Father Paul C. Reinert, SJ

With the death on July 22 of Jesuit Father Paul C. Reinert, a genuine St. Louis icon passed into eternity and completed a golden page in the history of our region. For 75 of his nearly 91 years, Father Reinert gave devoted service to God, the Church, the Society of Jesus, St. Louis University and the people of our community. Father Reinert's long association with St. Louis University was a happy marriage for him and for the institution. He became president of the university at the age of 39 and served in this capacity for 25 years. In 1974 he became the first chancellor of St. Louis University, and even in 1990 when he was named chancellor emeritus he continued working full time, giving much of his time to support fund-raising and further expansion efforts. Father Reinert presided over the university at a time of great societal change. As dean of the school of arts and sciences, he would support the integration initiatives of 1944. As president he would direct the admission of the university's first female students in 1949. Scholarship programs helped foster these new enrollments in particular and the overall school population grew considerably. St. Louis University made clear its commitment to Midtown St. Louis with the expansion of the campus. Because Father Reinert succeeded as a leader in ecumenical cooperation and was an eager participant in providing opportunities for the poor and underprivileged, he was sought out as counsel and sponsor to a myriad of Catholic and community projects. He often helped and he was a grand ally. Father Reinert was, above all else, a talented, dedicated and hard-working priest who collaborated with "Cardinals" of both the Church and baseball variety. He gave religious instructions to the late August A. "Gussie" Busch and received him into the Church. He was chosen by Cardinal Joseph Ritter to preach at the Mass commemorating his golden anniversary. Father Reinert was called upon to play many roles - educator, community organizer, builder, fund-raiser, friend and advocate of the needy, but first and always - a priest of God. May he rest in the peace of the just!

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