The St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas presented Distinguished Alumni Awards last week to seminary graduate Father Francis Pouliot and to an honorary alumnus, William Reiling.
Monsignor Aloysius Callaghan, the seminary’s rector, told the 225 people attending the May 10 ceremony in St. Mary’s Chapel that the awards were being presented to “two outstanding men whose ongoing commitment to vocations and the seminary has had a great impact on the church.”
Pouliot, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, is a member of the seminary’s class of 1958. The middle child of 13, he entered the former Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary in Arden Hills when he was 14 and completed his studies for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary.
Ordained by Archbishop William Brady, Pouliot served the parishes of St. Mary, Waverly; St.Therese, Deephaven; St. Joseph, West St. Paul; St. Stephen, Anoka; St.Lawrence, Faribault; and Visitation, Minneapolis. He retired from full-time ministry in May 2005 after 22 years as pastor of Visitation. In July 2008, Pouliot resumed active ministry and began serving as senior parochial vicar at Maternity of Mary in St. Paul.
Reiling, an honorary alumnus of the seminary, is chairman of Sunrise Community Banks and has served the community and the church throughout his life. He has been instrumental in the growth and transformation of both the graduate-level St Paul Seminary School of Divinity and the undergraduate St. John Vianney College Seminary, both of which are associated with the University of St. Thomas.
Reiling is a longtime member of the seminary’s Board of Trustees and, in partnership with his wife, Joanne, is co-chair of the “I Will Give You Shepherds” campaign. It is the seminary’s first endowment campaign since its 1894 founding.
“In all he does – banking, community development, nonprofit and philanthropic ventures – Bill has a passionate commitment to developing leaders of integrity,” said Msgr. Callaghan.
The Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 1995 as part of the seminary’s centennial celebration. The award is given each year to recognize those alumni, both ordained and lay, who have lived their vocation in extraordinary ways.