Attended, Our Lady of Providence Seminary, 1943—1948. Attended, Grand Seminaire, St. Brieuc, France, 1948—1953. Attended, Harvard University, 1954—1955.
Attended, Boston College, 1955—1956. Doctor (honorary), Providence College. Doctor (honorary), St. Michael's College.
Doctor (honorary), Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Doctor (honorary), Salve Regina College. Doctor (honorary), Our Lady of Providence College.
Doctor (honorary), Sacred Heart University. Doctor (honorary), Assumption College, 1995. Doctor (honorary), Anna Maria College, 1995.
Doctor (honorary), Holy Cross College, 1996.
Early life and education
Ordination and ministry
Reilly was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1953. He briefly served in a parish before completing his graduate studies at Boston College. Serving the Diocese of Providence, he was successively named assistant chancellor (1954), secretary to Bishop Russell McVinney (1956), chancellor (1964), and vicar general (1972).
He attended two sessions of the Second Vatican Council, and was raised to the rank of Monsignor in 1965.
Bishop of Norwich, Connecticut
On June 5, 1975, Reilly was appointed the third Bishop of Norwich, Connecticut, by Pope Paul VI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following August 6 from Archbishop John Francis Whealon, with Bishops Vincent Joseph Hines and Louis Edward Gelineau serving as co-consecrators. Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts
After nineteen years at Norwich, Reilly was appointed the fourth Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, on October 27, 1994.
During his tenure at Worcester, he reopened Saint Joseph Church but merged it with Notre Dame des Canadiens. He raised over $50 million for his Forward in Faith campaign to place the diocese in a stable financial condition.
In 2003 he expressed his unequivocal opposition same-sex marriage and civil unions, but declared he was open to discussion on giving public benefits to same-sex couples.
After reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, Reilly retired as bishop on March 9, 2004. He was succeeded by Robert Joseph McManus, then-auxiliary bishop of Providence.
Trustee Catholic Mutual Relief Society, Omaha, since 1979, St. John's Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts, since 1987, American College, Louvain, Belgium, St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore. Chairman board Catholic Relief Services Catholic Relief Services, 1978—1986. Member finance and budget committee United States Catholic Conference United States Catholic Conference, 1985—1987.
Chancellor Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, Connecticut, 1982—1994. President Connecticut Interfaith Housing, 1975—1994. Consultant Pontifical Council Justice and Peace, 1995.
Board directors United Way Southeastern Connecticut, 1976—1994, Connecticut Drug and Advisory Council, 1978—1980. Member of Knights of Columbus (Rhode Island state chaplain 1964-1975), Rotary.