ARCHDIOCESAN PRIEST, REV. JOHN L. WODNIAK, DIES
Pastor Emeritus of St. James on Fullerton in Chicago
CHICAGO (April 25, 2012) – Rev. John L. Wodniak, pastor emeritus of St. James Parish on Fullerton in Chicago, died on Sunday, April 22, 2012, at Lexington Nursing Home in Bloomingdale. Fr. Wodniak was 93 years old and had been retired from active ministry since1989.
Fr. Wodniak was born in Chicago and attended St. Constance School on the city’s northwest side. He was a graduate of Quigley Preparatory Seminary and of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary. He was ordained by Cardinal Stritch in 1943.
Fr. Wodniak first served in 1943 for one year as assistant pastor of Our Lady of Solace Parish in Chicago, which closed in 1988. For nine years, beginning in 1944, he was the assistant pastor at St. Ann Parish on Leavitt Street in Chicago, and from 1953 to 1954 he was assistant pastor at St. Florian Parish on the southeast side.
He began a nine-year term in 1954 as assistant pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Parish, also on the southeast side, and then went on to Five Holy Martyrs Parish in Chicago, where he served as an assistant pastor for five years. Fr. Wodniak was named pastor of St. James Parish on Chicago’s northwest side in 1969, after serving one year there as assistant pastor. Fr. Wodniak was pastor at St. James for 20 years, before retiring in 1989, at which time he was named pastor emeritus.
Throughout much of his parish ministry, Fr. Wodniak also served on the Metropolitan Tribunal, first as an advocate, then as defender of the bond and finally as a judge. In all, he served the tribunal for 24 years, from 1952 to 1976.
Visitation for Fr. Wodniak will take place from 9 to 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 26, at St. James Church, 5730 West Fullerton Avenue in Chicago, followed by a funeral Mass celebrated by Most Rev. John R. Manz, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, at 11 a.m. The homilist will be Rev. Andrzej Bartos, pastor of St. James Parish. Interment is in St. Adalbert Cemetery in Niles.