Msgr. Francis Coady P.H.

Lives Recalled 

Coady, Monsignor Francis Anthony (1928-2016)

Monsignor Francis Coady was born at Petite Forte, Placentia Bay, on 26 October 1928, the son of John Thomas and Anne-Marie (Hayden) Coady. He was educated at the parish school at Petite Forte.

In 1948, he obtained a clerical position at the United States military base at Argentia. In 1949, he moved to St. John’s and obtained a position with the provincial government. In 1956, he entered St. Dunstan’s University, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island and studied philosophy. Three years later, he entered Holy Heart Seminary, Halifax, Nova Scotia to study theology and to prepare for the priesthood. He was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of St. John’s on 13 June 1963 at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. John the Baptist, St. John’s, by Archbishop P. J. Skinner.

After ordination, Father Coady served as an associate pastor of the Cathedral-Basilica for two years, when he was appointed private secretary to the Archbishop and vice-chancellor of the Archdiocese. He was parish priest of St. Patrick’s Parish, Witless Bay (1966-1968), and of St. Agnes’ Parish, Pouch Cove (1968-1969).

In 1972, he was appointed again as vice-chancellor of the Archdiocese. The following year he became chancellor, a position he held until 1994. He was also director of vocations for the Archdiocese from 1974 to 1976.

In 1976, he was given a leave of absence to study canon law at St. Paul University, Ottawa. In 1978, he obtained the degrees of Master of Canon Law from the University of Ottawa, and Licence in Canon Law from St. Paul University.

In 1978, he was appointed an associate judicial vicar of the Halifax Regional Tribunal and established a branch office of that tribunal at St. John’s to receive and process applications for declarations of invalidity of marriage. He held this position until 1982.

In 1986, he became parish priest of St. Peter’s Parish, Mount Pearl. He moved to St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Outer Cove in 1987, and retained this position until 1993.

In 1991, Archbishop James H. MacDonald appointed him a vicar general for the Archdiocese with responsibility for spiritual matters. On 12 October 1994, Father Coady was named a “Prelate of Honour” with the title of “Monsignor” by Pope St. John Paul II. He was reappointed chancellor of the Archdiocese in 1996. Monsignor Coady retired as vicar general and chancellor in 2000, and became archivist of the Archdiocese.

On 14 July 2002, Pope St. John Paul II appointed Monsignor Coady a consultor to the Apostolic Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church for a term of five years. 

Monsignor Coady died at St. John’s on 26 May 2016. His remains were interred in the priests’ plot at Belvedere Cemetery, St. John’s.

Sources: Archives of the Archdiocese of St. John’s; “Lives Recalled” by Monsignor Francis A. Coady, St. John’s, 2011, pp. 695-698.

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