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John Baptist Franz

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Subject: Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria, John J. Myers, Roman Catholic Diocese of Dodge City, William Edward Cousins, Gerald Francis O'Keefe
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John Baptist Franz

The Most Reverend

John Baptist Franz
Bishop of Peoria
See Peoria
Installed August 8, 1959
Term ended May 24, 1971
Predecessor William Edward Cousins
Successor Edward William O'Rourke
Other posts Bishop of Dodge City (1951–59)
Ordination June 13, 1920
Consecration August 29, 1951
Personal details
Born (1896-10-29)October 29, 1896
Springfield, Illinois
Died July 3, 1992(1992-07-03) (aged 95)
Peoria, Illinois
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Styles of
John Baptist Franz
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
Posthumous style none

John Baptist Franz (October 29, 1896 – July 3, 1992) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Dodge City (1951–59) and Bishop of Peoria (1959–71).

Early life and education

John Franz was born in


Franz was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Alton by Archbishop John J. Glennon on June 13, 1920.[3] From 1920 to 1927, as a member of the Granite City-based Diocesan Mission Band, he traveled around Central Illinois and Eastern Missouri to give missions and retreats.[2] In 1926, he was assigned to establish a campaign fund for a cathedral complex in Springfield.[2]

Franz became administrator of


Dodge City

On May 27, 1951, Franz was appointed the first Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Dodge City in Kansas by Pope Pius XII.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following August 29 from Samuel Cardinal Stritch, with Bishops Mark Carroll and William O'Connor serving as co-consecrators.[3]


Franz later returned to Illinois upon being named the fifth Bishop of Peoria on August 8, 1959.[3] From 1962 to 1965, he attended the Second Vatican Council in Rome. In response to his implementation of the Council's reforms, some people expressed enthusiasm, while others caution to such rapid changes.[4] The political turmoil of the 1960s also added to his challenges, but he still managed to create 17 new grade schools, two new high schools, one Newman Centre, four new parishes, four missions, and elevate eight missions to parish status. After 11 years of service, he resigned as Bishop on May 24, 1971.[2]

Franz died at age 95.,[3] and is buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Peoria.[2]


Preceded by
Bishop of Dodge City
Succeeded by
Marion Francis Forst
Preceded by
William Edward Cousins
Bishop of Peoria
Succeeded by
Edward William O'Rourke
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