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Funeral Mass for Fr Doug Rheinberger

July 9, 2020

Diocesan priest, Fr Douglas Bede Rheinberger, was farewelled today in a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated by Bishop Brian Mascord at St John the Evangelist Catholic Church Dapto, in the presence of Fr Doug’s extended family, friends, parishioners and clergy. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, many were not physically able to attend.

It was a celebration of a much-loved priest who faithfully served the people of God in the Diocese of Wollongong for over 60 years.

Fr Doug was born in Sydney on 4 April 1934, undertaking his primary and secondary schooling at Lewisham. After preliminary studies for the priesthood at St Columba’s College in Springwood, he continued his studies in Rome where, on 20 December 1958, he was ordained at the Propaganda Fide College in Rome.

Fr Doug returned to Wollongong in 1959, serving as assistant priest in the parishes of Wollongong, Nowra, Corrimal and Thirroul. Appointments as parish priest followed at Moruya, Picton and Thirroul parishes.

In 1988, he left the diocese to serve in the Central Pacific country of Kiribati. After returning to the diocese, he was appointed parish priest of Dapto in 1995 and retired in 2011.

Fr Doug celebrated his Diamond Jubilee of ordination to the priesthood in 2018.

For the past two years, Fr Doug has been resident at Villa Maria Nursing Home, Unanderra, where his greatest joy was to celebrate Mass for the residents, which he has been able to do until recently.

Fr Doug died peacefully on Thursday 2 July 2020, aged 86.

Bishop Brian would like to thank Kib and Vanessa Teaatu and family, Fr Francis Tran OAM, Jenny Gibson, Fred Caruana, Sue Daniels, and his former parishioners who visited and prayed for him since his retirement.

He would also like to thank staff at Villa Maria Centre, Unanderra, who were so caring ofFr Doug in so many ways.

“Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Mt 25:23). Requiescat in pace.

DOWNLOAD funeral booklet

 Photos by Jeremy Yuen

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