Cody, Monsignor John


May 30, 1956

Personal Info

  • Date of Birth:  15 August 1897
  • Place of Birth in Ireland: Jordanstown, Whitehall
  • County: Kilkenny
  • Education: St Joseph’s Academy, Carlow; University College, Dublin; St Bernard’s Seminary, Rochester, NY; St Thomas’ Seminary, Denver, CO.
  • Date of Ordination: 10 June 1923
  • Place of Ordination: Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Denver, CO
  • Ordained by: Bishop J. Henry Tihen

Diocesan Appointments

  • Assistant – St Mary’s Cathedral, Wichita – 1924
  • Pastor – St Mary, Moline – 1926 to 1935
  • Pastor – St John, Iola – 1935 to 1945
  • Chaplain – United States Army – 2/8/1945 to 5/7/1946
  • Pastor – St John, Clonmel – 1946-1947
  • Pastor – St Rose of Lima, Great Bend – 1947 to 1956
  • Consultor – Dodge City Diocese & Pro-Synodal Examiner – 1949
  • Assigned title of Right Reverend Monsignor – January 1953

Msgr. Cody served one year (1945-46) as a chaplain in the U.S. Army. He saw frontline action on Guinea, Luzon, and other Philippine Islands. He received the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, American Theater Service Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, and three campaign battle stars. He was raised to the rank of captain in November, 1945, and at the time of his death was a reserve officer with the rank of major.

During his pastorate at Moline, he built a new school, dedicated by Bishop Schwertner on Oct. 10, 1946. At Clonmel, he built a new church, dedicated by Bishop Carroll, Sept. 24, 1947. At Great Bend, he started a second parish and built a school.

Monsignor Cody helped to place the cornerstone on the new $195,000 St Patrick’s parochial school in Great Bend on November 10, 1953. The new school housed the elementary grades and included a chapel. On the face of the white cornerstone is a cross and “1953” carved in large letters and in the right hand corner is a map of Ireland that frames a small shamrock. A time box, made of brass, was placed inside the cornerstone which contained a history of the Catholic Church in Great Bend; a review of the progress of the Church in Southwest Kansas; the pictures and installation story of when Bishop John B. Franz became the first Bishop of Dodge City Diocese and various news articles.

Msgr. Cody died shortly unexpectedly after participating in a televised Memorial Day service address in Great Bend. Attending his funeral were two Bishops, eight Monsignors, 90 priests and more than 50 religious sisters representing convents from the Dodge City and Wichita Dioceses. Bishop Mark K. Carroll, in preaching the funeral sermon, stated that “Monsignor Cody was a genuine ambassador of Christ. He was loved by all who knew him. He had an abundance of talents and great ability. But he will be remembered best for his excellent priestly qualities.”

It was estimated that 1,200 people attended Msgr Cody’s funeral. More than 100 cars were in the funeral procession that wound its way to the Catholic section of the Great Bend Cemetery. Bishop Franz conducted the graveside rites and the Army squadron gave a military salute followed by a bugler playing the mournful sound of “Taps.”

  • Date of Death: 30 May 1956
  • Place of Death: Great Bend
  • Age of Death: 58
  • Cause of Death: Heart attack
  • Funeral Celebrant: Bishops Franz and Mark K. Carroll
  • Burial: Catholic section of Great Bend Cemetery – Great Bend, Kansas

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