On Jan. 9, Msgr. Colin F. Bircumshaw, vicar general, sent the following announcement:
Dear brother priests, religious sisters, deacons and wives, seminarians, principals, staff and lay faithful,
On behalf of Bishop Solis and the priests of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, I am saddened to announce the sudden death of Father Reynato (Rene) T. Rodillas. He had tested positive with the COVID-19 virus on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, and was sent home from the emergency room with oxygen to quarantine and to recover at home. Date of death has yet to be determined by the medical examiner, but was probably on Friday, January 8, 2021. He was 58 years old, soon to turn 59 this month.
Father Rodillas was born on January 25, 1962, at Santo Domingo, Illocos Sur, Philippines, to the late Vicente Rodillas and Capistrana Tenorio. He attended grade school and high school in Vigan City, Ilolos Sur, and college at the University of Northern Philippines (1980-1986), also in Vigan City, Ilolos Sur, Philippines, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering (BSCE).
In 1990, he entered the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City, Philippines, where he studied for the priesthood. He was ordained as a Divine Word Missionary by the Most Reverend Miguel Cinchez, SVD, on December 12, 1997 at Tagaytay City, Philippines, for the Society of the Divine Word.
After various assignments in the Philippines, Father Rene came to the Diocese of Salt Lake City and was given faculties for ministry on August 7, 2007. He served as a Parochial Vicar at Saints Peter and Paul Parish, West Valley City, (2007-2009), Saint George Parish, St. George, (2009-2010), and Saint Therese of the Child Jesus Parish, Midvale, (2010 – 2011). He became Administrator of Saint Olaf Parish, Bountiful, where he served from August 2, 2011 until he was formally exclaustrated from the Divine Word Missionaries (SVD) and thereby became Pastor when he was Incardinated into the Diocese of Salt Lake City on February 2, 2018. On August 1, 2019, he was appointed Pastor of Saint James the Just, Ogden, where he served until his untimely death. He has most recently served as the Spiritual Advisor for the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.
Father Rodillas is survived by his mother, Capistrana Rodillas; and siblings, Condrado Rodillas, Rosemary Rubia and Imelda Rodillas (San Vicente, Ilocos Sur, Philippines). Funeral arrangements are pending, awaiting consultation with his family and release by the medical examiner. Kindly remember Father Rene Rodillas and his family, friends, and parishioners in your prayers. Requiescat Father Reynato (Rene) T. Rodillas in pace.
With sincere condolences,
Reverend Monsignor Colin F. Bircumshaw