Rev. David F. Stokes, S.J., 78, died on September 24, 2009 in Sebring, Florida. He was a Jesuit for 59 years and a priest for 46 years.
Father David Stokes, son of Francis De Sales Stokes and Mary E. Maloney, was born in Philadelphia, PA on June 18, 1931. After graduation from St. Joseph's Prep and a year of study at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, he entered the Society of Jesus at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues, Wernersville, PA on September 7, 1950. Here, he pronounced his First Vows on September 8, 1952 and pursued Juniorate (College) studies from 1952 to 1954. Following the study of philosophy at Bellarmine College, Plattsburgh, NY from 1954 to 1955 and Loyola Seminary, Shrub Oak, NY from 1955 to 1957, as a Jesuit Scholastic, Father Stokes taught English, French and Religion from 1957 to 1960 at Georgetown Prep, North Bethesda, MD.
Father Stokes pursued theological studies at the Seminaire Des Missions, Lyons, France from 1960 to 1962 and Woodstock College in Maryland from 1962 to 1964, where he was ordained to the priesthood by Lawrence Cardinal Sheehan, Archbishop of Baltimore, on June 16, 1963. He completed his Tertianship at Saint-Jerome, Canada from 1964 to 1965 and made his Final Profession in the Society of Jesus at Casa Pedro Claver, Philadelphia, PA on September 8, 1979.
After a year of graduate studies at Boston College where he received a Master's degree in French, Father Stokes began his priestly ministry as Minister of the Jesuit Community and teacher of Latin and French at Scranton Prep, Scranton, PA from 1966 to 1970. He then served as assistant prefect of student personnel and teacher of French at Loyola Blakefield High School, Towson, MD from 1970 to 1974 and a teacher of French at St. Joseph's Prep in Philadelphia, PA from 1974 until 1977.
Appointed Superior of Casa Pedro Claver and Associate Pastor of St. Bonaventure's Church, Philadelphia, PA from 1977 to 1980, Father Stokes worked in the Hispanic apostolate, a ministry in which he served for more than twenty-five years as Parish Administrator at Holy Name Church, Camden, NJ (1980-83), Parochial Vicar at St. Veronica's Church in Philadelphia, PA (1983-88), Parochial Vicar, Coordinator of Spanish candidates for the diaconate, Counselor for Youth Encounter and teacher of Spanish for the archdiocesan seminary at Visitation Church in Philadelphia (1988-90) and the Spanish Apostolate at the Hispanic Center Vineland, NJ (1990-96).
In 1996, Father Stokes was appointed Pastor at Sacred Heart Church and in 1999, Superior at Rutilio Grande House in Richmond, VA until 2007 when he was sent to engage in the Hispanic ministry at St. Catherine's Church, Sebring, Florida, where he lived and worked until his death.
Visitation 5-8 pm, Monday, September 28th at St. Catherine Catholic Church. A Mass will be celebrated 12 noon at St. Catherines on Tuesday, September 29th. Further services and burial will be in Lower Heidelberg Twsp, PA. Memorials are requested to St. Catherine's School. Facts
Born: June 18, 1931
Death: September 24, 2009
Occupation: Roman Catholic Priest
Organizations: Society of Jesus Survived By
Celia Cooper, Sister
Miriam Whitaker, Sister
Philip Stokes, Brother Preceded In Death By
Francis de S. Stokes, Father
Mary E. (Maloney) Stokes, Mother