The Rev. Ben Bachmeier, 82, Priest of the Diocese of Fargo, passed away Monday, February 15, 2021 in Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, CA.
Adam Benhart “Ben” Bachmeier was born August 21, 1938 on a farm near Balfour, ND. He was the twelfth living child of Ignatius and Ethel (Lauinger) Bachmeier. He lived with his family on various farms until the age of six when the family moved to Towner, ND. He was raised in Towner and graduated from Towner High School in 1957. During grades 7- 12, he worked in the newspaper office of the Mouse River Farmer’s Press. Also, he delivered the weekly paper, Grit, assisted at the local Super Value Grocery Store and placed billboard listings for the local theater.
Following high school, Ben enrolled at the University of North Dakota, where he majored in Journalism. He worked at the University Press and served as sports editor and then editor of the student newspaper, The Dakota Student. His publications received an All-American rating from the National Association of Student Publications. He was a member of Sigma Delta Chi Fraternity, Journalism Society, and was named to Blue Key, honorary society.
Upon graduation from UND in 1961, he accepted a position as acting Director of the Bureau of News and Information at UND. When the director returned a year later following a sabbatical, Ben became the first news editor of the Bureau. He was employed there until January 1963 when he began his studies for the Roman Catholic priesthood, enrolling at Loyola University, Chicago, for a semester of accelerated Latin Studies. In the fall of 1963, he entered St. John’s Seminary, Collegeville, MN. He was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest for the Diocese of Fargo on June 9, 1968 at his home parish of St. Cecilia at Towner, ND.
Fr. Bachmeier served as an associate pastor of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo, ND from 1968 to 1972. While there he also was the editor of the diocesan newspaper, Catholic Action News, for a year. He was transferred to St. Alphonsus Parish, Langdon, ND and served there for a year before being named pastor of St. Francis Parish, Marion, ND, and Assumption Parish, Dickey, ND. In February 1979, he was called to be pastor of Holy Family Parish Grand Forks, ND. While there he supervised the building of the parish’s first church, completed in 1983. In 1991, he moved to Enderlin, ND to serve St. Patrick’s Parish with missions at Alice, ND and Sheldon, ND.
In 1992, he received a leave of absence from the Diocese of Fargo to serve as a priest chaplain at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, CA. He served there until his retirement in March 2004. He continued to be a priest on-call at Mercy Hospital and Naval Medical Center. He assisted in various parishes and officiated at numerous weddings, primarily at the Immaculata and Founders Chapel on the University of San Diego campus.
He was a committed Democrat and strong advocate of Vatican II Council changes in the Catholic Church.
He is survived by his nieces and nephews, Priests of the Diocese of Fargo and many friends.
Fr. Bachmeier was preceded in death by his parents, 6 brothers, and 5 sisters.
Mass of Christian Burial: 11:00 a.m. Monday, March 1, 2021 in Holy Family Catholic Church, Grand Forks, ND.
Visitation: 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Sunday with a 5:00 p.m. vigil service in Holy Family Catholic Church. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the liturgy in the church on Monday.
Burial: In the spring at Calvary South Cemetery, Grand Forks, ND.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, masks and social distancing will be required during the visitation and funeral.
To view the live stream funeral liturgy, please visit www.holyfamilygf.org
The online memorial registry may be signed at www.normanfuneral.com
(The Historic Norman Funeral Home, Grand Forks, ND)