Rev. Thomas Herbert Stahel
Jacob Schoen & Son Funeral Home
3827 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA
Stahel, the Rev. Thomas Herbert The Rev. Thomas Herbert Stahel, S.J., a member of the Jesuits of the New Orleans Province, died at 5 a.m. Thursday, July 6, 2006, at Ignatius Residence in New Orleans. He was 68 years of age, a Jesuit for 46 years and a priest for 35 years. Born in New Orleans, Rev. Stahel attended elementary and secondary schools in Greenwood, Miss. He graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in 1959 with a bachelor of science degree followed by a master's degree from Yale University in 1960. He joined the Society of Jesus College in Grand Coteau on Aug. 14, 1961. Following his philosophy studies at Bellarmine College in St. Louis, he continued his education at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, receiving a Ph.D. in English in 1968. He was ordained a priest on June 4, 1971, at Jesuit High School Chapel in New Orleans, after completing his theology studies at Woodstock College in Maryland and New York. Following his ordination, Rev. Stahel was the managing editor for America Magazine from 1972 to 1977. He then answered the call of Rev. Arrupe and became the provincial of the New Orleans Province from 1977 to 1983. He then became the novitiate socius in Paraguay from 1983 to 1985. From 1985 to 1988, he returned to America Magazine as the associate editor and again from 1989 to 1994 as the executive editor. He worked with the novices as the assistant director and then the novice master in Nigeria, Africa, from 1995 to 1999. Rev. Stahel then returned to the New Orleans Province as the provincial socius from 2000 to 2004. His last assignment was as pastor of the two Jesuit parishes in New Orleans, the Church of the Immaculate Conception and Holy Name of Jesus Church. In September 2005, he began medical treatments in New York City for the cancer which eventually brought him back to Ignatius Residence, where he died. Survivors include his brother, Henry C. Stahel of New Orleans; and his sister, Mary Nancy Fontenot of Baton Rouge. His parents, Helen Byrne Stahel and Harry F. Stahel, preceded him in death. Visitation will be at the Church of the Immaculate Conception (Jesuit), 130 Baronne St., New Orleans, on Sunday, July 9, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with a wake service held at 5:30 p.m. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 6367 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, on Monday, July 10, at 10 a.m., with visitation at Holy Name of Jesus Church after 9 a.m. Interment will follow at 3 p.m. in the Jesuit Cemetery, Grand Coteau. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Jesuit Seminary Fund or Retirement Fund, 710 Baronne St., Suite B, New Orleans, LA 70113, are preferred. Arrangements by Jacob Schoen and Son Funeral Home. Guest book may be signed on line at
Published by The Advocate on Jul. 8, 2006.
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11 Entries
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
Ruth Macnamara
August 1, 2006
I was a student at Spring Hill College in Mobile in the late 80's and met Fr. Stahel during his brief stay there. He enjoyed singing tenor in the college chorus for which I was also tenor and occasional accompanist. We became friends and kept in touch over the years. My wife and I visited him both in NYC during the America years and in New Orleans after his return from Africa. I was quite fond of him and had such admiration for his dedication to the Jesuit life. I think Fr. Laboon summed it up best - "gentleness and brilliance". He was so soft spoken and kind, yet quick witted, well read and scary smart.

God bless you, Tom Stahel. You touched many lives. I have no doubt Ignatius is proud of such an exemplary Jesuit life.
Patrick Forrest
July 30, 2006
The most courageous priest I ever knew. And one of the few priests, my mother always Father Stahel.AFter all, he was the provincial.
Philip Postell
July 11, 2006
My deepest sympathy to the family of Father Stahl and to the Jesuit Family. Your loss is great. I knew him but a short time but was impressed by all his virtues including his gentleness and hisbrilliance.I will offer Mass for Father on 7-11-06 at 6:30 pm EST. May his soul rest in peace.
Fr. Joseph Laboon
July 10, 2006
God bless you, Father Stahel !!!
Dolly Dicken
July 10, 2006
I had the opportunity to visit with Tommy for an extended talk perhaps 20 years ago. We talked as first cousins, discussing the family. It was a pleasure to see Tommy's complex character and his goodness. I will always be grateful for that unexpected and special meeting. My wife Kay and I convey our deepest sympathy to all of Tommy's family and friends. With Warmest Regards, Edward and Kay
Edward Ernest Stahel, Jr.
July 10, 2006


July 10, 2006
Please accept our deepest sympathies.
Joe & Deanna Zachary
July 9, 2006
I am Mary Jo Stahel Mason, daugher of Edward E. Stahel, Sr. My brother, Edward Jr., just called me to tell me about Tommy. I very much regret that I never had the opportunity to know him, but certainly knew that he was a Jesuit priest and pastor of Holy Name of Jesus. During part of the summertime in Tuscaloosa, AL, a priest would come from New Orleans to fill in for our priest when he would go on a long vacation. I would ask them about Tommy and all of them over the years would have wonderful things to say about him.

In 1963 I married John Mason from N.O. also. We are both graduates of LSU. My husband has been a Professor in the School of Accountancy at the University of Alabama for 38 years. I am a co-owner of a real estate co. (28 years). We have 3 sons and 8 grandchildren.

My thoughts and prayers are with all the Stahel family at this difficult time.

With Warmest Regards,

Mary Jo
Mary Jo Stahel Mason
July 9, 2006
We send our love and prayers to everyone.

Erin, Kathy & Dennis Brady
Erin Brady
July 9, 2006
When Father Stahel first came to Jesuit he made everyone feel so welcome. His warm personality and friendly smile will be greatly missed. He was such a wonderful, intelligent man. His sermons made you sit up and listen. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family. I know he is looking down and smiling while saying a special prayer for all us. God bless you Father Stahel you will be greatly missed.
Debbie & Gus Stansbury
July 9, 2006
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