REV. RODNEY RAINHART
The Rev. Rod Reinhart came to St. Joseph and St. Aidan’s in June 2004. He is the Priest and Vicar of our church and leader of our clergy team.
Fr. Reinhart is a warm and exciting preacher. His love of God and his deep concern for God’s people shine through his sermons and in his lively liturgies. Fr. Reinhart has led our church to become a vital and visible congregation with a deep concern for the poor, the environment and for peace.
Fr. Reinhart holds a degree in English and secondary education from Oakland University in Rochester Michigan. He studied Theology and Church History at Colgate Rochester, Bexley Hall-Crozer, the seminary consortium in Rochester New York. After graduating with a Master’s of Divinity (M. Div.) in 1975, Fr. Reinhart did further graduate work at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and at Wayne State University in Detroit. Fr. Reinhart was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church after a successful career teaching high school in Detroit.
Fr. Reinhart was ordained as a deacon at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church in Detroit, in 1983. A year later, he was ordained as priest at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on the campus of Detroit’s Wayne State University. While at St. Andrew’s Fr. Reinhart established programs to care for Vietnam veterans, university students and for people with HIV/AIDS.
For much of his career in Detroit, Fr. Reinhart specialized in Interim and Transitional ministries. Working in close coordination with the Bishop of Michigan, Fr. Reinhart helped troubled parishes transition through times of conflict and change. During that time, Fr. Reinhart vas very concerned about the tragedy of religious prejudice and war. In 1999, he established the World Sabbath of Religious Reconciliation… the first interfaith Holy Day dedicated to overcoming religious and racial war. With the support of the Rev. Edward Mullins and Christ Church Cranbrook, the World Sabbath became Michigan’s most important interfaith event. It continues to be a vital force in Michigan to this day.
Since the Bishop of Chicago invited Fr. Reinhart to come to Illinois in 2004, Fr. Reinhart has had a storied career as Rector of St. Clement’s Church in Harvey and St. Joseph/Aidan’s in Blue Island. At St. Clement’s Church, Fr. Reinhart oversees an effective anti-hunger pantry and community garden program that feeds as many as three hundred impoverished families every month. He also leads an effective evangelistic and preaching program that reaches out to the poor and needy people of the south suburbs.
At St. Joseph and St. Aidan’s, Fr. Reinhart leads evangelistic program to heal the environment and make peace in the world. Under his leadership, St. Joseph and St. Aidan’s has become a great center for helping homeless veterans survive through the winter. In December, we delivered five truckloads of donated winter survival gear to the homeless veterans programs at VA hospitals in Greater Chicago.
Fr. Reinhart has always been deeply concerned about the ways that women, gays and racial minorities are abused and mistreated in American society, as the leader of Integrity Chicago, and as the host of Faith on the Front Line on WBGX AM1570, Fr. Reinhart has often taken the message of inclusion and equality out to the world.
With his long career of preaching the Gospel, caring for people and changing the world, Fr. Reinhart sees his whole ministry as a matter of helping people make connections between their faith and their everyday lives. He sees this as especially true as people seek God in the midst of the struggles, injustice, changes and transitions they experience.
Fr. Rod and his partner, Alan Engle live in Blue Island, right around the corner from the church.
I was born and raised at St. J and A, was baptized Dec, of 1953 at what was then St. Aidan’s Grad. from DD Eisenhower High School and attend MVCC and the Univ of IL Chicago. I Worked at UIC from 1976 through 2009 until I retired doing Admission and Records work.
While I attended UIC I became involved in the Campus Ministry of both the Episcopal and Roman Catholic ministries. It was at that time I
felt the call to ordained ministry. To reinforce this calling I began to study at St. Paul & the Redeemer in Hyde Park in a program called the Education for Ministry taught through the University of the South, It was during the third year of the four year program that I applied to the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago’s Deacon School and was accepted. After two years of study I was ordain a deacon on Dec 7 1991.
As a deacon I have served at the Cathedral of St. James and other churches of special services were a deacon was needed. Was also a member of Diocese Council, Cathedral Chapter, Liturgy Commission, Episcopal Church Women, Parliament of world religions, Aid Awareness, and developed a Senior program for St. J and A.
At the time of my ordination I was the youngest deacon in the diocese of Chicago and one of the few that serve the Church that they were baptized in.
One of the highlights over the years has been to be one of Deacon selected to serve at the masses for the Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie.