Bro. Stephen Liebal

  • May 2nd 2019

1929 - 2019



Brother Stephen Liebal, T.O.R., 90, of the Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regular, Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, died May 2, 2019 at St. Francis Friary—Mount Assisi, Loretto, Pennsylvania, after an illness. He was the son of the late Earl and Edith Liebal.

Born in Altoona, Pennsylvania on April 24th, 1929, Br. Stephen had only to travel a few miles into the mountains in order to enter the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Loretto, Pennsylvania as a postulant in September of 1947. Responding to God’s call to be a lay brother, he professed his First Vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience on July 1st, 1949, and then made his Solemn Profession of Vows exactly three years-to-the-day later.

Br. Stephen’s long and faithful life as a Franciscan friar was spent in humble service to his brothers. Although he served as a farmer at Sacred Heart Friary in Winchester, Virginia for over forty years, Br. Stephen will likely be best remembered for his work as the provincial tailor—a craft which he perfected for over 55 years—both in Winchester and Loretto—until his retirement in 2015. Throughout the decades, Br. Stephen made religious habits for hundreds of friars, using his sewing and tailoring skills as a way to provide both physically and spiritually for the community he loved. Many generations of friars have been directly influenced by his hard work and gentle spirit. Br. Stephen will be missed greatly by his community and family alike. 

Br. Stephen was preceded in death by brothers Jack and Earl Francis, and is survived by five sisters: Caroline Bradner, Mary Irwin, Elsie Miller, Agnes Murtha, and Susan Warzinski; as well as twenty-five nieces and nephews, and his Franciscan community. 

Friends will be received at the Chapel of St. Francis Friary-Mt. Assisi, Loretto, PA, Sunday, May 5, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. until the vigil service at 7:00 p.m.  Mass of Christian Burial will be concelebrated on Monday, May 6, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Francis Friary-Mt. Assisi, Loretto, PA, with Father Jonathan St. Andre, T.O.R., as principal celebrant.  Following the Mass, interment will take place at the Franciscan Friars Cemetery, on the campus of St. Francis University, Loretto, PA.