Father Bernard Reiser was born in 1924 to Aloys and Ottilia Reiser, farmers living in Wayzata, Minnesota. Father Reiser was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 1949 and was assigned to St. Mary of the Lake parish in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. In 1964, Archbishop Leo Binz asked Father Reiser to start a parish in the quickly-growing Minneapolis suburb of Coon Rapids. Seventy acres of farmland was acquired for the new church, which was named Epiphany after one of the great feast days of the Lord.
Under Father Reiser’s leadership, Epiphany grew to become one of the largest Catholic communities in the state. In addition to a spacious sanctuary, the Epiphany campus includes an elementary school, a Perpetual Adoration chapel, a senior housing complex, an assisted living facility, a cemetery, and several outdoor shrines.
In 1996, Father Reiser traveled to Haiti. ”I had seen slums in China, Egypt and Mexico City,” he wrote. ”None of them compare to the tragic realities of the slum outside Port au Prince.” In time, Father Reiser established Reiser Relief, Inc.
After 62 years of dedicated priesthood, Father Bernard Reiser went to the Lord on December 27, 2011 at the age of 86.
Preceded in death by his parents, Aloysius and Ottilia Reiser; brother, Alex Reiser; sisters, Lynn Maciej and Sister Bertrand Reiser, O.S.B. Surived by sister, Rosemary (Stanley) Leger; nephews, Bernie Maciej, Bob Maciej, Lee Maciej, Tony Leger and Norm Leger; and his nieces, Sue Spencer, Ann Brau, Connie Koehn, Liz Reiser, Margie Saatzer, Lois Lepinski, Rene Kopen, Mary Kay Ness, Yvonne Schuneman and Joyce Getchell.
P.O. Box 48096
Coon Rapids, MN 55448
Sharing and Caring Hands, Inc.
525 N 7TH ST
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55405
Words from Father Reiser
” From the depths of my heart, we will see many more blessings from the Lord in the times to come. We must trust in the Lord with our hearts and spend our time in adoration and participate in the Holy Mass frequently. Continue to pray the rosary and meditate on the mysteries of Our Lord’s life. Keep moving forward in the light of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Father Reiser’s greatest wish and desire in his life was to bring people to Heaven.