Parish life

Requiescat in pace Fr Doug Rheinberger

July 3, 2020
Photo by Daniel Hopper (2017).

In sad news, Bishop Brian Mascord has confirmed that Fr Douglas Rheinberger, aged 86, and former priest of St John’s Parish Dapto, died peacefully on Thursday, 2 July 2020 at Villa Maria Nursing Home, Unanderra.

Fr Douglas Bede Rheinberger was born in Sydney in 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 Rheinberger celebrated his Golden Jubilee of ordination to the priesthood in 2008.

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.

We pray for the repose of the soul of Fr Douglas Rheinberger and offer our condolences to his family, friends and priestly colleagues. May he rest in peace.

A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial for the repose of Fr Douglas Rheinberger’s soul will be celebrated at St John’s Catholic Church Dapto (24 Jerematta Street), at 10:30am, Thursday 9 July 2020. Following the Mass, the funeral will proceed to West Dapto Catholic Cemetery.

Due to COVID-19 regulations and the resultant seating restrictions, there are limits on the number of people who can attend the funeral Mass. Those who do wish to attend will need to pre-register at the below link and there is a limit of two seats per booking:


Queries relating to the registration process should be directed to Helen Bennett (Office of the Bishop) on 4222 2403.

Any additional queries can be directed to Jenny Gibson, Dapto Parish Secretary, on 4261 1315.

Mass photos by Jeremy Yuen at Fr Doug’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations at St John’s Catholic Parish Dapto.



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