John J. Reilly, the founding president of the National Association of Catholic School Teachers, died of cancer at a Philadelphia-area hospital on March 2. He was 77.
Mr. Reilly began teaching social studies at a high school run by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1964 after spending about 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. He became the president of Philadelphia's Association of Catholic Teachers four years later when the group became the bargaining agent for educators in the area's Roman Catholic secondary schools.
In 1978, when many local unions of Catholic school teachers began ending their affiliation with the American Federation of Teachers, Mr. Reilly spearheaded the effort to form the NACST, which now has 23 affiliates, representing some 5,000 teachers.
Vol. 19, Issue 27, Page 4Published in Print: March 15, 2000, as Death