Obituary of RICHARD RIEMAN (1925 – 2019) – Chestnut Hill, MA


RIEMAN, FR. RICHARD W. A Catholic priest of the Opus Dei Prelature, passed away peacefully at his home in Chestnut Hill on December 2, 2019, at the age of 94. For forty years “Father Dick” had been the much loved and endearing chaplain of the Montrose School for Girls in Medfield, Massachusetts. Bro. Rieman was born in Chicago in 1925 and served as a naval pilot during World War II. He returned to Chicago, where he worked as a member of the stage productions of the Actors’ Equity Association, notably as technical director of the great Chicago Railroad Fair from 1948 to 1949, demonstrating, among other things, his talent for rider. . He studied at DePaul University, obtaining a BS in Sociology in 1951. During his studies he met Fr. Joseph Muzquiz and Salvador Ferigle, who had just arrived in Chicago from Spain to begin the work. Apostolic of Opus Dei in the United States. Dick Rieman (as he was called) joined Opus Dei in 1950 and thus became the first member of the United States. During this time he was instrumental in founding Scepter Publishers (1952). He corresponded with the founder of Opus Dei, Saint Josemaría Escriva, and in 1954 he moved to Rome to live with him while studying at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). He obtained a doctorate in canon law in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1958 in Rome. Returning to the United States that year, Fr. Dick lived for a few years in Washington, DC, exercising the apostolic activities of Opus Dei. He helped start the Heights Study Center, which later became The Heights School in Potomac, Maryland. Bro. Dick then moved to Boston, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was first chaplain in two Opus Dei halls of residence, the Trimount House for the men and the Bayridge Residence for the women. From 1979 he was the founding chaplain of the Montrose School, where he said Holy Mass almost daily and heard thousands of confessions. For all who knew him there, his great loves were the Eucharist, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the sacrament of Reconciliation. With his warm smile, Fr. Dick had the gift of making every girl feel the most important person in the world. Bro. Dick had an incredible capacity for warm friendship and had hundreds of friends of all ages. Passionate about sports, especially Boston teams, he had played baseball in college and, in his later years, hockey and golf. Most importantly, he was known for his generosity and benevolent sense of humor, as well as his dedication to the spiritual well-being of everyone he met. His cheerful demeanor affected the lives of countless men and women who loved him like a great friend. A vigil will be held at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, 420 High St., Dedham, on Friday, December 6, from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and again on Saturday morning, December 7, from 9:00 a.m. -10h00, followed by a funeral mass at 11h00. Interment will follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in West Roxbury (where Fr. Joseph Muzquiz and Fr. Sal Ferigle are also buried). There will then be a reception at Montrose School in Medfield. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Father Dick can be made to Montrose School, 29 North Street, Medfield, MA 02052.

Published by Boston Globe December 3-5, 2019.


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