Catholic priest in Utah dies after testing positive for coronavirus

He had been sent home from the emergency room days before his death.

(Courtesy of the Diocese of Salt Lake City) Father Reynato Rodillas has died after testing positive for COVID-19, the Diocese of Salt Lake City announced Jan. 9, 2021.

A Catholic priest who had tested positive for the coronavirus died this week, according to an obituary posted on the Intermountain Catholic website.

Father Reynato Rodillas, 58, was pastor of St. James the Just in Ogden at the time of his death.

He tested positive for the coronavirus Tuesday, according to the obituary. He was sent home from an emergency room with oxygen to recover and quarantine. The date of his death hasn’t been officially determined but it was likely Friday.

Rodillas was born in Ilocos Sur, Philippines. He earned a civil engineering degree from the University of Northern Philippines before entering the Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City, Philippines. He came to Utah in 2007 and served in West Valley, Bountiful, St. George and Midvale.

In a 2019 church interview shortly before he took his role at St. James the Just, Rodillas said being a priest was his “greatest treasure.”

“I am looking forward to knowing my new parishioners personally and journeying with them toward spiritual growth,” he said, “and deepening my relationship with each of them and with God.”