ROCHESTER – During an interview with the Catholic courier At the end of April 2021, Sonja Stenclik was enthusiastic about the rosary project that she had founded two years earlier in St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Rochester – a project for which over 20,000 rosaries have already been prayed on the way to her goal of 100,000.
Father Roman Caly, the pastor of the parish, noted that Ms. Stenclik applied her position as pastoral coordinator of the parish with equal enthusiasm and remained active in various ministries this spring.
What made Mrs. Stenclik’s efforts so remarkable was that they never let up – even though she knew her long battle with ovarian cancer was nearing its end.
The resident of Webster died on July 12, 2021 at the age of 70. Comments on St. Stanislaus Kostka’s Facebook page in response to Ms. Stenclik’s death reflected the many lives she touched; Descriptions of Ms. Stenclik include “our local saint”, “an amazing person”, “the kindest heart and purest soul”, “a wonderful, caring person”, “such a lovely lady” and “always smiling, always caring” to others never complain. “
Ms. Stenclik, a retired Rochester City School District teacher, was a lifelong parishioner of St. Stanislaus Kostka. Her long list of community engagement included extraordinary pastors for Holy Communion, lecturer, liturgy coordinator, faith education coordinator, acolyte trainer, and festival volunteer.
On the administrative side, Father Caly noted that Ms. Stenclik has been a driving force in helping the congregation successfully in the past few years to achieve its vocation goal for the Catholic ministries. Father Caly, a native of Poland, added that after arriving at St. Stanislaus Kostka in 2011, Ms. Stenclik used her teaching experience to help him improve his English.
“I think we need more of these (types of) people at this time,” said Father Caly.
The pastor was amazed that Ms. Stenclik often arrived at the parish office at 7 a.m. and only left in the early evening – until recently.
“I asked her, ‘Where do you find the strength?'” He said.
“That was the Holy Spirit in her,” ushered in Paul Jasen, an usher in St. Stanislaus Kostka, who also worked with Ms. Stenclik on pro-life activities.
These pro-life endeavors were guided by the particular passion of Ms. Stenclik. She was heavily involved in the ward’s Ministry of Breath of Life, which works to protect life from conception to natural death through prayer and fundraising for pro-life organizations. In January 2019, Ms. Stenclik started an attempt to pray 100,000 rosaries, which she said courier was fueled by concern about existing and proposed laws in this country promoting abortion and euthanasia: “We urgently need rosaries,” she said in the article.
An ongoing exhibition in St. Stanislaus Kostka Church showed that on July 19 the total number of rosaries prayed had reached 22,440. Anyone can take part in the Rosary Initiative, whether they visit St. Stanislaus Kostka or not. Participants are asked to hand in their total at the end of each month, either through a slip with the weekly collection; call the parish or leave a message (585-467-3068); or via email [email protected].
When asked whether the memory of Ms. Stenclik could serve as inspiration for the project to achieve his high six-figure goal, Jasen replied: “Oh, definitely. And we don’t stop at 100,000. “
Mrs. Stenclik is survived by her husband James; Son Scott (Betsy); Sister Jackie (Ed.) McCafferty; Brother Stanley (Judy Kocsis) Pollock III; and in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends.
The office hours for Ms. Stenclik are July 23, 2021 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Richard L. Felerski / Paul W. Harris Funeral Home, 570 Kings Highway South, Irondequoit. Her funeral mass will be held on July 24, 2021 at 11 a.m. at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, 1124 Hudson Ave., Rochester. The funeral will take place in St. Vincent de Paul Cemetery in Cape Vincent, NY. A donation in memory of Ms. Stenclik can be made to the parish, her Breath of Life Ministry or a charity of your choice.
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