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Barrington church welcomes new pastor

Father Tim Reilly is excited to start his work at St. Luke's Church

By Josh Bickford
Posted 8/6/20

A smile widens across Father Tim Reilly's face as he tells the parishioners at St. Luke's it is still hard to believe he is the pastor.

The Riverside native took a moment during a recent Mass to …

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Please support local news coverage –

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Barrington church welcomes new pastor

Father Tim Reilly is excited to start his work at St. Luke's Church

Posted

A smile widens across Father Tim Reilly's face as he tells the parishioners at St. Luke's it is still hard to believe he is the pastor.

The Riverside native took a moment during a recent Mass to say that his appointment to the Barrington church takes on a strange feel when it is time for him to sign a check for the parish. It is a new experience for Father Reilly —as it is his first time serving as a pastor.

For more than a decade Father Reilly has been a faculty member of the Seminary of Our Lady of Providence.

"Hard to believe, but I was in that assignment for almost 12 years," Father Reilly wrote in a recent email. "I loved working with the young seminarians as they discerned whether the Lord is calling them to the priesthood. The experience has deepened my gratitude for my own priestly ministry."

Earlier this summer, the bishop transferred Father TJ Varghese from St. Luke's to Mary, Mother of Mankind parish in North Providence. He then appointed Father Reilly to serve as pastor at St. Luke's.

The Barrington church is not completely new to Father Reilly, who grew up in Riverside and previously served as assistant pastor at St. Brendan Parish in Riverside. He also "pinch hit" at St. Luke's, covering Masses when one of the priests was on vacation.

"It was always exhilarating to come and witness this parish as a visitor," he said. "Now I have this privilege of returning."

Father Reilly said he plans to listen and observe during his first few months at St. Luke's. He said that despite some of the logistical challenges posed by the current pandemic, the role of a parish priest remains the same, as it has for centuries.

"To paraphrase Pope Francis, the priest must take on the 'smell of the sheep.' That presumes closeness and community, but also a desire to love the people so intensely, that they can start to see only Jesus," Father Reilly wrote.

He said he was very grateful to the bishop for allowing him to serve the St. Luke's community. He said he is also excited to be working with Father Eric Silva, the assistant pastor at the Barrington church, "one of our youngest priests, and who has been a steady presence among the people. I guess that makes me the old man in the rectory now!" he wrote.

Father Reilly said he comes to St. Luke's knowing that the parish is "rightly considered an engaging, vibrant, and dynamic community."

First ordained in 2003, Father Reilly has also served as assistant pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wakefield and as chaplain at The Prout School in Wakefield.

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