Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 22, 2002
Franciscan Fr. Stack dies of cancer at 67
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Franciscan Father Paul Stack was a quiet, gentle and helpful man who made everybody around him comfortable.
He had an ability to listen and became a consoling presence to many people in Western Canada.
Because of his warm hugs and gentle disposition, many referred to him as "our big Teddy Bear."
Stack, a Franciscan priest for 44 years, died of cancer at Edmonton General Hospital Continuing Care Centre on the morning of April 9. He was 67.
"He was quite an unassuming man, certainly no pretension about him," recalls Father Robert Mokry, the superior of the Franciscans, who presided at Stack's funeral Mass April 12.
"He was also a quiet, gentle man who was quite helpful in many ways to an awful lot of people at St. Francis Parish. He certainly had a great ability to listen and was able to be a consolation to people in their difficulties."
Born in Meadow Lake, Sask. Sept. 11, 1934, Stack, his parents and three sisters moved to Edmonton while he was a young boy.
As his academic excellence and his commitment to the faith were nourished, he decided to continue his philosophical studies at St. Anthony's College and to seek admission to the Franciscan Order.
He entered the order in 1952 and made his first profession in Sherbrooke, Que. in 1955. He continued his Franciscan formation and theological studies in Montreal where in August 1958, he vowed to be a Friar Minor in the Western Canadian Custody of Christ the King.
He was ordained a priest at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Edmonton, where he began and finished his Franciscan life and ministry. Since 1975, he also served as spiritual director of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter movement, a movement aimed at enriching married couples' relationships.
Joe Jozic, a member of the movement's board, said Stack could have attended well over 200 Marriage Encounter weekends. "We'll remember him as a very kind, warm person that would go to any length for you."
His wife Helen added: "We in the Marriage Encounter community would always call him our big Teddy Bear. He was a very warm, gentle person who was quick to give us hugs and talk to us if we had any problems. We will miss him greatly."