FAIRHAVEN, Mass. — Father Stanley J. Kolasa, SS.CC., a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts-United States Province, passed away December 2, at Damien Residence in Fairhaven surrounded by his SS.CC. family. An integral part of the community, Father Stan was a member of the first provincial government following the merger of the U.S. East and Hawaii Provinces in 2011, and served as vicar provincial until last month when his illness forced him to resign from that position.
Father Stan, who celebrated his 74th birthday on October 20, was born to Stanley and Anna (Pandolfo) Kolasa in Brooklyn N.Y. in 1942. Predeceased by his parents and his only brother, Father Stan leaves no surviving relatives, but always considered all his parishioners as his family wherever he was.
He entered the novitiate of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts in 1963 in Wareham at the age of 20. Professing his first vows on Aug. 22, 1964, he was ordained a priest on April 3, 1970 at St. Mary’s Church in Fairhaven.
Following studies at Sacred Hearts Seminary in Washington, D.C., Father Stan was assigned to teach at St. Mary’s College in Winona, Minn., in 1971. In 1972 he was assigned as parochial vicar at Holy Redeemer Parish in Chatham for two years, prior to entering Notre Dame University for further graduate studies.
Returning to Cape Cod, he served as parochial vicar at Holy Trinity in West Harwich for four years, before being assigned as pastor at St. Anthony Parish in Mattapoisett from 1984 to 1988.
In 1988, Father Stan traveled to the Bahamas where he became pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Nassau for two years before becoming pastor of the Catholic Communities in the SS.CC. Mission on the Island of Abaco, where he served the people there for 12 years. Recalling that as one of his most special assignments, he often reflected on how much love the Bahamian people gave, not only to him, but to his mother Anna, who lived with him there for a short time before her death.
Returning to Massachusetts, he was assigned as pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in New Bedford. He remained there for six years until he was made director of the Sacred Hearts Spirituality Center in Wareham in 2008, a position in which he continued to serve until his death.
Father Stan wore many hats during his life in the Sacred Hearts Community. An eloquent preacher, he was often called upon for parish celebrations and retreats and was sought after amongst the Sacred Hearts provinces world-wide to be their retreat master. In addition to his responsibilities as director of the Retreat Center, he also served as pre-Novitiate director and as Development director for the United States Province for several years.
An avid and accomplished artist, Father Stan’s paintings now represent another part of his legacy, gracing the walls not only of the Retreat Center but in the homes of so many friends and admirers. He loved painting, loved the SS.CC. community, loved being a priest, and loved the Church but most of all he loved God and strove to live his life exemplifying that in his love for others.
Burial in the Sacred Hearts Cemetery in Fairhaven will take place at a later date.
Funeral arrangements were being made through Saunders-Dwyer Funeral Homes in New Bedford.