Staff Member: Fr. Ward Stakem
Fr. Ward Stakem
I am a native of Cumberland, MD born in 1945. My family stayed there until 1952, when we moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico. Our stay there was for five years before we moved back east to Frostburg, MD in 1957. It was in 1959, that I began by studies at St. Fidelis High School Seminary in Herman, Pa. My years at St. Fidelis would take me through a high school graduation and the first two years of college. In 1965, I entered our Capuchin novitiate in Annapolis, MD. The year there was spent in preparation to enter the Capuchin Order the Province of St. Augustine which I did by making first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in July of 1966. From the novitiate I made my way back to St. Fidelis College to complete my college education in 1968. From there I traveled to our house of studies – Capuchin College – in Washington, DC. During my years there I would take my final vows as a Capuchin and completed my formal theological studies in 1972, with a Masters Degree in theology. From here I went to my first assignment as a religion teacher at Thomas More Prep High School in Hays, KS. After one year at Thomas More Prep I returned to St. Fidelis Seminary in 1974, and here I would remain until July, 1978, when I was ordained to the priesthood in St. Fidelis Seminary chapel.
Soon after my ordination I was asked to go to St. Alphonsus Parish in Wheeling, WV as the associate pastor. It was only a year later in 1979, that I was asked to go to Dover, OH as an associate pastor. In 1980, I was asked to be the guardian and director of formation at Capuchin College in Washington , DC. It was during this assignment that I was commissioned as an officer and chaplain in the United States Air Force Reserve. This military duty I fulfilled with my province assignments until my retirement in 2003. I also received a masters degree in pastoral counseling from Loyola College in Baltimore, MD during this time.
My assignment at Capuchin College lasted until 1987, when I was made pastor and guardian of St. Martin parish in Baltimore, MD. From here I would return to Pittsburgh, PA as the vocation director for the province. This assignment would take me to 1995, where upon I became the pastor and guardian at St. Cecilia parish in Rochester, PA. After 13 years at St. Cecilia Parish I was assigned in 2008, as pastor and guardian of both St. Mary Parish in Herman, PA and St. Joseph Parish in Cabot, PA. It is here that I presently minister.
During these many years and varied assignments I have been blessed with good friars to live with and gifted people to minister to and journey with. I have and still do to a lesser extent enjoy participating in various sports: golf, tennis and basketball. I enjoy nature and plant care and growth.