archbishop Emeritus of Atlanta.
Bishops in the Sanctuary during the Mass.
The first reading is read during the Mass.
Just before the funeral started you can see the hearse at the bottom of the stairs and the parking lot filled to overflowing with cars.
Here are a few of the floral tributes that were in the church for Monsignor Reynolds.
A beautiful spray with a ribbon which reads: “Our beloved Pastor and Friend”.
This is the basket my family sent.
Following the Funeral Mass the procession of cars traveled to Arlington Cemetery in Sandy Springs, Georgia where Monsignor Reynolds was buried with other priests and bishops of the Archdiocese of Atlanta in the area called “Priest’s Circle”. It is a beautiful location on the top of a hill in the highest part of the cemetery. In the center of the circle is a large Crucifix and an Altar. Above, the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard line the path awaiting Monsignor Reynold’s casket.
Monsignor Reynold’s casket is brought to the grave.
Monsignor Reynold’s casket is brought to the grave.
Prayers are prayed during the committal service.
Following the committal prayers, Monsignor Reynold’s niece Mary placed a rugby jersey on the top of the casket. Everyone broke out into spontaneous applause. Monsignor Reynolds had been an avid rugby player in his youth in Ireland.
Following the committal at the cemetery a reception was held at the Rectory for the staff and close friends and family members of Monsignor Reynolds.
At the reception in the Rectory.
At the reception in the Rectory people sit and tell wonderful stories about Monsignor Reynolds. Here you can see the Christmas Tree at right. Monsignor Reynolds loved Christmas. It was his favorite time of the year!
Here I am seen with Father Walter Foley who succeeded Monsignor Reynolds as pastor of Saint John Neumann Church in Lilburn. The photo at the left is of Monsignor Reynolds.
This is a picture of Monsignor Reynolds as a young boy. These pictures were displayed at the reception in the School Auditorium.
In this photo, taken many years ago, Monsignor Reynolds is seen doing what he did best – being with his parishioners!
Here, Monsignor Reynolds is seen receiving a well-deserved honor!
Here, Monsignor Reynolds enjoys the moment at a Mass he was celebrating.
A GREAT picture of Monsignor Reynolds holding a baby he had just Baptized!
The photo above was from the Saint John Neumann Parish Photo Directory and was probably taken sometime in the mid-1980s.
I wanted to save this picture for LAST because it is, in my opinion, the BEST ONE! Here, Monsignor Reynolds is seen driving along in a golf cart. And, this is the way I will always remember Monsignor Reynolds – HAPPY, JOY-FILLED and SMILING!!!
I hope that you enjoy this post and that it will be especially meaninful to those of you who might not have been able to attend the wake or funeral for Monsignor Reynolds. You missed an amazing tribute to a great man! We are all going to miss him very much. But, we must thank God that we had the privilege of knowing him and having him as our pastor, priest, friend and guide during our lives. And, from his place in Heaven there is no doubt, in my mind atleast, that he will guide us still! May he rest in peace!