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Born: 26 Jun 1852 –  died: 1 May 1934
Clothed - 5 Oct 1870
Solemn Vows- 17 Dec 1874
Priest - 18 Nov 1877

When Father Sigebert Cody passed away on May 1st, a devout death fittingly closed the humble career of a good monk, a pleasant companion, a zealous missioner. Born at Bath in 1852 John Cody, after early schooling at Ampleforth, took the monastic habit at the age of eighteen, spent the usual four years at Belmont, returning to Ampleforth to study and teach for a few years, and then left for the mission on the morrow of his priesthood (1877). He threw himself cordially into parish work, becoming a popular and successful priest of whom many memories yet survive at Warrington, Edge Hill and later at Cardiff, but he was not so much attached to active work that he could not return gladly to conventual life. Ever an idealist keen on monastic life and not merely on external observance, he had come into the order when the rising tide of Belmont principles was making itself felt, beating ineffectually for a time against the barrier of older ways; so it is not surprising that he volunteered for the new venture at Fort Augustus, where his elder brother Dom Elphege, a Gregorian, was already prominent. Fr Sigebert, however, remained loyal to the Congregation and even before the secession of the new community he had returned to apostolic work with the English Benedictines, first at Bedlington, then at Hindley, Brownedge and elsewhere.

Fr Sigebert, a product of his period when simpler ways and homelier manners prevailed, was a light-hearted, genial companion, popular with his brethren, with a turn for innocent, never ill-natured jests, a blithe spirit from heaven or near it, pouring out sallies of unpremeditated wit. Heart-easing mirth like his is meant to be an alleviation of serious occupation; and many an hour of dull routine was lightened by his high spirits, many a solemn discussion relieved by his hearty laugh at his own harmless jokes. Underneath and alongside it all, however, was a fund of solid piety and a deep sense of duty. Faithful always to early monastic ideals, simple, almost austere in life, unworldly in habit and outlook, Fr Cody was a kindly, careful director of souls and an acceptable retreat-giver, interested in spiritual matters and conventual observance and always a conscientious missioner. Of such a life, spent mostly in humble spheres, not much trace is left in time, but much in eternity.

Warwick Bridge saw the longest period of his pastoral work, some sixteen years in a trying parish with arduous Sunday duties, as there are three stations to serve as well as the convent. Here he lived to a good old age, a patient sufferer under growing infirmities, with failing strength but unfailing cheerfulness continuing his exacting duties till within a few weeks of death. He died on May Day, 1934, in the Nursing-home at Whalley Range and lies buried at Brownedge, waiting for his reward from the Lord who loveth a cheerful giver. Requiescat in pace.

J.I.C.[Fr Ildephonsus Cummins]


Details from the Abbey Necrology

JOHN SIGEBERT CODY         1 May 1934
1852   26 Jun       Born Bath
1863           Educ Ampleforth
1870    5 Oct       Habit at Belmont        Prior RB Vaughan
1871    6 Oct       Simple Vows
1874   17 Dec       Solemn Vows Ampleforth  Prior S Kearney
       20 Dec       Minor Orders Belmont
1875   18 Sep       Subdiaconate Ampleforth Bishop Cornthwaite
1877   24 Feb       Diaconate
       18 Nov       Priesthood              Bishop Hedley
1878           St Alban's Warrington
1879           Fort Augustus
1880           Bedlington
1882           St Anne's Liverpool
1890           Hindley
1891           St Alban's Warrington
1897           St Mary's Canton Cardiff
1905   14 May       Blackwood NB
1912           St Mary's Brownedge
1917      Feb       Warwick Bridge
1918      Aug       Superiorat Warwick Bridge
               Chaplain to Holme Eden Abbey from its foundation
1933      Oct       Parbold, in failing health, semi-invalided
          Dec       Nursing Home Whalley Range Manchester
1934    1 May       Died at Whalley Range Manchester
               Buried at Brownedge

Sources: AJ 39:3 (1934) 189
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