Fr. Bede Bradley (1909-1971)


St. Malachy’s Parish, Creston, Iowa, a parish attended by the abbey community, sent Father Bede.  He made his first profession July 11, 1931, finished his philosophical studies at Sant’Anselmo, Rome, and after doing theology as well, was ordained July 12, 1936. 

When he returned to Atchison, he was assigned to Maur Hill School and did a Masters in Speech and Drama during summer sessions at Iowa State University.  He was headmaster at Maur Hill, 1944-47.  In 1947 he returned to the abbey to assume the Chair of the Department of Speech and Drama at St. Benedict’s College.  Father Bede held that position until 1968 when he became ill.  He was Dean of Men at St. Benedict’s, 1961-62.  He and Father Anselm teamed up to create the very successful Twin College Players in collaboration with Mount Saint Scholastica College and Sister Eileen Eagan, OSB.

Father Bede also taught homiletics to groups of clerics after the death of Father Isidore Smith.  He praised and criticized evenly it seemed.  One cleric, scared to his very soul and nervously finished with his first homily was told that he reminded Father Bede of a local rural pastor’s speaking style.  The cleric asked,  “What kind of style?”   The reply, “ Dead!”  That cleric did improve many years later.

Once in The Rambler, the College paper, there was a line like this, “If Father Bede passes you by without speaking or returning your greeting, do not be disturbed.  He is just thinking.”