'I know him as a wonderful man. Very faithful. Very humble. Very open.'

By Joyce Duriga | Editor
Thursday, July 27, 2023

Bishop John Manz laid to rest

The Archdiocese of Chicago celebrated the funeral services for retired Auxiliary Bishop John Manz on July 25-26, 2023 at Holy Name Cathedral. (Karen Callaway and Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry leads the line of bishops who came to celebrate Mass for Bishop Manz in the opening procession. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Friends and family gather for the funeral Mass for the Bishop John Manz. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Priests look at the program for the liturgy. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Deacon James Norman, vicar for deacons for the Archdiocese of Chicago, incenses the Book of the Gospels. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Father Kevin Feeney gives the homily during Mass. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Bishop Manz's nieces Cara Haynie and Christina Hultgren carry the gifts to Cardinal Cupich. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Deacon Javier Pineda from St. Oscar Romero Parish incenses the congregation. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Members of Bishop Manz's family pray during the Eucharistic Prayer. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Chicago auxiliary bishops as well as visiting bishops join Cardinal Cupich in concelebrating Mass. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Priests from the Archdiocese of Chicago join Cardinal Cupich and bishops in the Eucharistic Prayer. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Priests bow during the Eucharistic Prayer. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
A young boy sleeps during Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Auxiliary Bishop Robert Casey, Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Chicago, distributes Communion during Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich incenses the casket. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich approaches the casket for the Final Commendation. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich reads a letter of condolence from the Vatican to the congregation at the end of Mass. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Priests walk past the casket during the final procession. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich processes with the casket out of the cathedral at the end of Mass. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Pallbearers carry the casket out of Holy Name Cathedral following funeral services for Bishop Manz. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Members of the family of Bishop Manz including his sister Linda and nieces watch as the casket is carried to the hearse. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Pallbearers carry the casket out of Holy Name Cathedral following funeral services for Bishop Manz. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Bishop Manz’s sister lays her hand on her brother’s casket following the funeral Mass. (Deacon Randy Belice/Chicago Catholic)
Cardinal Cupich greets the casket carrying the remains of Bishop John R. Manz on July 25 at the start of the wake. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Bishop Manz lays in state following the Rite of Reception. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Parishioners from Our Lady of the Mystical Rose Parish in Cicero pray during the afternoon prayer service. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Pallbearer Deacon Adolfo López from Our Lady of Unity Parish kisses the casket during the wake. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Members of the dance group "Horizontes Mexicanos" from St. Agnes of Bohemia Parish performed a dance before the rosary began in the evening as a tribute to Bishop Manz. The group performed at his ordination as bishop. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Members of the dance group "Horizontes Mexicanos" from St. Agnes of Bohemia Parish performed a dance before the rosary began in the evening as a tribute to Bishop Manz. The group performed at his ordination as bishop. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)
Missionary Sisters of St. Pius X lead the rosary in the evening of the wake services. (Karen Callaway/Chicago Catholic)

Retired Auxiliary Bishop John Manz, who died July 15 at 77, was remembered during two days of funeral services at Holy Name Cathedral, July 25 and 26.

Cardinal Cupich led a rite of reception service for the remains of Bishop Manz at Holy Name Cathedral the afternoon of July 25, which was followed by a wake until 9 p.m.

All the services were celebrated in English, Spanish and Polish, with an emphasis on Spanish, since Bishop Manz spent much of his ministry working with Mexican and Central American immigrants in Chicago.

During the services, one of Bishop Manz’s mitres and zuchettos, along with his pectoral cross, were displayed on small table in the sanctuary and his crosier was placed nearby. A formal photo of him and a large image of his coat of arms, with the episcopal motto, “Into your hands I commend my spirit,” completed the display.

On Tuesday evening before the vigil service, members of the Missionary Daughters of St. Pius X led the rosary in Spanish. Bishop Manz had a special connection to the sisters because he invited them to the archdiocese from Mexico to minister in several parishes.

Before the rosary,  members of the Horizontes Mexicanos dance troupe from St. Agnes of Bohemia Parish in Little Village, where Bishop Manz had served, performed the somber dance “Dios nunca muere” (“God never dies”), honoring the bishop. The troupe previously performed at Bishop Manz’s ordination, and had asked to be a part of the wake.

Twelve bishops and more than 75 priests concelebrated the July 26 funeral Mass, presided over by Cardinal Cupich.

Bishop Manz lived the message of Matthew 25: 35-40, the Gospel reading for the Mass that speaks of feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoner and welcoming the stranger, said Father Kevin Feeney, director of St. Joseph and Mary Retreat House in Mundelein, in his bilingual homily at the funeral Mass.

“What is even more important is that not only did he, John Manz, live this Gospel, but he strengthened us, he inspired us, to live this Gospel too,” he said. “Pope Francis said that you can tell a good priest if his people are anointed, if they are strengthened to live the Gospel, if they live lives that reflect the Gospel, and that is what John Manz did for us.”  

Feeney is a member of a priest prayer group that Bishop Manz helped to establish in 1982.

The prayer group sessions included a “review of life” time when members could share their experiences. Bishop Manz could not always make the group meetings, Feeney said, so when he would return he would start that time with the question “Where was I?” and lead into what the group members affectionally called a “Manz-a-thon,” which brought laughter from the congregation.

Bishop Manz was known for his sense of humor and for being approachable, Feeney continued.

“But there we got to know him. A complicated man with simple tastes,” he said. “He was a deeply contemplative pastor. That is what fueled him.”

Bishop Manz, Feeney explained, also mentored many priests over the course of his ministry.

“He made it possible for us to believe that we might be able to minister in another language and in another culture,” Feeney said. “He bore, as Pope Francis encourages all of us priests, the smell of the sheep. … He taught us how to get close to people.”

Both Feeney and Cardinal Cupich noted during the Mass that the Vicariate IV team, where Bishop Manz ministered in his last years as a bishop, continued to help and support him following his retirement.

Elizabeth Ceisel-Mikowska served as his administrative assistant for 12 years and saw Bishop Manz six days before he died, when he attended her birthday party.

“He was wonderful to work with. He was so approachable,” Ceisel-Mikowska said after the funeral. He made time to meet with priests who wanted to talk and would regularly celebrate funerals for people at his former parishes and the weddings of their grandchildren, she said.

“If he knew them even a little bit, he would do it,” she said.

The vicariate team stayed in touch with him, not just for business matters. They were all friends, too, and often met for lunches or other special occasions, Ceisel-Mikowska said. Still, as someone who enjoyed interacting with people, retirement posed a challenge for Bishop Manz.

“After 50 years as a priest, after 25 years as a bishop, and all of a sudden you find yourself with not much to do. He didn’t want to do much when he retired. What he said was he didn’t miss work, he missed the people and that’s what was important to him,” she said. “He was just kind. Very simple, but a wonderful man.”

Zofia Mazurek, who attended the funeral Mass, met Bishop Manz in her role at St. Ferdinand Parish, 5900 W. Barry Ave., when he would come for confirmations or other events.

When the pastor started participating in a local parade, Bishop Manz also walked with them and was open to the largely Polish-American community of the parish.

“I know him as a wonderful man. Very faithful. Very humble. Very open,” she said.

Bishop Manz grew up in Chicago and in the suburbs, attending St. Matthias School on the North Side and St. Martha School in Morton Grove before entering Quigley Preparatory Seminary.

He learned Spanish while a student at Niles College Seminary, working in the kitchen with religious sisters from Mexico and working on landscaping crews in the summer. While in seminary, he spent two months in the Valley of Texas and six months at the archdiocese’s San Miguelito Mission in Panama, further improving his language skills.

Upon being ordained a priest in 1971, he became associate pastor of Providence of God Parish on 18th Street in Pilsen. He was also associate pastor at St. Roman Parish before spending 13 years as pastor of St. Agnes of Bohemia Parish in Little Village. In 1996, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop.



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