Notre Dame, Ind. Rev. William Peter Melody, C.S.C., 86, died Tuesday (August 4, 2015) at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka, Ind.
He was born on Feb. 26, 1929, in County Mayo, Ireland, to Thomas and Ellen Melody. He was the seventh in a family of nine six boys and three girls. Fr. Melody was known and loved for his Irish wit and welcoming personality.
Fr. Melody came to the United States in 1947 at the invitation of his cousin, Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., and entered the high school seminary at Notre Dame. He graduated from Notre Dame in 1955, having become a U.S. citizen in 1954. After graduation he studied theology at Holy Cross College, Washington, D.C. and was ordained a priest on June 10, 1959, at Notre Dame.
Following a year of pastoral apprenticeship at Notre Dame, where he was administrator of Sacred Heart Church, he was assigned as chaplain to Vincent Hall, the scholasticate for the Holy Cross Brothers at St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas. After three years he returned to Notre Dame to become director of vocations for the Indiana Province of Holy Cross and at the same time assisted in seminary work. The years of 1963-73 were unsettled years in the Church and, indeed, in society in general, which added greatly to the challenge of vocation work, which he was able to successfully overcome.
In 1973, Fr. Melody was appointed religious superior of Holy Cross House, and served in that capacity until 1982 when he took over as the newly-created position of administrator.
In 2001, Fr. Melody moved to active retirement where he continued to be involved in parochial ministry in five parishes in Southwest Michigan and a number of parishes in South Bend area.
Fr. Melody returned to his native Ireland to join in the centenary celebration of the birth of Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. The celebration took place in the very same Church of the Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph where Fr. Peyton and Fr. Melody were baptized and worshipped with their families. Fr. Melody also accompanied Fr. Peyton for the last ten years of his life for annual testimonials in his honor, as well as assisting him at Mass and traveling to his native Co. Mayo while RTE (Irish Television) produced a video on his life and ministry.
Fr. Melody has resided in Holy Cross House since 1973 and is survived by his brother, Patrick (Anne) Melody of Graffey, Attymass, Ballina, as well as six nieces and two nephews. Preceding him in death are his parents, Thomas and Ellen Melody, and seven of his siblings.
The Visitation will be from 3:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 11, 2015) at Moreau Seminary, where there will be a Wake Service at 7:30 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday (Aug. 12, 2015) at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame. Burial will be in the community cemetery at Notre Dame. Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, is in charge of the arrangements.
Memorial contributions in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross can be made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0765 or online atdonate.holycrossusa.org.