Entered into glory
August 28, 2021

Fr Joe at Leisure in a straw hat and blue and red plaid shirt

Father Joseph Reynolds, known fondly by all as Fr. Joe, went to his eternal reward on August 28, 2021, at the age of 78 after a life lived with steadfast faith and amazing fortitude that was an inspiration to all that knew him. 

Fr. Joe was born and grew up in Philadelphia, PA.  He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1969 and began his religious life as an Augustinian, living in community.  While with the Augustinian Community, he was a pastor of two parishes and oversaw a Catholic school.  He attended Villanova University in PA, and then he went to graduate school at The Catholic University in Washington, DC. 

After facing a difficult moral decision, Fr. Joe left the community rather than accepting a situation for which he did not believe was right.  He walked away with just a suitcase of clothes and his chalice.  It was a difficult decision to leave the security of the religious life and enter the secular world at middle age with the challenges of finding employment, securing housing and transportation, and all the other ordinary tasks.  Anyone would have found such a trial impossibly daunting, but Fr. Joe faced the challenge with his usual calm, calling on his faith in God and a remarkable inner strength.Fr Joe surrounded by parishioners after baptism 2

Despite his life circumstances, Fr. Joe never complained about his decision.  If anyone praised him for taking such a courageous step, he would simply state, “No, it wasn’t courageous. It was the right thing to do.”  After leaving the community, he worked in entry level jobs to support himself.  Soon after leaving the community, he was confronted with a series of life-threatening illnesses, including a coma, leaving him with neuropathy and other health issues, making it difficult to walk.   But, again, Fr. Joe met these trials with his usual fortitude, calm acceptance, and strong faith. 

Fortunately, part of God’s plan was to bring Fr. Joe to his new home in the Catholic Apostolic Church in North America (CACINA) and in 1995 he joined the CACINA fold.  Fr. Joe brought an amazing array of knowledge of Catholicism, years of experience in pastoral care, surprising technical acumen, and myriad administrative skills that enriched and strengthened the church.  He served as chancellor and treasurer.  He was a strong supporter of allowing women to be ordained and reveled in the story of how that miraculously occurred.  It was fitting that he passed away on the feast day of St. Augustine and on the anniversary of the date that CACINA voted to allow women their right to be ordained.

Fr Joe Portrait 3For more than 25 years, his gentle guidance, and practical approach to pastoral care enriched the CACINA church family.  Before retiring, he also served as the pastor of the Holy Trinity parish in Herndon, Virginia, where he was a beloved, caring, and steadfast pastor for several years.  Fr. Joe spent his last months living in North Carolina where, after many years of a “monastic” life renting rooms in houses, he was able to enjoy a little of the good life before entering into larger life to be with his maker and enjoying eternal peace, which he justly deserves.  He will forever be an inspiration and greatly missed.



(Memorial by W. Kachman)