Webpage Updated February 15, 2019
Monsignor William T. Reinecke was named the eighth pastor of St. James in 1990. At the same time, he held the diocesan offices of Chancellor and Vicar General. He served St. James until his untimely death in 1992.
Within months of his arrival at St. James, Monsignor Reinecke began preparations for our 100th Anniversary. Letters flew out over his signature to the IHM Mother General, historian Gerald Fogarty, S.J., long-time parishioners, the company that created the stained glass windows, workmen to begin repairs—and to the Apostolic Nuncio Agostino Cacciavillan. Archbishop Cacciavillan accepted Monsignor Reinecke’s invitation to celebrate the anniversary Mass on the afternoon of April 26, 1992. In addition to the archbishop and Arlington Bishop Thomas Keating, the program lists as concelebrants Monsignor Reinecke, St. James associate pastors Fathers William Schopps and Stephen Leva, former pastor Father Robert Brooks and priests from St. James. A dinner at the Knights of Columbus following the Mass of Thanksgiving featured reminiscences of long-time parishioners about early life at St. James. Several of those talks are in our archives and were a great resource in compiling these stories.
The ornate sanctuary lamp above the tabernacle appeared during Monsignor Reinecke’s tenure here, the gift of a parish family. Director of Music Ministry and organist Dan Day tells this story about the organ:
When Monsignor Reinekce was appointed pastor of St. James in 1990, he learned that formation of a traditional adult choir, to compliment the very dedicated contemporary choir, was under consideration. Just prior to his arrival at the parish, the parish organist had accepted a new position at a very large parish north of Baltimore and had announced his intention to leave St. James. Monsignor Reinecke was not deterred and sought to hire a new organist committed to building a traditional choir as well as supporting active sung participation in the Masses accompanied by organ. Parishioners were invited to join a new adult choir and responded generously to this initiative in the fall of 1990.
Members of St. James’ community had embraced the call of Vatican II to engage more fully in the ministries of the church including sung participation in the liturgy. A modest pipe organ had been installed in 1965 just as the renewal of the liturgy began to be implemented. In the early 1990s, it became clear that the revisions of the liturgy and enhanced sung participation in worship called for a larger organ better able to support the congregational singing integral to the revised rites as well as the traditional devotions of the Church.
Providentially, in 1991, a very generous member of the choir entered into dialogue with Monsignor Reinecke regarding the donation of a significant sum of money to commission the building of a new organ in memory of a deceased member of her family. The intent was to have a new organ built and installed during the spring of 1992 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of St. James Parish. Specifications for the organ were developed and bids sought. Ultimately, Charles E. Kegg of Uniontown, Ohio, submitted the winning design and bid. Due to a delay in the construction of the organ pipes, the organ was not able to be installed in time for the celebration of the 100th Anniversary Mass. Yet installation had begun and was completed in late May 1992. Parishioners including children from St. James school were invited to presentations on the process of building and installing a pipe organ while it was in process.
This fine instrument has served the community well for over 25 years now and will hopefully enhance the liturgical participation of our parish family well into the 21st century. May we remember in prayer those who donated this instrument, their family and all members of St. James Music Ministry who now participate in the heavenly liturgy.