Fr. Michael G. Madden
Father Madden, who counseled individuals and families through periods of crisis, died in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue.The cause of death was congestive heart failure, his sister, Kathleen Hedrick, said.Father Madden served in nearly a dozen churches throughout northwest Ohio during his career, which spanned more than 40 years and continued even after his official retirement in 1999.Most recently, he was a priest in residence at St. Patrick of Heatherdowns in South Toledo. Prior to settling there in 1997, Father Madden was pastor for 12 years of the Community of the Risen Christ in downtown Toledo.In the latter half of the 1990s, Father Madden served as chaplain and crisis counselor at what was then the Medical College of Ohio, his sister said. He was on-call at all hours of the day and night to give comfort to those whose loved ones had fallen victim to accidents, illness, or death.He was known as a good listener, and helping others through hardship and grief was his strong suit, Mrs. Hedrick said. Father Madden was certified in clinical pastoral education, and his specialties included suicide prevention, marriage, and family counseling.He learned early on in the priesthood that he was very good with counseling," his sister said.Father Madden was a peer minister during the 1990s for Retrouvaille of Northwest Ohio, a program for couples with troubled marriages. Laurie Pacer, who worked with Father Madden as a fellow peer minister, said he was considered "a treasure" by colleagues.He was known especially for his sense of humor, Mrs. Pacer said. "He was called the 'guru of fun.'GÇó"Father Madden was born in Sandusky and graduated in 1955 from Central Catholic High School in Toledo, where he was a catcher on the baseball team.His sister said that even as a young child, he told family members that he would someday enter the priesthood.He never really wanted to be anything else but a priest," she said.He entered the Saint Meinrad Seminary College in St. Meinrad, Ind., and finished his studies at Mount St. Mary's Seminary, Cincinnati, in 1962, the year he was ordained. He later received a master's degree in education from Xavier University, Cincinnati, in 1963.Father Madden went on to serve for various periods as an assistant, associate, or full-time pastor at churches including St. Rose Catholic Church, Lima; Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Toledo; St. Catherine Church, Toledo, and Holy Angels Parish, Sandusky.He also served as chaplain of Siena Heights College, Adrian, Mich., and at the St. Bernadine Home in Fremont.Surviving is his sister, Kathleen Hedrick.The family suggests tributes to the Catholic Diocese of Toledo's priest retirement fund or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.Information obtained from the Toledo Blade online, www.toledoblade.com"