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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Farewell to a humble and holy priest

We buried a great priest over the weekend, the humble and holy Fr. Paul Rehling.

Appropriately, the funeral Mass took place in the beautiful St. William Church in Price Hill, where he had served so generously since his so-called retirement a decade ago, even after being diagnosed more than a year ago with A-plastic anemia. The church, which holds about 700 people, was packed all the way up the choir loft. Dozens of priests attended, and four bishops concelebrated.

One of the bishops was Most Rev. Gabriel Mante of Jasikan, Ghana, West Africa, a diocese that Fr. Rehling served as a seminary professor in one chapter of his adventurous life. He as also a pastor, priest personnel director and spiritual director for many seminarians.

The Gospel reading which Fr. Rehling chose for the Mass was from the 13th chapter of the Gospel of John, in which Jesus washes the feet of the apostles and tells them to serve likewise.

In an extraordinary homily, Fr. David Brinkmoeller preached on the responsorial psalm, which was prayed in the form of the song "Taste and See," written by Dr. James E. Moore for Fr. Rehling's 25th anniversary of ordination three decades ago.

The homily focused on how Fr. Rehling tasted and saw the goodness of the Lord throughout his life, which made him a happy priest who never saw himself the way others did -- as someone special. Fr. Brinkmoeller also talked about how Fr. Rehling made the decision to forgo further treatment for his illness because the blood transfusions and the drugs were only postponing the inevitable and others could use them. How like him.

Well done, good and faithful servant!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Dan, for this beautiful tribute to my uncle. Fr. Paul held a very special place in our family. We are grateful for all the ways he taught us to "taste and see the goodness of the Lord," and that there was time in the final weeks for all the family to come home and visit with him. We deeply mourn his passing - but our sorrow is comforted by knowing how much Fr. Paul meant to others, too, and how wide the ripples of his life have spread!
    -Janet Buening