FATHER Alberic Stacpoole, pictured left, Benedictine monk of Ampleforth Abbey and prolific author and correspondent, has died at the age of 81.
A native of Belfast, Fr Alberic attended school at Ampleforth College and had a distinguished military career in the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding) 1st Battalion and Parachute Regiment 2nd Battalion.
He was awarded the Military Cross following a period in which he commanded the Assault Pioneer Platoon in the Korean War.
Fr Alberic Stacpoole joined the Benedictine community at Ampleforth in 1960 and spent some years teaching History, Politics and Religious Studies in Ampleforth College.
The Noble City of York, co-edited by Fr Alberic, a work of more than 1,000 pages, was published in 1972. At the end of the introduction, Fr Alberic dedicated the book to those who have made York what it is today, and asked “What, then, is York?” He concluded: “For all of us, it is an index to the history of England, a cultural jewel among our heritage, a purveyor of man’s progressive civilising qualities. For some of us it is more simply the City of our dreams.”
Fr Stacpoole was also a great ecumenist and from 1980-1992 was general secretary of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a society founded in 1967 in Britain but now worldwide which exists to study at various levels the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Church.
In this context, Fr Alberic wrote Mary’s Place in Christian Dialogue, published in 1982. He was also editor of The Ampleforth Journal from 1967-1980 and his other works included The Vatican Council by those who were there (1986), an authoritative account of the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church.
At nearly 60 years of age, Fr Alberic began parish pastoral work with his appointment at parish priest of Our Lady and St Chad, Kirkbymoorside, and St Mary, Helmsley, roles he fulfilled for nearly 20 years.
In recent years, Fr Alberic’s health deteriorated and he died peacefully in the monastery infirmary at Ampleforth Abbey in the early hours of Sunday.
His funeral mass will take will take place in Ampleforth Abbey on Thursday at 11.30am, followed by burial in the vault in the Monks’ Wood.