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Archives Remembering Father Patrick J. O’Reilly

January 12, 2022

By Darcy Fargo

Known for his heavy Irish accent, Father Patrick J. O’Reilly will be remembered for his joy, patience, positive attitude and love of the Lord.

“He was my associate for four years in Keeseville,” said Msgr. Joseph G. Aubin. “We got along very well. He was a character. There’s no question about it.”

Father O’Reilly died Jan. 2, 2022, at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise, Ireland.

Msgr. Aubin said Father O’Reilly had gifts that enabled him to help parishioners and individuals in need.

“He wasn’t so organized about appointments, but he had a gift for talking to the elderly and downtrodden,” Msgr. Aubin said. “He was a great talker. He could talk forever without stopping. When people asked, I always said, ‘I would take Father O’Reilly back if I had the opportunity.’ People were surprised by that because of his organization problems. I always said, ‘he reaches people I don’t reach.’ There was no limit to his patience. Sometimes, he would spend a whole afternoon with one person. People loved him.”

That love overcame difficulties surrounding Father O’Reilly’s heavy Irish accent.

“He could be very difficult to understand,” Msgr. Aubin said. “But people would say, ‘I don’t know what he’s talking about most of the time, but I love him anyway.’ Nothing bothered him. He had a real holy way about him. He was always so positive.”

Msgr. Aubin said he remembered fondly members of Father O’Reilly’s family visiting their shared rectory in Keeseville.

“He came from a very large family,” he said. “He had 13 or 14 nieces and nephews who would come to visit. They were all characters, the whole bunch of them.”

While Father O’Reilly loved the North Country, he visited his native Ireland annually, often returning to his small hometown.

“He came from just north of Dublin,” Msgr. Aubin said. “I visited his home once. It was a very small village. The main square had four pubs in it. I saw a man there, and I told him I was a priest from the United States, and there was a priest who served there with me for four years who came from here. Right off, the man said, ‘Father Patrick O’Reilly.’ I was very sad to hear he died, but I wasn’t surprised to hear he died near Dublin. That was his favorite part of Ireland.”

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley, Bishop of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, at 11 a.m. on January 13 at St. Bernard’s Church in Saranac Lake.

“He was a good man,” Msgr. Aubin concluded. “People loved him.”


Memorial Mass held Jan. 13

Reverend Patrick J. O’Reilly, 84, died peacefully with hope of eternal life on Sunday, January 2, 2022, at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise, Ireland, where he had resided since 2014.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley, Bishop of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, at 11 a.m. on January 13 at St. Bernard’s Church in Saranac Lake. Priests of the Diocese of Ogdensburg will concelebrate, and Father Mark R. Reilly will be the homilist.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday, January 5 at St. Peter and St. Paul Church, in Portlaoise, Ireland.

Burial will be in Clonalvy Cemetery, Ardcath, Garristown, County Dublin, Ireland.

Father O’Reilly was born in Ireland on Nov. 17, 1937, the son of Thomas and Marcella O’Reilly. His parents predeceased him.

Father O’Reilly was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Patterson, New Jersey, in Ireland on June 6, 1965. He arrived in the Diocese of Ogdensburg on June 6, 1973, and he was incardinated as a priest of the diocese on June 1, 1977.

In the Diocese of Ogdensburg, Father O’Reilly served as parochial vicar in St. John the Baptist Church in Plattsburgh, St. Mary’s Church in Ticonderoga, Our Lady of Victory Church in Plattsburgh, St. Joseph’s Church in Malone, St. Patrick’s and St. Augustine’s churches in Peru, St. Mary’s Church in Champlain, Holy Family Church in Watertown, St. Agnes Church in Lake Placid, Immaculate Conception and St. John the Baptist churches in Keeseville, and St. Catherine Church; and as administrator of St. John the Baptist Church in Madrid and St. John the Evangelist Church in Lafargeville.

After retiring in October of 1994, Father O’Reilly continued to serve as chaplain at Uihlein Mercy Center in Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.

In addition to his parents, Father O’Reilly was predeceased by his brothers, Darragh, Eamon and Christopher O’Reilly.

He is survived by his sisters, Margaret, Mary and Sheila; his brothers, Philip and Myles; sisters-in-law; a brother-in-law; and nieces and nephews.

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