Fr Alberic Stacpoole OSB, Benedictine monk of Ampleforth Abbey who was a veteran of the Korean War and awarded the MC, died peacefully at Ampleforth Abbey in Yorkshire on Sunday 30 September 2012 at the age of 81.
John Stacpoole (Alberic was the name given to him when he became a monk at Ampleforth Abbey in 1960) was born in Belfast in 1931 and educated at Gilling and Ampleforth College. In1950 he went to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and in 1952 joined the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment (West Riding) 1st Battalion. In Korea, during the period 13-19 May 1953, Second Lieutenant Stacpoole commanded the Assault Pioneer Platoon. He was wounded in Korea and awarded the Military Cross. He then joined the Parachute Regiment 2nd Battalion and served in the Canal Zone, Egypt (1954); Cyprus (1956-1957), and Suez (1956). From 1957-1960, Stacpoole served as Aide-de-camp to the GOC in Nigeria, and subsequently in Ghana and Sierra Leone, and British and French Cameroons.
At the end of his military career, in 1960, John Stacpoole joined the Benedictine monastery at Ampleforth, in North Yorkshire, where he received the name Alberic. From 1963-1966 he studied at St Benet’s Hall at the University of Oxford, and on his return to Ampleforth worked extensively in the school. From 1966-1979 he taught History, Politics and Religious Studies, as well as spending some time as Acting Housemaster of St Wilfrid’s House.
In 1979 Fr Alberic returned to Oxford as Acting Master of St Benet’s and then Senior Tutor. In this period he became actively involved and well-known in ecumenical circles and from 1980-1982 was General Secretary of the Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1985 he completed a DPhil at the University of Oxford on the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC). In 1989, Fr Alberic was once again appointed Acting Master of St Benet’s Hall.
Fr Alberic was a prolific author and correspondent. He was editor of The Ampleforth Journal from 1967- 1980 and co-editor of The Noble City of York, published in 1972, a major work which ran to more than 1,000 pages. 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 sixty 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 twenty 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 30 September 2012.
The Funeral Mass for Fr Alberic Stacpoole will take will take place in Ampleforth Abbey on Thursday 11 October 2012, at 11.30am, followed by burial in the vault in the Monks’ Wood.
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