0112-fred-stelmachEulogy given by
Brother Kevin Strong, FSC

Brother Fred would have loved looking out at the Brothers, friends, and family assembled here to honor him for his almost eighty-four years of productive and creative life. Fred was my good friend for forty-two years. We traveled the highways and the by-ways together in Ireland, Hawaii, Bermuda, and many other locales. He was the best of company, always full of good humor with lots of stories.

We first met when I was assigned to La Salle High School as his assistant art teacher. It was my first attempt as an art instructor. I had been a student of art at Catholic University as well as at Tyler Art School in Elkins Park. However, I learned more from Fred than I did in art school. He had his own style and was quite accomplished in his field. Fred also gave me a keen insight into the ability of each student. Fred would sit in the midst of the lads and demonstrate quite ably what could be done on canvas with a mixture of his own colors. I admired his finished product with envy. He was a master craftsman, and his students admired his work as well as his manner of friendly instruction. Saint Michael on the hall here that bears his name is testimony to Fred’s able instruction of Joseph Wesner, its artist.

In the Brothers’ community, directed by Fred, we were a sizable group of thirty or so, very ably lead by him. He took a special liking to me, and I spent six happy years building a lifelong friendship with him. As a teacher, mentor, and moderator of La Salle’s Mothers’ Club, Fred’s personality enriched the lives of hundreds of people, maybe even thousands. He made a deep impression on everyone he met with his warm and humorous personality.

He loved his own family with a passion and shared them with me on many visits to New Jersey and summer jaunts to Lake George, and Ocean City, New Jersey. My life was richly blessed by his warmth and sense of humor. We often vied with each other on telling the latest stories.

Fred was deeply spiritual and a strong believer in the Presence of God in people. My own training as a Brother made me convinced of God’s Presence in the goodness of persons. Fred’s reverence for his students, his family, and his brothers, greatly deepened my convictions about God’s Presence on a daily basis in his caring ways and generous spirit which touched nearly everyone who came under his influence. Many past pupils and older Brothers will attest to the scope of his winsome and generous ways. He brought God very much into each day with his quiet manner of touching the hearts of all who were within his scope of influence! He was a marvel, and God surely wanted him to be my friend.

All of us here today are thankful for his full life and the many sources of blessings we could all enumerate. Just to think of him, his stories, and his friendliness brings smiles to our faces. We have truly been blessed.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, in the picturesque and beautiful words of his poem, “Heaven-Haven,” gives us further insight into Fred’s longing for God’s heavenly Presence:

I have desired to go
Where springs not fail.
To fields where flies no sharp or sided hail,
And a few lilies blow.

And I have asked to be
Where no storms come
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb
And out of the swing of the sea.

And finally, this poem captures Fred’s home sickness for heaven, his family and his friends:

Slow the pace
It seems
To return home.
Long is the journey to our Father’s house
Migrant geese spell “home”
Across the evening sky.
Now you are home
Peace at last!

Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of
Br. Fred Stelmach, FSC

Born Fred Anthony Stelmach in Camden, NJ, on March 11, 1928

Entered the Ammendale, MD, Novitiate on June 13, 1946

Received the Religious Habit and Name, Brother Flavian of Jesus, on September 7, 1946

Pronounced Perpetual Vows in Ocean City, NJ on August 28, 1953

Brother Fred died at De La Salle Hall in Lincroft, NJ, on January 25, 2012


Friday, January 27, 2012

Viewing from 2:00 – 4:00 pm

De La Salle Hall
810 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ 07738-1608

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Viewing from 5:00 – 7:30 pm
Mass of Christian Burial at 7:30 pm

La Salle College High School
School Chapel
8605 Cheltenham Avenue
Wyndmoor, PA 19038-7199

Monday, January 30, 2012

Burial at Christian Brothers Cemetery,
Ammendale, MD at 12:00 pm

Luncheon to follow


District: 100 masses
De La Salle Hall community: 30 masses
Each community in the District: 1 mass

Brother Fred died unexpectedly and peacefully in the early morning at De La Salle Hall. May he rest in peace.


Tour of Duty

Washington, D.C.
De La Salle College

Philadelphia, PA
West Catholic Boys H S

Washington, D.C.
St. John’s College H S

Philadelphia, PA
West Catholic Boys H S

teacher and community director
Wyndmoor, PA
La Salle College H S

teacher and community director
Washington, D.C.
St. John’s College H S

Blue Bell, PA
Independent Living

Philadelphia, PA
De La Salle Community/La Salle University

Lincroft, NJ
De La Salle Hall


May the soul of Brother Fred, and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.