Father Matthew Reiman, Holy Name of Mary Assumption’s newest parish administrator, is excited to begin serving the people of Montgomery and Maybrook through the goodness of God and the priesthood.
“That’s what makes the priesthood very joyful, there’s always opportunity to do good, so I’m excited to start here,” Reiman said.
The priesthood has been on Reiman’s mind from a young age; he was seven years old when he had his first thoughts of entering.
“It was after my first time going to confession, and I thought to myself, I’d really like to do what the priest does,” Reiman said. “I was really impressed with that.”
He grew up in Hawthorne, New York, where he was involved with the Catholic Church. Thoughts of the priesthood entered his mind again while studying history at Marist College in Poughkeepsie. He often visited the seminary, where he always felt welcomed and encouraged.
Then, one priest took him and a friend to St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers for a special vocation mass on St. Joseph’s Day. He had a sense of belonging as soon as he walked in the door.
“As soon as I actually was in the building, which would be future home for six years, I somehow just knew that I would end up being there,” Reiman said.
Reiman entered the seminary after graduating from Marist with a bachelor’s in history. After six years at St Joseph’s, he was ordained by Cardinal Timothy Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on May 23, 2015, six years to the day after graduating from Marist.
His time at St. Joseph’s included academic rigor in theology and philosophy classes, but also real-world experience, such as serving in soup kitchens and hospitals. He even assisted with the Madison Square Garden mass for Pope Francis’ visit in 2015.
Reiman spent his first four years in the priesthood at St. Francis Xavier and St. Clair’s in the Bronx.
Reiman was assigned to Holy Name of Mary Assumption of Montgomery and Maybrook on July 1 as the church’s parish administrator. He may be promoted to pastor after one year. This will be his first assignment on his own, but with the love and support of the congregation and the wider seminary, Reiman said he does not feel alone.
His parents are still nearby in Putnam County, and he has many friends from the priesthood in the area. A young priest himself, he has seen those he was ordained with spread to churches around the area in an influx of young priests.
Reiman said he would like to make the church a welcoming place for those who may be new to the Catholic faith or those who have fallen away from the faith.
He would also like to combine his love of history with his faith by introducing elements of the faith tradition, such as the Eucharist adoration, in which people pray before God’s presence in the Eucharist. He would also like to introduce the traditional Latin mass a few times a year for special services.
His favorite part of the priesthood is celebrating mass. He’s celebrated mass at least once every day since his ordination, even when he was sick or there was no congregation.
“Everything that I can do to reverently pray the mass and communicate the beauty of it and the sacredness of it, that is something that will pay great dividends spiritually for everyone,” Reiman said. “I really care about that.”
Reiman also enjoys watching the weight come off people’s shoulders after confession, knowing God is absolving their sins.
Reiman sees the church as a refuge in increasingly stressful and difficult times. The church represents silence and sacredness in a secular, hectic world.
“There were past times when our popular culture was a lot easier to deal with than now and I feel like a lot of people today are under a lot of stress and facing challenges they didn’t have to face before,” Reiman said, “and that means that the church can only be more relevant than it ever has been, not less.”