Father John F. Reardon, who served as pastor of St. Rita’s parish on Staten Island for 19 years, died Oct. 4. He was 95.
Father Reardon served at St. Rita from 1985 until his retirement in 2004 to the John Cardinal O’Connor Residence in the Bronx. At St. Francis Xavier, the Bronx, he served as pastor, 1977-1985, and temporary administrator, 1977.
Father Reardon was administrator of St. Ann, Staten Island, 1976-1977, and was parochial vicar of Our Lady of the Assumption, the Bronx, 1971-1976; Our Lady of Sorrows, White Plains 1957-1971; St. Matthew, Manhattan, 1957; St. Anthony, Nanuet, 1956-1957 and 1950-1953; and Sacred Heart, Mount Vernon, 1953-1956.
Cardinal Dolan will offer the Funeral Mass Friday, Oct. 11, at 11 a.m., in the chapel of the John Cardinal O’Connor Pavilion in the Bronx. Msgr. William Belford, pastor of St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus parish and St. Nicholas Chapel on Staten Island, will deliver the homily.
“I especially admired him for the way he came to St. Rita’s, my home parish, to follow a great beloved priest,” Msgr. Belford told CNY. “Msgr. Paul Andrews had been at St. Rita’s for about 35 years when it was necessary for him to retire. Monsignor generously moved out of St. Rita’s rectory and went to St. Roch’s with Father Alfred Pucci so that Father Reardon could really become the new pastor of St. Rita’s and make his own contributions.
“In turn, Father Reardon always praised Msgr. Andrews and made it clear that parishioners can love each of their priests; they do not have to chose one or the other.”
Father Reardon studied voice and piano at Manhattanville College, Purchase, two of the many gifts he offered to family, friends and parishioners, Msgr. Belford said.
Born in Manhattan, he received a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, where he studied for the priesthood, and a master’s from Iona College, New Rochelle. He was ordained by Cardinal Francis Spellman at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in 1950.
His brother, Walter Reardon, survives him. Father Reardon’s twin sister, Rose Bewighouse, predeceased him Oct. 1.
Burial was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne.