Father Michael Reder

August Reder, Sr. and Emilia Gross
  Father Michael Reder

August Reder, Jr. was born August 30, 1897, and was better known to the family later as Father Michael. It isn't clear whether Michael was his middle name at birth or assigned when he joined the Capucians. His parents were August Reder, Sr. and Emilia Gross.

As Father Michael told it, after his fathers death, his mother had difficulty caring for Frank, Anna, and August/Michael. She voluntarily put Michael into the care of the Capucian Monastery school in Yonkers, NY. At that time, the monks were a cloistered order, with very limited contact with the outside world.

When he reached the age where he would have been permitted to leave, he decided to stay and become a priest within the order.

In 1920, he was at St. Anthony's monastary in Marathon, Wisconsin, and in 1930, he was at St. Bonaventures monastary in Detroit.

William Jude Schmitt remembers visiting him and speaking to him through a screen. Sometime in the late 1960's, restrictions on contact with the outside world were loosened and the members of the Capucian community were permitted to leave the monastery. The community reached out to locate relatives of Father Michael, and found only William August Schmitt, his second cousin. From that time until his death, he was a frequent guest of William and his family.

Father Michael was very hard of hearing. As a result, the conversations that he had with William August Schmitt, who was deaf in one ear, could be quite interesting, with each of them carrying on what was apparently a separate conversation. Father Michael also bore an uncanny resemblence to Colonel Sanders, of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, and he accepted comments about that fact with good humor.

When William August Schmitt died, in 1973, Father Michael officiated at the funeral mass.

Father Michael died on November 4, 1974 at the Capucian Monastery in Yonkers, NY, and is buried in the monastery cemetery.


Related Families Contact: Bill Schmitt