Father Bernard J. Reilly (1889-1945) was the founding pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Queens Village. Born in Brooklyn, Reilly settled in Queens Village after repeated stays in Europe for religious study and war duty during World War I. This square honors the memory of his service both in the local community and as a war chaplain.
Reilly attended St. John’s College before leaving to be ordained at Canisianum Seminary at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. He was ordained on July 27, 1913 in Innsbruck and returned to Brooklyn to serve at the parishes of St. Augustine and, later, St. Brigid until 1918. From July 1918 to May 1919, Reilly served his army duty in France, for which he received the Silver Star, one of the highest military awards given.