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Father Reginald Gregory MacNeil (Col. Ret’d)

Father Reginald Gregory MacNeil (Col. Ret’d)

Father Reginald MacNeil died on January 31st, 2018 at the age of 95 years.   He was born in Glace Bay, the son of late Michael J. MacNeil and Mary Margaret O’Keefe.   Surviving is his sister, Mrs. Patricia Maria Gallant (David).   He is also survived by Colette Lemoine who cared for him during his retirement years.   Two brothers, Rev. Bernard J. MacNeil of Sydney, and James O’Keefe MacNeil of Dorval, Que. predeceased him. Also, surviving are eight nieces and nephews, 12 grand nieces and nephews, and four great-grand nephews.

He was a graduate of St. Ann’s High School, Glace Bay High School and St. F. X. University.   After studies at the Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax, he was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1948.   The first nine years of his ministry were in Nova Scotia at Holy Redeemer Parish in Sydney, followed by short terms at Boisdale, New Glasgow, and West Bay.   In 1957 he enlisted as a Catholic Chaplain in the Royal Canadian Airforce and served in Goose Bay, Labrador, Comox, B.C., Uplands, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Man., as well as Zweibreüken and Lahr in Germany.   He completed his military service at National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa and retired in 1980 in the rank of Colonel.

In 1984 he was inducted into St. Francis Xavier University Sports Hall of Fame.   Remaining in Ottawa after retirement from the military he served as Spiritual Director of the Ottawa Cursillo Movement for 25 years; assisted at Holy Cross Parish; was Chaplain at St.Joseph’s Junior High School and served at the Army Cadet Camp in Vernon, B.C.   He also assisted at Our Lady of Fatima for 20 years and during his last years of ministry, he served the seniors at The Westwood Living in Ottawa.   He also continued studies at St. Paul University in Scripture and Theology, wrote a religion column for the Ottawa Citizen for eight years, and also wrote for Novalis “Living with Christ”, “Homiletic Service” and the Cursillo News Letter during the same period.

Friends may pay respects in Kelly Funeral Home, Carling Chapel, 2313 Carling Ave., Ottawa, ON, K2B 7G3, 613-828-2313 on Friday, February 9th, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. A Mass of Christian Funeral will take place on February 10th, in Our Lady of Fatima Church, 153 Woodroffe Ave. at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in Hope Cemetery. Memorial donations to the Ottawa Cursillo Movement or Shepherds of Good Hope would be appreciated.