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Obituaries

Reverend Monsignor John I. Cardiff Dies
Held Tribunal Positions for Two Decades

Chicago, IL  (October 5, 2009) – Reverend Monsignor John I. Cardiff, who served for nearly twenty years in the Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Chicago dealing with canonical issues, died Saturday, October 3, of congestive heart failure at St. Linus Parish rectory in Oak Lawn, where he was in residence.  He was 89 years old and a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago for 64 years.  Most of his 45 years in active ministry were spent in administrative work and as pastor of St. Linus Parish.

Monsignor Cardiff was a Chicago native who graduated from St. Henry grade school on Chicago’s north side and from Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary.  He was ordained in 1945 by Most Rev. Bernard Sheil, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago from 1928 to1969.

Monsignor Cardiff served for two years as assistant pastor at the now closed Our Lady Help of Christians Parish from 1945 to 1947, before being assigned to the Tribunal offices in the Chancery, the headquarters of the Archdiocese, now housed in the Archbishop Quigley and Cardinal Meyer Pastoral Centers.  He worked there less than a year before beginning graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned a licentiate in Canon Law in 1950.

For the next 16 years, he served as a judge and assistant judicial vicar in the Metropolitan Tribunal, dealing with requests for marriage annulments.  In 1966, he was named assistant pastor of St. Matthew Parish in southwest Cook County, and the followingyear became the assistant pastor at St. Francis Xavier Parish on Nelson, which is now closed.  From 1968 to1969, he served briefly as assistant pastor at Our Lady of Charity in Cicero and at St. Ladislaus on Chicago’s northwest side, before beginning a three-year term as assistant pastor at Queen of Angels on the north side.  During most of this time, Monsignor Cardiff also served on the Personnel Board of the Archdiocese, where decisions about clergy placements were made.

In 1972, he was named the administrator at St. Linus Parish in Oak Lawn and six months later became pastor, a position he held for 18 years until his retirement in 1990.  In retirement, he continued to serve St. Linus as a senior priest in residence and continued to celebrate Mass there and officiate at baptisms, weddings and funerals.  He was well known to the children of St. Linus grade school, whom he visited regularly, and to the elderly in local nursing homes, where he also gave of his time.

Monsignor Cardiff will lie in state from 3 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, October 6, at St. Linus Church, 10300 S. Lawler Avenue in Oak Lawn.  Most Rev. Thad Jakubowski, retired Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at a Funeral Mass for Monsignor Cardiff at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 7, at St. Linus.  Interment will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.

Monsignor Cardiff is survived by his sister, Cecilia Groark; nephews Marty and John Groark; nieces Mary Groark, Rose Willis and Donna Patterson; and many grand-nieces and nephews and five great-grand-nieces and nephews.

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