Father Michael Bass, 63, died Jan. 1

Published: January 5, 2024

“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 7:17)

Father Michael Edmond Bass, 63, who served parishes across Arkansas, died Jan. 1. He was born Aug. 23, 1960, in Little Rock to the late Margaret Ann Lockhart and the late Samuel A. Bass. He converted to the Catholic Church when he was 18. 

He began his seminary formation at St. Meinrad College Seminary in St. Meinrad, Ind., graduating with a bachelor’s degree in classics. After graduation, Father Bass continued his formation at St. Mary Seminary University in Baltimore, where he earned a baccalaureate in sacred theology and a masters of divinity. Bishop Andrew J. McDonald ordained Father Bass to the priesthood Aug. 8, 1987, at the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Little Rock.

Through the years, he served the parishes of Immaculate Conception in Fort Smith, St. John the Baptist and St. Mary of the Springs in Hot Springs, Immaculate Conception in North Little Rock, St. Theresa and Christ the King in Little Rock, St. Raphael in Springdale, St. Joseph in Tontitown, St. Paul the Apostle in Pocahontas, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Walnut Ridge and Our Lady of Fatima in Benton.

Father Bass also cared for the spiritual needs of the Spanish-speaking parishioners of St. Rose of Lima in Carlisle and celebrated the Mass for the Latin Mass community in northern Arkansas. In addition to his parish work, he collaborated in diocesan leadership as a dean, diocesan chaplain for the Catholic Daughters of America, and served terms on the Clergy Welfare Board and Clergy Personnel Board. 

He is survived by one sister, Sandra Holland; and two stepbrothers, Sam Lingo and Billy Carl Lingo.

A vigil service and rosary will be celebrated at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Benton Tuesday, Jan. 9 at 6 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 10 a.m., also at Our Lady of Fatima Church. Entombment will be at Calvary Cemetery in Little Rock following Mass. 

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon him. And may he and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.