Services planned for St. Jude priest after sudden death

Mark Reasoner recalled as prayerful, 'an anchor'

The Rev. Mark Reasoner
The Rev. Mark Reasoner

CEDAR RAPIDS — A parish is left without its priest after the Rev. Mark Reasoner of St. Jude Catholic Church died unexpectedly Sunday, according to his obituary.

Reasoner, 53, collapsed during the first morning service. Paramedics were called, and eventually Reasoner resumed the services in the church, where he later was found dead.

A funeral Mass is planned for 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Jude Catholic Church, with Archbishop Michael Owen Jackels officiating, according to the obituary.

“Father Mark has been our shepherd and anchor for the past 13 years,” Dacey Waldron, a longtime member of the church, said in an email. “He believed we all have gifts and talents given to us by God, and he encouraged us weekly to use those gifts in service to God. ... We are eternally grateful and inspired by his hard work, dedication and devotion.”

In the immediate future, the Rev. David Schatz will lead Masses at St. Jude’s this weekend, and the Rev. Jerry Kopacek is assigned Holy Week and Easter services.

Jim Brokman, a chaplain with Mercy Medical Center, said he attended seminary with Reasoner and had known him for more than 20 years.

“I remember asking him what is it that allows him to be a good priest, and he talked about dedication to his prayer life, and that always struck me — that he was very dedicated to saying his prayers every day and to being a prayerful person,” Brokman said.

Brokman was among those at Wednesday’s vigil service for Reasoner.


“The people who come really reflect the person who died in a way, and that’s especially true for priests,” Brokman said. “It was a large crowd, and I knew a lot of the folks, and you couldn’t fill a room with better people. And I thought that spoke really well about who he was and how his priesthood impacted so many people.”

Before becoming a priest, Reasoner earned a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Iowa in 1989. After working as a pharmacist for five years, he earned a master’s of divinity degree from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He was ordained in 1998.

Reasoner loved to play golf and was an avid reader and a fan of the Chicago Cubs and Iowa Hawkeyes, according to the obituary.

Reasoner served as pastoral coordinator at Holy Family Catholic Schools. He previously served as pastoral supervisor of St. Patrick Church in Anamosa and as a pastor or associate pastor for many other churches.

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