Francis Frederick Reh was born in the Bronx, New York on Jan. 9, 1911 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1935 in Rome for the Archdiocese of New York. In 1951, he was appointed as vice-chancellor for the Archdiocese of New York and in 1954 he was named a monsignor and appointed as vice rector of the North American College in Rome.
In 1958, he was named rector of St. Joseph Seminary in New York and in October of that year he accompanied Cardinal Spellman to Rome for the conclave that elected Pope John XXIII. In 1962, he was appointed as Bishop of Charleston, S.C., and in November of that year he participated as a discussant on liturgical reform during the Second Vatican Council. In 1964, he was appointed as rector of the North American College in Rome until he became the third bishop of Saginaw in December 1968.
As the implementer of the first round of reforms of the Second Vatican Council, Bishop Reh led the diocese through a time of significant transition. He oversaw a major renovation to the interior worship space at Saginaw’s Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in 1978. In addition, he is credited with establishing the diocese’s lay formation program, which was unique at that time in the United States.
Bishop Reh retired in 1980 and died on Nov. 14, 1994.