Published November 3, 2005
Brother William Reams, OCSO, a monk of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, died peacefully on Sunday, Oct. 30, in the monastery infirmary. He persevered faithfully in the monastic life for 49 years and died of complications of leukemia.
Later known as Brother Bill, he was born George William Reams on June 2, 1938, in Rocky Mount, N.C. He was the son of Marion Elizabeth McDonald and the late John William Reams.
Brother Bill attended a Jesuit high school and was at the top of his class. He received many academic honors, as well as a full college scholarship to Georgetown University. However, at an early age, he fell in love with the Blessed Mother and decided not to pursue a college education but to enter religious life. He told his family that he wanted to enter religious life for the benefit of all his family.
On July 9, 1956, at the age of 18 and right out of high school, Brother Bill entered the Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit in Conyers. He professed his solemn vows in 1961 and received the religious name of William.
During his monastic journey, he wrote two books and many poems. His latest book was on Our Lady of Guadalupe to whom he was greatly devoted.
He spent many hours each day in the abbey church—he prayed the rosary constantly—and many visitors to the monastery chapel will remember the simple, shy monk who gave them one of his poems, a blessing and a kind word or two.
Brother Bill is survived by his mother and two sisters. He was 67 years of age.