Introduction: Early Life in the East Bay

Clint's parents,
Bess & Joe Reilly

Clinton Reilly was born January 13, 1947 to Joe and Bess Reilly, the first of ten brothers and sisters. Both of his parents were natives of the Bay Area - his father a 3rd generation San Franciscan, his mother a second-generation native of Berkeley California. The Reilly family settled in San Leandro, a working class city in the East Bay.

It was in this working class household, where Clint Reilly would learn the values that would shape his later life and career choices - the importance of hard work along with a dedication to the social justice values professed by the Catholic Church. Reilly’s mother had converted to Catholicism and he and his sister Jill were both baptized when he was five. Early on, his family instilled in him a strong sense of justice and Catholic values, which would have an enormous influence on him throughout the rest of his life.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck the Reilly family in 1959 when Clint Reilly’s sister Jill died of a brain tumor. The local parish helped the family out through this difficult time, and soon afterwards Reilly decided to enter the seminary and study for the priesthood. Thus, in 1960, at the age of 13, he entered St. Joseph's College in Mountain View, and began a rigorous theological and educational regimen.

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