Father Stan went to North Walpole Elijah Keef School, then to John Kilbert Junior High, attended North Walpole High School for his freshman and sophomore years and Bellows Falls High School for his junior and senior years.
Having been called to the religious life, he attended St. Mary College in Orchard Lake, MI, and St. Mary Seminary School in Baltimore, MD. He was ordained on May 19,1951. St. Roselima in Littleton was fortunate to receive him from May 25, 1951, to June 15, 1952. He then brought his services to St. Paul’s in Franklin from 1952 to 1960; St. Hedwig’s in Manchester from 1960 to 1963; and St. Michael’s in Exeter from 1963 to 1965. His calling finally brought him to St. Joseph’s Church in Claremont on September 7, 1965.
Father Stan found the church in disrepair and in debt. But he was determined to make it one of the best little churches in New Hampshire. Along the journey, he gained respect and love of Claremonters. His church was full every Saturday night and Sunday morning, and his parishioners knew he was available to them at any hour. Daily, Father Stan made rounds at the hospitals and nursing homes, Catholic or not, he gave blessings and a handful of Tootsie Rolls. Everyone attended the lawn and turkey parties at St Joseph’s. Father used these fundraisers to repair the church to its present-day status.
Helping where he could in Claremont, he found himself involved in several organizations and societies, including board member for Valley Regional hospital, Chaplain of the Claremont Fire Department for 38 years, supporter of the Claremont Opera House, Board of Directors of Claremont Senior Center, Knights of Columbus, Assembly 0635, 56 years as Faithful Friar, Chaplain to the Junior Catholic Daughters for 37 years, and worked with Alcoholics Anonymous and AARP. He was also a principal sponsor of St. Joseph’s Sports Night. He was honored in 2000 as the Citizen of the Year.
Father Stan retired in 2008, after 43 years at St. Joseph’s and 57 years in the priesthood. He stated, “I’ve been working 57 years. It’s time to relax and take it easy.”
He took up residence in his own apartment in the home of Ron and Marilyn Gilbert until January 5, 2017, when he moved to the Bishop Peterson Residence in Manchester.
Father Stan continued to say Mass every day. He also loved watching the Red Sox and Patriots games. He kept an interest in St. Joseph’s and Claremont news. Father also said Mass at Elmwood. And yes, the Tootsie Rolls were still everywhere, and blessings were bountiful.
Father Stan leaves Deacon John Blicharz and his wife, Jane, their children, Stephanie Blicharz, Timothy Blicharz and his wife, Amanda, all of Boston and all of the citizens of Claremont and beyond who loved and respected his kindness, humbleness, generosity and love.
On Thursday, March 22nd at 2 PM the Right of Reception of the Body will take place at St. Joseph Church. He will lie in Repose until 7 PM. Beginning at 7 PM The Mass of Jesus Christ High Priest will be celebrated.
On Friday, March 23rd beginning at 8 AM the body will lie in Repose until 11 AM. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 AM by Bishop Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester. Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery.
Donations may be made in his memory to the Felician Sisters, C/O Mary Laureann, 1315 Enfield Street, Enfield, CT 06082.
We will miss “our” Tootsie Roll Priest, but he is happy with God and will forever be in our hearts.
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