Fr. Reginald James Reddy, OFM, 84, a professed Franciscan friar for 63 years and a priest for 58, died at the Teresian House in Albany. A wake is planned for Friday, May 31 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., with a wake service at 4 p.m., at St. Bernardine of Siena Friary Chapel. A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 1 in the College Chapel. Burial will follow at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands, N.Y.
Fr. Reginald was born on July 16, 1934 on Staten Island, N.Y., to Raymond and Edith (née Reardon) Reginald and baptized Kenneth Edward at Sacred Heart Church on July 29, 1934. The youngest of six boys, he attended Sacred Heart Grammar School and Regis High School in New York City before studying at St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y. After he graduated in 1954, he was received into the Order of Friars Minor at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., where he professed first vows one year later. He was ordained to the priesthood on Feb. 25, 1961 at the Franciscan Monastery, Mount St. Sepulchre, in Washington, D.C.
Following ordination, Fr. Reginald began the first of his many years as a physics teacher at Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean, N.Y. From 1965 to 1973, Fr. Reginald attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia to pursue his doctorate in physics. He returned north to teach physics at Siena and completed his doctorate in 1977. He became head of the physics department and served as president of Sigma Pi Sigma.
“To hear Reginald discuss the origins of the universe, to hear him explain the “Big Bang” made creation so very real and God so very awesome,” said Daniel Dwyer, O.F.M., Ph.D., associate professor of history. “It is ironic that [Siena] finally got the observatory that he wanted at the very end of his life”
In addition to teaching, Fr. Reginald was the founding spiritual assistant for the Franciscan Missionaries of Jesus Crucified, and was also the spiritual assistant for the local Secular Franciscan fraternity from 1978 to 1992.
In 2002, he retired from Siena and was named professor emeritus. He stayed local and began ministering at St. Francis Chapel in Albany, N.Y., while also serving as chaplain to several groups, including the local Filipino community and the Knights and Dames of Malta. After 12 years at St. Francis Chapel, Fr. Reginald moved to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J. Earlier this year, he transferred to Teresian House in Albany.
“I think he would have wanted us to live on knowing that for us, as for him, Jesus is the “way and the truth and the life.” He lived that out; he lived his faith, not just through his religious practices and devotions, but most importantly through his kindness. The legacy of his kindness will be what is most remembered about him—that and his craving for sweets,” said Dwyer.