Father Christian Reuter, OFM of East St. Louis, Illinois, born on January 18, 1939, in St. Louis, passed away on Saturday, June 30, 2018, at St. Elizabeth Hospital in O’Fallon, IL.
Fr. Christian Reuter was ordained a Priest in the Franciscan Order on June 24, 1966. He has served as teacher, counselor and principal at Hales Franciscan High School in Chicago from 1967 to 1985. Fr. Christian was the Associate Pastor at St. Philip Neri Parish in Chicago from 1985 to 1988. He was appointed Pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Chicago in 1988, and served in that capacity until 2002.
In July of 2002 Fr. Christian was assigned to the Belleville Diocese where he and two other Franciscans, Fr. Ferdnand Cheri and Fr. Carroll Mizicko, established a Franciscan presence in East St. Louis residing at 404 N. 14th Street. Fr. Christian was soon appointed Director of Prison Ministry for the Diocese by Bishop Wilton Gregory. He fulfilled that ministry by visiting many of the prisons in the Belleville Diocese and recruiting and preparing others, ordained and not ordained, to minister to our incarcerated brothers and sisters and their families. During these years Fr. Christian also helped out at many parishes throughout the Diocese, most notably at St. Libory and Lively Grove and more recently at Immaculate Conception Parish in Columbia, Illinois.
Fr. Christian’s big passion the last several years was organizing and developing ‘OBK’, Our Brothers’ Keeper of Southern Illinois, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assist returning citizens from prisons and jails, when released, to transition back into their family and community as productive citizens.
Fr. Christian Reuter was preceded in death by both of his parents, Otto and Mildred Reuter of St. Louis.
Survivors include a sister, Roselyn (Kenneth) Simila; a brother, Paul (Janet Brown) Reuter; nieces, Suzanne (David) Mueller and Mollie (Jeff) Tinnin. Fr. Christian is also the great-uncle of Erika, Daniel, Joshua and Eva Mueller. He also leaves numerous cousins and friends.
In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to “Our Brother’s Keeper of Southern Illinois”, P.O. Box 398, East St. Louis, IL 62202.
Visitation will be held at Immaculate Conception Church, 411 Palmer Rd. in Columbia, Illinois, on Friday, July 6, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at the Church with Fr. Tom Nairn, OFM, the Provincial of the Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart as celebrant and Bishop Ferdnand Cheri, OFM, Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans, LA, as homilist.