Oil Dedicated to Blessed Stanly Rother (Missionary Priest)
Blessed Stanly Rother was an American Roman Catholic priest from Oklahoma who was murdered in Guatemala.
Following consultation with his local bishop Victor Reed, Rother attended Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland from which he graduated in 1963. Bishop Reed ordained him to the priesthood on May 25, 1963. Rother served as an associate pastor in various parishes around Oklahoma: Saint William in Durant, Saint Francis Xavier and the Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa, and Corpus Christi in Oklahoma City. In 1968 – at his request – he assigned to the mission of the archdiocese to the Tz’utujil people (also spelled Tz’utuhil) located in Santiago Atitlán in the rural highlands of southwest Guatemala. While he at Corpus Christi, he had learned a priest needed in Guatemala and so applied and accepted by Reed in 1968.
So that Rother could be in closer touch with his congregation. He set out to work to learn Spanish and the Tz’utujil language. Which was an unwritten and indigenous language that the missionary Ramón Carlín once recorded. He served in Santiago Atitlán from 1968 until his death. He supported a radio station located on the mission property, which transmitted daily lessons in language and mathematics.
By 1975, Rother had become the de facto leader of the Oklahoma-sponsored mission effort in Guatemala. As other religious and lay supporters rotated out of the program. He was a highly recognizable figure in the community. Owing to his light complexion as well as his habit of smoking tobacco in a pipe. Since there was not a Tz’utujil name equivalent to “Stanley. The people of Rother’s mission affectionately called him “Padre Apla’s,” translated as “Father Francis,” a nod to his middle name.