Saturday, February 10, 2018

Reverend Reginal MacNeil dies at 95, in this his 70th year as a priest


Father Reginald Mac Neil died on January 31, 2018 at the age of 95 years.  Born in Glace Bay, N.S., on March 24, 1922, he was the son of late Michael J. Mac Neil 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. Mac Neil of Sydney, N.S. and James O'Keefe Mac Neil of Dorval, Qc predeceased him. Also surviving are eight nieces and nephews, twelve grandnieces and nephews and four great- grandnephews.

A graduate of St Ann's High School, Glace Bay High School and St. Francis Xavier University, after studies at the Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax he was ordained as a Catholic priest on May 23, 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, Father MacNeil enlisted as a Catholic Chaplain in the Royal Canadian Airforce and served in Goose Bay, Labrador; Comox, B.C.; Uplands, Ottawa; Winnipeg, Manitoba, as well as Zweibreüken and Lahr in Germany. He completed his military service at National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa and retired in 1980 with the rank of Colonel. In 1984 he was inducted into the St. Francis Xavier University Sports Hall of Fame.

Remaining in Ottawa after retirement from the military Father Reg 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 publications: Living with Christ, Homiletic Service as well as for the Cursillo NewsLetter during the same period.


The Mass of Christian Funeral took place this morning, Saturday February 10, at Our Lady of Fatima Church with Archbishop Prendergast presiding, many priests concelebrating and deacons, religious sisters and many lay people assisting. Father Harold MacNeil, who is also from Glace Bay gave the homily and Most Reverend Brian Dunn, Bishop of Antigonish presided at the burial at Hope Cemetery this afternoon.

Memorial donations to the Ottawa Cursillo Movement or to the Shepherds of Good Hope would be appreciated.

Requiescat in pace.

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