FORMER Horsham Catholic parish priest Father Frank Madden has died age 90.
Catholic Diocese of Ballarat Vicar General Justin Driscoll said Fr Madden passed away on Thursday night in Koroit, where he had been living in retirement.
“Fr Madden turned 90 in November last year,” Fr Driscoll said.
“He was a very highly regarded priest and he was a wise mentor and a source of sound advice to many.
“He was well-known to many in Horsham and across the Ballarat Diocese. A lot of people in the Wimmera would know him from his 15 years there.”
Fr Madden served as Horsham’s Parish priest from June 1982 to April 1997 before moving on to Penshurst and retired as a priest in September 2011.
He was ordained as a priest in 1963 and served as Ballarat Diocese’s Vicar General from 1971 to 1976.
Fr Madden joined with other current and former Horsham priests for Ss Michael and John's Catholic Church’s 25th anniversary in 2012.
Fr Driscoll said the diocese would hold a funeral mass for Fr Madden at Infant Jesus Catholic Church, Queen Street, Koroit on April 27 at 10:30am.
Fr Madden will be buried at Tower Hill Cemetery.
Fr Madden was the priest in charge of Horsham parish when notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale was sent to the Wimmera between July 1986 and June 1988.
Ridsdale has been convicted of dozens of historical child sexual abuse charges against 53 victims in Ballarat and the wider diocese, which covers western Victoria.
Fr Madden appeared at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2015.
Fr Madden accepted that he must take some responsibility for reshuffling of Ridsdale between locations and the devastation caused to people.