Matthew Vincent Reilly, O.P.
Birth: January 27, 1919
Profession: August 5, 1947
Ordination: June 4, 1953
Died: September 1, 1999
Matthew Patrick Reilly was born in New York City, the son of Daniel and Jane Teresa (Rowley) Reilly. He attended St. Vincent Ferrer Grammar School (1925-33) and Regis High School (1933-37) both in that city. After high school he went to St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY (1937-41) and New York University (1942-43) where he attained a B.A. in English Literature. During his collegiate years Matthew worked as a counselor at the Dominican Camp, a life guard, an elevator operator, Wall Street clerk and tunnel worker. In 1943 he joined the United States Navy Reserve and was commissioned an Ensign at Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. As a naval officer he served his country in both the Southern and Northern Pacific Theatres.
Upon completion of his naval career in 1946, Matthew entered the novitiate of St. Joseph’s Province at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, KY, taking the religious name Vincent. He was professed there a year later. He studied philosophy at St. Joseph’s Priory, Somerset, OH from 1947-49 and theology at the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC from 1949-54 where he was awarded the degree Bachelor of Sacred Theology. He was ordained at St. Dominic’s Church in Washington by Patrick O’Boyle, Archbishop of Washington, DC.
Fr. Matthew’s first priestly assignment was at St. Catherine of Siena Priory (1954-56) where he did parish and hospital work. From 1956-1964 he was on the preaching band of the Province. In 1964 he was assigned to Providence College as chaplain and as a member of the Theology Department. For one year (1967) he directed the retreat house at Our Lady of Springbank in Springbank, South Carolina. He returned to the preaching band in 1968, being stationed at St. Pius in Providence RI. In 1983, while continuing to preach, he was assigned to Sacred Heart Priory in Jersey City, NJ. In 1996 Fr. Matthew was asked to assume the chaplaincy at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, Summit, NJ. It was here that he died suddenly. He was buried in the Dominican plot at St. Gabriel Cemetery, Marlboro, NJ.
Fr. Reilly published many articles and spiritual conferences, most notably his homilies, published in Homiletic and Pastoral Review every year for 5 years.