Funeral prayers for Msgr Stanley Urbanoski will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 and the funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 21; both celebrations will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 114 Kingsmere Place, Saskatoon. The funeral will also be live-streamed at saskatoonmass.com
Monsignor Stanley Urbanoski, 95, died July 12, 2022 at the Hospice at Glengarda in Saskatoon after years of service that included parishes in the dioceses of Prince Albert and Saskatoon and in the former St. Peter’s Abbacy.
Born April 23, 1927 on the family farm northwest Brooksby, SK, in the Melfort area, Stanley Urbanoski was the fifth of six children of Sophie (Chmura) and Joseph Urbanoski.
He attended the nearby two-room country school before taking Grades 11 and 12 at Fairy Glen. After studying philosophy and Latin St. Thomas College/ St. Charles Scholasticate in Battleford as a diocesan candidate, he attended seminary at St. Joseph Seminary in Edmonton and then St. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan, where he studied in Polish.
He was ordained a priest June 19, 1954 by Bishop Leo Blais in the Diocese of Prince Albert. The year of his ordination was a Marian Year, marking the 100th anniversary of the declaration of the Immaculate Conception as an article of faith.
Urbanoski’s first appointment was as the first resident priest at Alvena, responsible for six churches in the area: three in the Diocese of Prince Albert, two in the Diocese of Saskatoon and one in St. Peter’s Abbacy.
He served in the Diocese of Prince Albert for nine years, before transferring to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon in 1963. Parishes where he served include Holy Trinity Parish at Alvena, St. Michael at Krydor, missions at Fish Creek, Tarnopol, as well as Queen of Peace and Assumption parishes near Prud’homme and St. Stanislaus near Alvena.
He was the first pastor at Our Lady of Czestochowa, the Polish parish established in Saskatoon, as well as serving over the years at parishes in Dodsland, Coleville, Viscount, Meacham, Winfield, Wadena, St. Front, Lintlaw, Rose Valley, Beechy, Unity, Davidson, Elrose, Eatonia, Île-à-la-Crosse, and Val Marie, SK. as well as at the Saskatoon parishes of St. Peter the Apostle and St. John Bosco.
He also served part-time in chaplaincy at both Royal University Hospital and St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon.
After his retirement in August 1990, he continued to provide replacement ministry and other sacramental ministry in the diocese for a number of years. At a celebration of his 60th anniversary of ordination in 2014, speakers noted Msgr. Urbanoski’s much-appreciated role at the Knights of Columbus residence Columbian Manor, where he lived and celebrated daily Mass for many years.
He would quip “that he was a priest whose preaching was not limited by time as his watch was in his pocket, but although they were lengthy homilies they were not as long as some of those of St. Paul.” He would conclude his homilies with the words of the venerable, Bishop Fulton Sheen, “God love you.”
For his years of dedicated service, Fr. Urbanoski was bestowed the pontifical honour of “Chaplain of His Holiness” by Pope Benedict XVI on Feb. 20, 2012, an honour which includes receiving the title of “Monsignor.”
Urbanoski was a priest under seven popes over 68 years: Venerable Pope Pius XII, Saint Pope John XXIII, Saint Pope Paul VI, Venerable Pope John Paul I, Saint Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis.
“The life of the priest is very much the life of the people he serves,” said Msgr. Urbanoski at his 60th anniversary celebration in 2014. “We are very much like you, we struggle just like you do… We rejoice with the family that has the baby to be baptized, the couple that wants to be married. We weep with people who weep because someone precious had died within the family… We feel the experience of people.”
Msgr. Urbanoski was predeceased by his parents Joseph and Sophie, his sister Mary Staska, his brothers Peter, Carl and Bruce “Bruno” Urbanoski. He is survived by his sister Valerie Bleakney and her children.
A prayer vigil for Msgr. Urbanoski will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 and the Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Bishop Mark Hagemoen at 10 a.m. Thursday July 21. Both celebrations will be held at Holy Spirit Parish, Saskatoon.
“Dobry Jezu, a nasz Panie, daj mu wieczne spoczywanie: Good Jesus, our Lord, grant him eternal rest.”
In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to the Diocese of Saskatoon Catholic Foundation, Priests Pension Fund, 123 Nelson Road, Saskatoon S7S 1H1, or to the Saskatoon Cancer Clinic c/o RUH Saskatoon.