Reiser's Ramblings

A collection of columns by the founding pastor of Epiphany Parish in Coon Rapids Minnesota

Christian - Living
272 Pages
Reviewed on 09/22/2011
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Author Biography

All profits from book sales will go to help the people of Haiti through Reiser’s Relief Inc.

Fr. Bernard Reiser was a long-time resident of Coon Rapids, Minn. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1949 after attending the St. Paul Seminary. Fr. Reiser was first assigned to Saint Mary of the Lake, White Bear Lake, as Associate Pastor. He served that community for fifteen years.

In 1964, Fr. Reiser was selected to start a parish in Coon Rapids. Fr. Reiser bought seventy acres of farmland on which to build this parish and the Church of the Epiphany was formed. Epiphany parish grew from 150 families in 1964 to 5,000 families today. Along the way, Fr. Reiser added to the Epiphany campus an elementary school, a Perpetual Adoration chapel, a senior housing complex, an assisted living facility, a cemetery, and several outdoor shrines. He also led the parish to construct a spacious sanctuary. Epiphany is now one of the largest Catholic communities in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and in Minnesota.

In 1996, Fr. Reiser traveled to Haiti. He reflected on the trip: “I had seen slums in China, Egypt and Mexico City, but none of
them compare to the tragic realities of the slum outside Port-au- Prince.” In time, Fr.
Reiser established Reiser Relief Inc., a nonprofit organization that funds relief and development projects in Haiti. Reiser Relief Inc. is committed to providing essential
services to aid in the day-to-day survival of to these impoverished people.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alice H. for Readers' Favorite

In Reiser's Ramblings, Father Bernard Reiser has written his life remembrances in a form that resembles short sermons. He takes us through his youth while growing up on a farm in Minnesota. For the geriatric reader, it will be fun to remember canning foods for winter, walking to church and school and taking the Saturday night bath in the kitchen by the stove. For the younger reader, there are cautions about self-focus and failing to relate to others in a positive and respectful manner.

The recollections about childhood days are interesting and a good reminder about how far we have come and how much still remains to be addressed in the human condition. There are many instances of seeing the world through a Catholic upbringing and belief system, but there are also many instances of the author seeing the world from a broader system of humanity, such as through work in poverty-stricken Haiti. Although the mini sermons are easy to read, the reader will obviously understand that the information contained in Reiser's Ramblings is common to the Catholic religion in general.

Father Reiser writes in a common sense manner which makes the book highly readable for those wanting, or needing, to get in touch with their early Catholic teachings. For those who have strayed from Christianity, the book is a gentle reminder that it is never too late to ask for forgiveness and to start toward a more religious and humanitarian way of life.