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Reiser's Ramblings Book: A Collection of Columns by the Founding Pastor of Epiphany Parish in Coon Rapids, Minnesota Paperback – June 14, 2010
About the Author
Father Bernad Reiser a Catholic priest, Reiser brings a seminary degree with a major in theology and 60+ years of ordained experience to his writing. He has volunteered his time to parishes in and around the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Father Bernard Reiser was born in 1924 to Aloys and Ottilia Reiser, farmers living in, Medina, 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 located in Anoka County. 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., a non-profit organization that funds relief and development projects in Haiti. Father Reiser retired from Epiphany, but he remains actively involved in helping the world’s poorest citizens as chairman of Reiser Relief.. "I don’t intend to retire," he said. "As long as I can work I will. As long as you can work why sit around gathering dust." After 62 years of dedicated priesthood, Father Bernard Reiser went to the Lord on December 27 at the age of 86. Reiser Relief Inc. is a volunteer run non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation founded by Father Bernard Reiser, who has been involved with Haiti outreach programs for over 13 years; Bringing Hope To Haiti. Reiser Relief is based in Coon Rapids, MN and its mission is to help the impoverished people of the Caribbean country of Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
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Fr. Bernard Reiser
Reiser Relief Inc.
A little bit about the author as follows. Fr. Bernard Reiser was born in 1924 and was ordained into the Priesthood in 1949.In 1964 he started a parish in the Minneapolis suburb of Coon Rapids. On seventy acres of farmland Epiphany grew to become one of the largest Catholic communities in the state consisting of not only the sanctuary, but also an elementary school, A Perpetual Adoration chapel, a senior housing complex, an assistant living facility, cemetery and several outdoor shrines. As his travels around the world have taken him to the slums of China, Egypt, Mexico and to the tragedy of Port au Prince after the devastating earthquake, Fr. Reiser has since retired but still remains involved in helping the poor of the world. This book then is a tribute to them and all proceeds from the sale of Reiser's Ramblings go to The Haitian relief efforts through Reiser Relief Inc..
I know that most people like to read columns in the newspaper written by different editors and writers, so then this is what you will find in this book. Over three decades of some of the best of Fr. Reiser's columns, a spiritual journey for all to enjoy. Even though some may view the front and feel that the book is Catholic in nature, it really isn't .As he shares his growing up years , raised on the family farm and the value of family relationships, to the wonder of God's creation , to learning to count our blessings. There is something in this book for everyone, whether you be Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal or if you are not a Christian there may be one little column, one paragraph that will touch you in such a way that yes you will turn your life around and over to God.
I really enjoyed reading these little weekly columns but one of my favorites and I have seen this many times was on pg 220, "Put God first when filling up your day". This being the focal point will give us direction to our daily life.
Recommended for all ages. Would be a great book for a weekly family reading.
I would like to thank the author and Reiser's Relief Inc. for the complimentary copy . All opinions expressed here are my own thoughts of the book.
Father Reiser shares many of the happy recollections of his childhood in the first section of the book. Aloys and Otillia Reiser raised Bernard, his brother and his three sisters on a farm during the Great Depression. Father Reiser learned the meaning of perseverance and hard work from his father. His parents loved their children and they loved each other. Father Reiser never once heard his parents quarrel! It was on his family farm and at the events of a small country parish that he learned to love God. Every Sunday the entire family dressed up in their best clothes and went to church. When they got home, his mother always fixed a big dinner that included fried chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables and apple pie. The family often entertained friends or family in the afternoon and filled the time with games and fellowship. Father Reiser's family and friends were very influential in his decision to enter the priesthood.
Father Reiser is able to see God's hand in all of nature. He does a beautiful job seeing God's face in a flower in this passage;
"We need to stop and smell the flowers! To take them in hand individually and to open our eyes and hearts to the message they all share so powerfully, of the One who fashioned them so beautifully and lovingly."
Father Reiser has traveled all over the world and shares many of the wonderful adventures that he has had. He believes that nature is a prayer book and we should read it regularly and give praise to the Creator of the Universe.
Father Reiser recounts a time when he had a serious infection in his left foot. He was confined to bed and had to take regular doses of antibiotics. He realized that we take so much in life for granted and we never truly appreciate the gifts that God has granted us...until we lose them.
When Father Reiser visited Haiti in 1996, he saw extreme poverty and appalling living conditions. His heart ached for the people he saw living in grinding poverty day after day. He knew that God was calling him to help the people of Haiti. We live in abundance but our world neighbors live in extreme poverty. Reiser Relief was created to provide essential services to aid in day-to-day survival of thousands. Today, Father Reiser stays busy doing his Father's work by helping those who have very little to count as blessings.
"Reiser's Ramblings" touched my mind, heart and soul in a way that I will not soon forget. The prose is written in an expressive, emotional and melodious style that is music to the reader's heart. Father Reiser writes with passion, conviction and confidence.
The photographs in the book provide a personal touch that made me feel a kinship to Father Reiser and his entire family.
The book is organized into columns that are one to two pages long. Father Reiser wrote these columns some years ago, but they are very relevant in today's world. The reader can skip through the book and read columns that are appropriate to daily Bible study and prayer concerns. The columns can be used as a daily devotional and then read over and over again. All of the columns feature important life lessons that will build faith, hope and love for God.
I want to emphasize that this is not a book exclusively for those of the Roman Catholic faith. This book is for me and it is for anyone who is seeking a closer personal relationship with Jesus Christ. "Reiser's Ramblings" will make a wonderful addition to your Christian library and it would make a marvelous gift for a loved one. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: I want to thank the good folks at Reiser Relief for sending me a complimentary digital copy of this book to read and review.
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