TORONTO — Rev. David Reilander, a priest from Hamilton diocese and recently from Whitehorse diocese, has been appointed president of Catholic Missions In Canada (CMIC), an organization serving the Canadian home missions, effective Sept. 1, 2016.
Reilander succeeds Rev. Philip Kennedy, who has visited many of the missions in Canada during his decade-long presidency, and served previously in parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Toronto and in ministries of the Diocese of Thunder Bay. After a year’s sabbatical, Kennedy will serve as pastor at a parish in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
Reilander joins the organization after spending the past few years as rector at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Whitehorse, Yukon, as well as serving in several missions in the Diocese of Whitehorse — the same ones supported by Catholic Missions In Canada.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Reilander completed his bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude) from McMaster University before pursuing formation studies at St. Augustine’s Seminary in 1982, where he graduated with a master’s degree in divinity.
As well as completing a postgraduate degree in theology from Saint Paul University, Reilander also holds a master’s degree in theology (magna cum laude) from Regis College. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1986. Since then, Reilander has been pastor in parishes in and around Owen Sound and the Hamilton area, including St. Mary of the Assumption (Brantford, Ont.), and St. Mary and the Missions (Owen Sound, Ont.). At St. Mary and the Missions, he ministered to seven mission churches covering the Bruce Peninsula as well as trained future pastors.
As a priest in the Diocese of Hamilton, Reilander served as founding board member of the Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce in Owen Sound and as the Bishop’s Representative to the St. Joseph’s Hospital Reproductive Issues Committee and various ethics committees in the Hamilton health care system. He has also served as vicar-general and chancellor in the Diocese of Whitehorse.
Using his experience and first-hand knowledge of the circumstances in the missions, Reilander hopes to extend the work Kennedy and the Catholic Missions staff had started.
He writes: “I’ve enjoyed my time in the subarctic and the people who make the missions so special and welcoming. However, I’ve come to realize how missions depend on the work of the CMIC staff. Without the financial and spiritual support, many congregations and their church buildings would not exist and the Catholic banner would not fly. It’s all about the proclamation of the Gospel to the person in an isolated and, usually, poor place.”
To learn more about Catholic Missions In Canada and Reilander, please pick up the Fall 2016 issue of Catholic Missions In Canada, found online through their website (www.cmic.info), or by calling their office for a copy or subscription at 1-866-937-2642.