Rev. Mark J. Reifel, 84, died Saturday at Garvey Manor Nursing Home in Hollidaysburg.
He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, son of Sadie and Joseph Reifel.
Father Mark was predeceased by his parents and his sister. He is survived by his Franciscan Community and by a niece, Judith; and a nephew, Theodore Mark.
He entered the Franciscan Preparatory Seminary at Highland Hall in Hollidaysburg in 1946 and was received into the novitiate at Saint Bernardine Monastery, also in Hollidaysburg, in September 1947. On Sept. 8, 1948, he professed his vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and continued his studies leading to the Priesthood at the Seminary and then at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he completed the requirements for his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy. At the same university, he completed his four years of theology and was ordained to the Priesthood at the National Shrine of The Immaculate Conception on June 4, 1955.
He was first assigned as an instructor of mathematics at the Franciscan Preparatory Seminary and Highland Hall High School from 1956 to 1962. While there, he was the director of music and the civilian chaplain for the U.S. Air Force Radar Station at Blue Knob, and from 1959 to 1962 he was the Cleric Master at Saint Anthony Clericate at the Franciscan Preparatory Seminary.
In July 1962, Father Mark was appointed Vicar Prior and Cleric Master at Saint Thomas More House of Studies in Washington, D.C. From 1965 through 1970, he was the Pastor of the former Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in the former Barnesboro and was a part-time instructor at Bishop Carroll High School in Ebensburg.
For a short period of time in 1971, Father Mark was the chaplain at Saint Otto Home for the Aged in Little Falls, Minn., and returned to Pennsylvania to be the Assistant Pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Altoona. In 1972, he served as Assistant Pastor at Saint Monica Church in Chest Spring and served in the same capacity at Holy Name Church in Ebensburg. From 1974 to 1982, Father Mark was the Assistant Pastor at Saint Anthony Church in Johnstown.
Father was named the pastor of Our Lady of Grace Church in Romney, W.V., from 1982 to 1984 and in June, 1984 was the Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Stonewood, W.V.
Father returned to Pennsylvania in 1990 when he was, again, named Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Barnesboro. In 1995 until April 2013, he enjoyed senior priest status at Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Windber.
In April, Father moved to Garvey Manor in Hollidaysburg. Father Mark was to celebrate his 65th anniversary as a Franciscan in September.
Family and friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Windber, where a vigil for the deceased will be prayed at 7:30 p.m. His Funeral Mass will be concelebrated at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 30th, 2013, at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Windber, with the Rev. Frank Scornaienchi, T.O.R., Vicar Provincial, as the main celebrant. Interment will be at the Franciscan Cemetery at Saint Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg.
Arrangements are by Santella Funeral Home, Altoona.