Rev. Charles C. Riedel, CSV, died unexpectedly Nov. 14, 1958, after he had just completed the preaching of a retreat in Sioux City, IA.

Though shocked and saddened by his sudden passing, his Viatorian confreres found it fitting. Fr. Riedel died doing what he loved: preaching the word of God. Fr. Riedel was 46.

Fr. Riedel was born Jan. 15, 1913 in Elkader, IA.  In 1931, he entered the Viatorian novitiate in Lemont, IL at the age of 18 and professed his vows on Sept. 8, 1932.

After one year at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, he attended the University of Illinois in Champaign, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Classics. In 1934, Fr. Riedel attended Catholic University of America in Washington DC, to study theology. He was ordained to the priesthood Jun. 11, 1938 at St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines.

Following one year assignments at Holy Family Church in Mitchell, SD; St. Philip High School in Chicago; and St. John’s Church in Paulboro, NJ, Fr. Riedel received his first long assignment as a military chaplain, from 1941 to 1944.

In 1945, Fr. Riedel was assigned to the Community Mission Band, a post he capably filled until his sudden death. As testament of his skill at preaching the word of God, his schedule was always filled up a year ahead of time, made up in large part by clergy retreats in dioceses across the nation.

Fr. Riedel’s funeral was held Nov. 18 at St. Viator Church in Chicago. The provincial, the Rev. John F. Brown, CSV, celebrated the Requiem Mass, while Msgr. Walter E. Croarkin, pastor of St. Agnes Church in Chicago Heights, IL and a close friend of Fr. Riedel, preached the sermon. Bishop Raymond P. Hillenger, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, performed the final absolution.

Fr. Riedel was laid to rest in the Viatorian plot at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, IL.


Taken from the “Lector”, a Viatorian newspaper, dated November 1958