Date of death: 3/4/2022
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1956
Monsignor Joseph G. Riedman, 93, passed away peacefully at his home in Connersville, IN, with his family by his side on Friday evening, March 4, 2022. He was born at home during “the worst part of the depression” on February 20, 1929, in Connersville, IN. He was the seventh of eight children of Joseph J. and Mary K. (Ratz) Riedman. All of his legal birth records note that his actual name is “Joseph Junior Riedman,”…and so the name “JJ.” At the time of his baptism, the priest insisted that “Junior” was not a name. So, his father said, “Use the name of his maternal grandfather, George.” Thus, the various names have followed him lifelong.
He began his formal education in 1935 in the first grade at Saint Gabriel School in Connersville and maintained a perfect attendance record for those eight years. He continued at Connersville Public High school in 1943 and graduated in 1947.
He had no plans for an area of study or a career path. Yet, a thought came to mind; “…being from a big Catholic family, try the seminary.” He went to Saint Meinrad Seminary in southern Indiana.
Five years later he was invited to continue his education in Theology at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Upon completion he was ordained a Catholic Priest for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 1956.
His first assignment, twofold in nature, then began: He was to be part-time assistant pastor of Holy Angels Parish, and part time Religion and mathematics instructor at Scecina High School, both in Indianapolis. In 1960 he was transferred nearer his work, to reside at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Indianapolis and to full-time Religion and mathematics instructor at Scecina. He went to Ball State University during the summers in order to complete a master’s degree in mathematics.
In 1973 he was transferred from the classroom to Pastor of Saint Michael Parish in Greenfield, Indiana. Then in 1980 he was transferred to be pastor of Our Lady of Greenwood Parish in Greenwood, Indiana.
In 1993 he was transferred to Holy Spirit Parish in Indianapolis where he finally retired from active ministry in 2009. Shortly after, he was invited by “Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line” to be a chaplain on a ninety-day cruise of the Pacific Ocean. Having completed the cruise, he resided in his own home in Connersville, Indiana. He continued to assist in various parishes when requested until his health made it too difficult.
Some of his life’s adventures included extended visits to Australia and several trips to the Vatican. One visit included a private audience with Saint (then Pope) John Paul II. Some years later, in order to be able to pray Masses in Spanish, he made two month-long visits in Guadalajara, Mexico to learn the language. He never did learn to drink the water!
Msgr. JJ enjoyed many life achievements and awards. Some of them include the designation of Monsignor and the Catholic School “Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Surviving him are a brother, James of Connersville; sister-in-law, Eileen Riedman of Carmel, Indiana; and many nieces and nephews.
Msgr. JJ was preceded in death by his parents. Joseph and Mary; siblings, John (Bertha), Elaine, Anna, Robert, and Gerald (Jacqueline) Riedman, and Mary Jo Underwood; brother-in-Law, Ralph Underwood; sister-in-law, Annette Riedman (Jim’s wife); and niece, Laura (Riedman) Tyner.