Reverend Jeremiah Joseph Reen, a Salesian priest in the Catholic religious Order of Saint John Bosco, went home to the Lord on July 10, 2021 in Seasons Hospice in Largo, FL . Fr. Jeremiah was a professed Salesian for more than 61 years, and a priest for more than 50 years.
Fr. Jeremiah was a native of Boston. He was born on April 23, 1941, to Jeremiah J. and Ann Hanley Reen. He was baptized on May 18th at St. Lawrence Church in Chestnut Hill, MA. Fr. Jeremiah was confirmed at Holy Name Church in West Roxbury in 1953. In 1958, he moved to St. Joseph’s Novitiate in Newton, NJ to begin his life as a Salesian. After the completion of the novitiate year, he made his first profession on September 8, 1959. He took his final vows on August 16, 1965, and was ordained a priest on April 3, 1971, in Columbus, OH.
Fr. Jeremiah spent most of his religious life serving at St. Philip Benizi Parish in Belle Glade, FL, one of the poorest communities in the US. He already spoke Spanish when he arrived and taught himself Creole there to better serve the many farm workers from Latin America and Haiti. He was also certified as a prison chaplain, and served all with his characteristic kindness and gentleness.
Other assignments include, from 1971 to 1972, Prefect of studies and a catechist at Sacred Heart Juniorate in Ipswich, MA. From 1972 to 1975, he served as dean of religious activities, and then academic dean at Don Bosco College. From 1976 to 1982 he taught Spanish and Theology at the Salesian Junior Seminary in Goshen.
Fr. Jeremiah was well-known and well loved. He was calm and patient, and generous with everyone. He was a worker but he also loved to pray. He moved to the St. Philip Residence at Mary Help of Christians Center in Tampa in August 2010.
Funeral services will be held at Mary Help of Christians Parish in Tampa, Florida.
Wednesday, July 14th: visiting hours are to 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm.
Thursday, July 15th: Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 10:00 am.
Please keep his relatives and the Salesian community in your thoughts and prayers.
Rest in peace!
‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. …
Come, share your master’s joy.” ~ Mt. 25:23