|Fr Michael Bader Scholarship
About the Scholarship
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The Rev. Michael J. Bader originally hailed from Michigan and was a WW II veteran serving as a Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy. He came to the Priesthood later in life following his retirement from a decades long Accounting career in Michigan, New York and Virginia. He attended the Theological College of Washington DC and was ordained in May 1989, one month shy of his 63rd birthday. He was assigned as associate pastor of St. Jerome Roman Catholic Church in Denbigh, VA a parish of nearly 1,300 families at that time. He loved the Church and what he did and found in this second career the peace and contentment he sought all his life. He also served as chairman of the Richmond Diocese Pastoral Council.
As a seminarian, prior to his ordination, he served in Catholic parishes in Wytheville, Hopewell, and Richmond, VA. Fr. Bader died suddenly April 5th , 1992, after suffering from a heart attack that struck while he was attending a gathering at a Charlottesville church. He was 65 years old. The priest was special “in his way with people and his love of God,” “He was a sharing person, He will be missed.” said the Rev. Jim Ditty, associate pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, and a homilist during Fr. Bader’s funeral mass. Before he entered the Theological College in Washington, D.C., Fr. Bader had been active in the church as a layman. He was so involved in his Danville parish he often unlocked the church doors in the morning.
Father Bader was a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus who fully shared the vision of the Order’s founder, the Blessed Michael McGivney. Like Fr. McGivney, Fr. Bader lived the Orders Principles
daily. For the three years prior to his death, Rev. Bader served as the much-loved Chaplain for Walter Pollard Council 5480 of the Knights of Columbus in Newport News. In 1993 the Walter Pollard Council donated $5,000 to the Virginia State Council’s Scholarship program in the name and memory of Fr. Bader. In 1994, Virginia State Council resolution 94-03 formerly modified its By-laws and established the state’s scholarship program as the Rev Michael J. Bader Memorial Scholarship program. The program has made scholarship awards every year since.
In May 1996 Fr. Bader was further memorialized by Virginia Knights when the Fr. Michael J. Bader Assembly 2430 of the Fourth Degree was chartered. In May 2021 the Virginia State Council passed resolution 2021-10 that re-committed the State Council to the Scholarship and refined, clarified, and expanded program details superseding resolution 94-03.