Joseph Codori Jr., is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph B. Codori Sr. of Emsworth. He earned a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and economics from Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He also studied at Duquesne University. He received a master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary, with high honors, in 1999. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 24, 2000 by Bishop Donald Wuerl. He is serving at St. Thomas More Parish, Bethel Park in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
This article is from The Pittsburgh Catholic, June 30, 2000. Reprinted with permission.
By John FrankoStaff Writer
A pilgrimage to a Marian shrine in 1990 sparked Father Joseph Codori’s journey to the priesthood.
“All of a sudden God became real to me,” he said. “He became the entire focus of my life.”
At the time, Father Codori was working in Downtown Pittsburgh as a civil engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He began to attend daily Mass at St. Mary of Mercy and took a deep interest in the mysteries of the rosary. He said Marian devotion led his journey.
He also joined several church-related groups, including the Knights of Columbus and the young adult group of his home parish of Assumption in Bellevue.
Father Codori still enjoyed his job and the people he worked with, however. He made good money, had a boat and the car he always wanted.
But the call persisted. “God continued to call me to do more and more for him,” he said. “I thought I had it made, but I found out later God had a different plan.”
He was in the affiliate program at St. Paul Seminary for four years before he decided to enter. The government gave him a six-month leave of absence to discern his commitment, but he had his answer within the first week.
“I felt at peace as soon as I got there,” he said. “I was no longer consumed with the material world. I realized it was meaningless. Only your relationship with God is important.”
Father Codori completed the two-year program at St. Paul and went on to the theology program at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe.
He said the key to his formation was his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. He was encouraged to spend at least an hour a day before it.
“It’s helped me to become closer to God, more balanced to be a minister of the Lord,” he said.
Father Codori’s pro-life experiences also had a big effect on his vocation. He had been praying at a Downtown abortion clinic for several years and he thought he would be in a better position to support the unborn from the pulpit.
He was also inspired by the faith of those who joined him.
“My idea was to change their (mothers wanting an abortion) hearts through prayer,” he said. “But instead it seems that God changed me. I don’t know if I ever converted anybody, but I was certainly converted.”
Father Codori still prays at a clinic when he has the opportunity.
The new priest received his pastoral experience at St. John the Baptist in Unity. He said he enjoyed every minute of it and hopes his first assignment as a priest (at St. Thomas More in Bethel Park) is just as fruitful.
“If it’s anything like St. John the Baptist I’d be happy,” he said. “I’ve fallen in love with the people.”
Like the others, he is eager to join the brotherhood of priests.
“To be part of that group is a pretty awesome thing.”
Father Codori is the son of Joseph and Dorothy Codori of Emsworth.