Published October 4, 2018
ATLANTA—Father Michael J. Redden, a native of Ireland and a senior priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, died Sept. 25. He was 72.
Born in Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland, on Dec. 9, 1945, he was the son of the late John and Alice (Healy) Redden and the oldest of three children. He was educated at St. Molaise’s School and entered St. Patrick’s Seminary in Thurles, County Tipperary, as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was ordained a priest on June 10, 1972, in Ireland and received his first assignment at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Decatur.
From 1972 to 1984, he also served as parochial vicar at St. Jude the Apostle Church, Sandy Springs; Holy Family Church, Marietta; St. Mary Church, Rome; and All Saints Church, Dunwoody. He became pastor of Queen of Angels Church, Thomson, beginning in 1984. Father Redden also led the following parishes as pastor over the years up to 2007: St. Augustine Church, Covington; St. James Mission, Madison; St. Gerard Majella Church, Fort Oglethorpe; and Our Lady of La Salette Church, Canton. As founding pastor of St. James Mission, dedicated in 1995, he designed the church’s altar, built in marble by James Stack, brother to Msgr. Dan Stack.
Early in his ministry, he served as an assistant chaplain to the Georgia Association of Police Chiefs, alongside the late Msgr. R. Donald Kiernan, who was chaplain. Father Redden also served as volunteer chaplain to the Atlanta Bureau of Police and the Fulton County Police.
Just after he was ordained, Father Redden wrote a column for The Georgia Bulletin about becoming a priest. He said, “A priest must be above all a man of prayer. Prayer helps him to come closer to God, know God and have faith in God. Knowledge of God and faith are very necessary. You cannot be a good priest if you do not pray. You cannot help people to have faith, hope and love if your own faith, hope and love does not compel you to pray. To bring God to people you must be in living contact with Him. Prayer is a necessary part of that effort.”
Father Redden is survived by his siblings, Peter Redden and Annie Farrell, both of Ireland.
The funeral Mass was to be celebrated by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory on Thursday, Oct. 4, at St. Jude. Interment followed the Mass at Arlington Memorial Park.
Donations in Father Redden’s memory may be made to Archdiocese of Atlanta, Priest Retirement Fund, 2401 Lake Park Drive, SE, Smyrna, GA 30080 or online at https://archatl.com/offices/stewardship/make-a-gift/.