Fr. Joseph Rodak, C.PP.S.
July 24, 1934-May 18, 2022
Fr. Joseph Rodak, C.PP.S., 87, died at 8:11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in the infirmary of St. Charles Center, Carthagena, Ohio. He had moved to St. Charles on May 9, due to failing health.
He was born on July 24, 1934, in Cleveland, to Peter and Victoria (Masuga) Rodak. He entered the Congregation in 1949 at Brunnerdale, the Missionaries’ former high school seminary in Canton, Ohio. He was ordained on June 9, 1962. He died just 22 days before his 60th ordination anniversary.
Fr. Rodak had many ministries during his nearly 60 years as a priest. After ordination, he served as a chaplain at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Dayton, before enrolling in graduate courses at John Carroll University. In 1965, he was assigned to Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind., where he was an instructor and director of seminarians.
After taking additional coursework, Fr. Rodak was assigned to Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Ind., in 1973. He was active in retreat and renewal ministry from 1986-90 then returned to Saint Joseph’s College as a visiting professor of television beginning in 1990. In 1998, he was a chaplain at St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Centers in Whiting.
Fr. Rodak was appointed the parish administrator of St. Mark Church in Cincinnati in 1999. He returned to hospital chaplaincy in 2000.
In retirement, he lived at the Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Bellevue, Ohio, and at Mary Queen of Peace Parish in Cleveland.
He is survived by a brother, Jerome, of Parma, Ohio; and a sister, Agnes Wachs, Montana; numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brothers, Fr. Roman Rodak, C.PP.S.: Anthony Rodak and his wife Patricia; Andrew, Peter and Leo Rodak; his sisters and their spouses, Alice and Ted Martin, Mary and George Kassimer, Therese and Robert Morrison, and Victoria and Frank Recker; and a brother-in-law, Perry Wachs.
While he spent more time as a teacher and a chaplain, Fr. Rodak had a pastor’s heart. He enjoyed talking with people and hearing their viewpoints, taking it all in. He had a piercing, insightful expression and a sharp memory. He enjoyed telling stories, which served him well in all his ministries.
He was also a family man—family connections were always important to him. He was “Uncle Joe” to his nieces and nephews, to whom he offered his support and wisdom.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday, May 24 at 2 p.m. in Assumption Chapel at St. Charles. Fr. Jeffrey Kirch, C.PP.S., provincial director, presiding and Fr. William O’Donnell, C.PP.S., was the homilist.
Burial followed in the Community cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Cincinnati Province.