Funeral Services Today for Monsignor Paul Reynolds
St. Brigid monsignor remembered as someone who 'exuded love."
With a congregation of some 3,700 families, Monsignor Paul Reynolds had "a large flock," said Saint Brigid Catholic Church's deacon, Rev. Leo Gahafer.
Reynolds, 72, died at Emory University Hospital on Dec. 18.
"He was like my best friend," said Gahafer, who added that he and Reynolds both started at the Johns Creek church around the same time in 2006.
He continued, "There's certain people you encounter in a lifetime and you know you are in the presence of somebody special. He was truly a holy man of God. It consumed every fiber of his being. He exuded love. You always felt special when you were around him. You felt like you were the only one there. Over the past four years, I learned so much from just watching him live."
Reynolds previously had a number of posts in the Atlanta area, including serving at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church in Smyrna; Saint John Neumann Church in Lilburn, where he was the founding pastor and assisted in opening Saint John Neumann Regional Catholic School; and Saint Andrew Church in Roswell.
According to Reynolds' obituary from Northside Chapel in Roswell (see below), Reynolds was treated for leukemia in 2002.
Gahafer said Reynolds did not talk a lot about his illness. "He was a very private man, a humble man," he said. "He knew that God had called him. He didn't want to be a burden. He didn't want us to be consumed with his issues."
Obituary from Northside Chapel:
Msgr. Paul H. Reynolds, pastor of St. Brigid Catholic Church, Johns Creek, died on Saturday, Dec. 18, at Emory University Hospital. He was 72.
Born on April 13, 1938, in Dublin, Ireland, he was the son of the late Patrick and Brigid Phelan Reynolds. After attending Catholic elementary and secondary schools, he entered All Hallows College Seminary in Dublin for six years of study. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 16, 1963, by The Most Reverend Denis Moynihan of Kerry.
He initially served as a priest for the Diocese of Mobile-Birmingham, Ala., from 1963 until mid-1970. He then requested to be assigned to the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He received his first assignment in Georgia in July 1970 and was formally incardinated as a priest of the Atlanta Archdiocese in February 1974.
For the next 40 years, Msgr. Reynolds served as the beloved pastor of several parishes in the archdiocese. He also served the archdiocese as a vicar general; as chancellor; as a member of the archdiocesan Board of Education; member of the archbishop's priest advisory group, the College of Consultors; as a regional dean selected by his fellow priests; and as a judge in the Court of Appeals of the Atlanta Province.
The heart of his priesthood was as pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Smyrna; St. John Neumann Church, Lilburn, where he was the founding pastor and assisted in opening St. John Neumann Regional Catholic School; St. Andrew Church, Roswell; and St. Brigid Church.
As pastor he fostered the growth of strong faith communities with many vibrant ministries, especially in spirituality, education and music. He devoted his attention to parishioners' spiritual lives, seeking to renew and deepen their faith and his own. Wit and self-deprecating humor were characteristic of him as were compassion and a humble posture. He was elevated to the rank of prelate of honor with the title of monsignor in May 2001.
Stricken by leukemia in 2002, while serving as vicar general in curia of the archdiocese and chancellor, he underwent medical treatment and received an outpouring of prayer for healing. He then returned to serving the church full time, resuming his role as vicar general until 2006 when he was named pastor of St. Brigid Church, his final pastorate.
He is survived by one brother, William, and several nieces and nephews.
The funeral mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today at St. Brigid Church, 3400 Old Alabama Road, with Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory as the principal celebrant and homilist. Burial will take place at Arlington Memorial Park, Sandy Springs, immediately following the funeral mass.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the St. Brigid Catholic Church Building Fund.