Date of death: 9/4/2020
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1975
Reverend Michael T. Madden passed away on the afternoon of Friday, September 4, 2020 at Scenic Hills at the Monastery in Ferdinand, Indiana. His mother and youngest sister, Kathy, were present at the time of his passing.
Born on April 1, 1949 at Daviess County Hospital in Washington, Indiana, he was the first of six children of Bernard J. and Helena (Strange) Madden. He spent a lifetime, it seems, contributing to the notion that first-borns are overachievers.
Father Mike was one of those extraordinary individuals who recognized his calling at an early age. At the celebration of the 40th anniversary of his ordination, he recalled his First Communion. If the first one was this good, he reasoned, the second and all subsequent celebrations of the Eucharist would be even better. And so it was.
His formal education in preparation for his life’s work was extensive. He attended St. Simon Elementary School in Washington, graduating with the class in 1963. He began his formal training for the priesthood at Magister Noster Latin School in Evansville, receiving his diploma in 1967. He went on to attend St. Meinrad Seminary, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1971.
Upon nomination of Bishop Shea, he was accepted as a student in the Canisianum in Innsbruck, Austria to pursue his theological studies. He entered the Canisianum in the fall of 1971, and as was his wont, excelled. He returned to the states only once during his four year tenure. He received his theology degree in July, 1975.
Late in 1974, he had petitioned Bishop Shea to be accepted as a candidate for the priesthood in the Diocese of Evansville. His petition was granted and he was ordained on August 22, 1975 at a ceremony officiated by Bishop Francis Shea at St. Simon Catholic Church in Washington.
His first diocesan assignment was associate pastor at St. Wendel in Evansville. Simultaneously, he served as assistant to the Officialis, Diocesan Tribunal. His first pastoral assignment was at St. James in Haubstadt, a position he held for thirteen years. Other stops along the way included Holy Spirit in Evansville, St. Matthew in Mt. Vernon, Holy Name in Bloomfield, St. Peter in Linton and finally St. Anthony in St. Anthony, Indiana.
His duties were not limited to traditional parish work. Early in his career he served as a part time teacher at Reitz Memorial High School. Later he was appointed Dean of the Princeton Deanery. He served at least three stints as a member of the Diocesan College of Consultors.
One of his notable achievements was spearheading the construction of a sorely needed addition to St. James Elementary School. Through his persistence (yes, some might even say brow-beating) he succeeded in securing the necessary funding. When informed at the dedication by members of the Parish Council that the addition was to be named after him, he objected, insisting that buildings and other structures are typically named after dead people. The council was unmoved, apparently reasoning that we’ll all be dead people eventually. Today, Madden Hall stands in Haubstadt as a testament to his persistence.
His mind was complex, but his philosophy was simple. All things are done in the service of God.
Father Mike leaves behind his mother, Helena Madden of Washington; two brothers Dennis (Janice) Madden of Bloomington and James Madden of Valparaiso; two sisters Kathleen (Mike) Burns of Columbus and Rebecca (Roy) Anderson of Huntley, IL; six nieces; one nephew; three grandnieces and one grandnephew.
He is preceded in death by his father, Bernard J. Madden and one brother J. Christopher Madden.
His life’s work complete, he is at rest in the presence of God. His family and friends mourn his passing.
The family will receive visitors at Ed Lee Mortuary North Chapel in Washington on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 11:00 am at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church. His Excellency, The Most Reverend Joseph M. Sigel, Bishop of Evansville, will be the celebrant. His remains will be interred at St. John Cemetery, Priest’s Circle, in Washington.
Condolences can be sent to the family online at www.edleemortuary.com. All arrangements were entrusted to Ed Lee Mortuary.