(H) Monsignor Raymond W. Stafford Died
Monsignor Raymond W. Stafford Died
Monsignor Raymond W. Stafford, pastor of Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, in Astoria, New York, died unexpectedly in the early morning hours of March 20, 2005. The news of his death came as the parish prepared to commemorate the beginning of Holy Week, and
has left the parishioners deeply saddened. Monsignor Stafford served as pastor of Most Precious Blood for eleven years, and celebrated forty-five years of priesthood. Croats, who are an integral part of this multiethnic parish community, deeply mourn his loss. Monsignor
Stafford was always very supportive of the Croatian community at Most Precious Blood. He was present at all Croatian functions that took place at the parish; he would come to say a prayer and give his blessing. As a pastor, he had a very good relationship with the Croatian bishop of Krk, who in the past has been responsible for the Croatian priests that serve at Most Precious Blood. He warmly welcomed visiting Croatian priests and bishops. The former bishop and now archbishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Bozanić visited the parish on a few occasions. Monsignor Stafford always concelebrated Masses with visiting Croatian bishops. In the past 10 years, the Croatian community has grown in number and spirit, in no small part due to Monsignor Staffordâ€™s concern and support. He was a dedicated priest committed to
the well being of his parish. His loss will be felt by the whole parish community. May God grant eternal rest onto his soul!