Former Saint Olaf pastor dies at 58Jan 14, 2021 12:29PM ● By Tom Haraldsen
BOUNTIFUL—Reverend Reynato Rodillas, who served as Pastor of the Saint Olaf Catholic Parish in Bountiful for more than six years, passed away last week at the age of 58. He had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on Jan. 5 and was quarantined in his home after being hospitalized and put on oxygen.
His death was formally announced by Reverend Msgr. Colin F. Bircumshaw of the Utah Catholic Diocese on Saturday.
Reverend Rodillas, who was known as “Father Rene” at the Parish, was born on Jan. 25, 1962 in Santo Domingo, Philippines, where he was raised. He attended college at the University of Northern Philippines in Vigan City, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He entered the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City, Philippines and began his study of the priesthood. He first came to Utah in 2007, serving as a Parochial Vicar at Saints Peter and Paul Parish in West Valley City, then at Saint George Parish in St. George, and later at Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish in Midvale. He was named Administrator at Saint Olaf in August 2011 and became Pastor where he served until August 2019, when he was appointed Pastor of Saint James the Just in Ogden.
“Father Rene was such a kind priest, and everyone loved him,” said Jennifer Karrick, officer manager at Saint Olaf. “He always had a smile, and the children just loved him. He was so good working with the students and teachers at our school. Whenever we had our Friday morning Mass for children, he knew them all by name.”
She said a Rosary held for Rev. Rodillas on Sunday was “extremely well attended, even in the era of COVID,” and was streamed online as well.
Father Rodillas is survived by his mother, Capistrana Rodillas; and siblings, Condrado Rodillas, Rosemary Rubia and Imelda Rodillas (San Vicente, Ilocos Sur, Philippines). Funeral arrangements are pending, awaiting consultation with his family and release by the medical examiner, according to the statement from Reverend Msgr. Bircumshaw.