Msgr. Reinert was an amazing shepherd to St. Joseph’s School and Church.
He had a brilliant mind, quick wit and an extremely, extra dry sense of humor.
Many people aren’t aware of his additional talents. He was a published author who wrote under the pen name of “B.A. Trice” a reference to his Beatrice roots. He also made trips to Lincoln where he was learning the fine art of stained glass repair.
I always liked to get a blessing from Msgr. before I would travel abroad. One Sunday after mass, I waited for him, but he was deep in conversation. I didn’t want to interrupt and besides, I had a flight to catch.
I had just boarded my flight from Chicago to Germany and who should come up the aisle and sit behind me, but a priest! I very politely asked if he might be able to give me a blessing, explaining that Msgr. Reinert usually did, but not this time.
I don’t know why I included his name in my story. It’s not like all priests know each other! His reply floored me. “Of course I will bless you and be sure to tell Jim hello from me! He and I used to work together at the United nations!” I just laughed and thought to myself, only Msgr. Reinert!
I will always remember one Sunday in the summer of 2015. Nebraska had been experiencing a drought and St. Joe’s had blue sheets in our pews. On them was written a prayer for rain that the congregation had been saying for months. That particular week, the York area had an abundance of rain.
At the end of the mass, Msgr. invited all to pick up their blue prayer sheets. I thought to myself, why would he do that? We’ve had so much rain! It was at that point he tore the blue sheet in half and tossed it in the air. All gathered laughed so hard and left mass that Sunday with big smiles!
He was a “stubborn German” and a warrior as he led by example in his courageous battle with cancer. I had the privilege to teach school and Wednesday night CCD with him. With the exception of when he was gone for treatment, he never missed a class or a mass.
My family and I always liked to tease Msgr. Reinert. We would mention all the wonderful places where he had worked, like the United Nations and the Vatican. That was usually followed by asking him what he did wrong to get sent to York, Nebraska!
But, all kidding aside, I feel in my heart now that it he was a gift from God. St. Joseph’s was blessed beyond all measure to have had a priest of his caliber among us.
God also knew that Msgr. Reinert would find a home here in York. A church and school family, not to mention an entire community. One that would love and support him during good times and super tough times.
York was where he wanted to remain, it had become his home. Ultimately, it’s where he wanted to spend his final days and at the end, a resting place for his weary soul.
Well done good and faithful servant, well done.