Stangassinger, Kaspar, Bl.

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Also called Gaspar or Caspar; Redemptorist priest and teacher; b. Unterkälberstein (near Berchtesgaden), Bavaria, Germany, Jan. 12, 1871; d. Gars am Inn, Upper Bavaria, Sept. 26, 1899. Stangassinger was the second of 16 children of a farmer who owned a stone quarry and participated in local politics. At school in Freising he encountered difficulties in his studies, but his vocation to the priesthood remained strong. During summer vacations he organized friends for group religious activities: Mass, pilgrimages, and common prayer. He began his theological studies in the diocesan seminary at Freising, but he transferred to the Redemptorist seminary at Gars because of his desire to become a missionary. He was ordained in Regensburg (Germany) on June 16, 1895. Although he preferred missionary work, out of obedience he dedicated himself wholeheartedly to his assignment as vice-director of the minor seminary of Dürrnburg (near Hallein) where he taught and provided spiritual direction to his students. On weekends, he served nearby parishes, preparing his homilies in front of the Blessed Sacrament and often preaching on the consolation available in the Eucharist. In 1899 (age 28), he was appointed director of the order's new seminary in Gars. Shortly after the opening of the school year, he died of peritonitis.

When his cause for canonization was opened in 1935, his body was translated to the side chapel of the church of Gars. During the beatification Mass on April 24, 1988, Pope John Paul II noted that Stangassinger "did not seek the extraordinary, but wanted 'to do what the day demanded."'

Feast: Sept. 26 (Redemptorists).

Bibliography: Der selige Kaspar Stanggassinger (18711899) in Selbstzeugnissen und im Urteil seiner Zeitgenossen, ed. o. weiss (Rome 1995). L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, no. 16 (1988): 12. Positio super causae introductione (Rome 1959). Positio super virtutibus (Rome 1978). a. cummings, A Shining Light. The Story of Fr. Kaspar Stanggassinger (Dublin 1963). o. gambi, Vida do Padre Gaspar Stanggassinger (Aparecida 1991). j. heinzmann, Suchen was droben ist (Freiburg, Switzerland 1988). h. pfeilstetter, Pater Kaspar Stanggassinger. Annäherungen (Gars 1988). m. stÖbener, Du forderst mich heraus. Eine briefliche Begegnung mit Kaspar Stanggassinger (Munich 1988). f. tatarelli, Un canto sulle Alpi: vita del servo di Dio P. Gaspare Stanggassinger, Redentorista (Rome 1963). f. wetter, Leben und Wirken eines Seligen. Hirtenbrief zur Fastenzeit 1988 (Munich 1988).

[k. i. rabenstein]

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Stangassinger, Kaspar, Bl.

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