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John Linus Paschang

John Linus Paschang (October 5, 1895 – March 21, 1999) was an American clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Grand Island from 1951 to 1972.


One of nine children, John Paschang was born in Hemingford, Nebraska, to Casper and Gertrude (née Fisher) Paschang.[1] Drawn to the religious life from high school,[2] he studied at Conception Seminary College in Conception, Missouri, and at St. John's Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota.[1]

He was ordained to the priesthood on June 12, 1921.[3] After serving as pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in Hooper (1921-1923), he furthered his studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., from where he earned a doctorate in canon law.[1] He then served as pastor of Holy Cross Church in Omaha from 1927 to 1951.[1]

On July 28, 1951, Paschang was appointed the fourth Bishop of Grand Island by Pope Pius XII.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following October 9 from Archbishop Gerald Thomas Bergan, with Bishops Louis Benedict Kucera and Edward Joseph Hunkeler serving as co-consecrators.[3] During his tenure, he ordained 55 priests and established 33 churches, 15 parish houses, 13 schools, 11 parish centers, six convents, several rectories, and four hospital additions.[2] He attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), but was privately opposed to some of the Council's more liberal reforms.[2] He also earned a stockbroker's license to better his knowledge of financial investments for the church.[2]

After twenty-one years as bishop, Paschang retired on July 25, 1972.[3] He founded the Damian Leper Relief Society in 1976.[2] He moved to St. Joseph's Retirement Home in West Point in 1993, and said Mass every day in his room until he was hospitalized at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in 1999.[2] At the time of his death, at age 103, he was the world's oldest living Catholic bishop.


  1. ^ a b c d Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Most Reverend John L. Paschang".  
  3. ^ a b c d "Bishop Vincent Madeley Harris". 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Edward Joseph Hunkeler
Bishop of Grand Island
Succeeded by
John Joseph Sullivan
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