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Family donates chalice to Scecina

Scecina President Joe Therber (left), Tom Stahl '74, Father Aaron Jenkins, Marianne Echelbarger and Principal John Hegarty. Father Jenkins hold Father John Stahl's chalice, which was presented to Scecina as a gift from the Stahl family. Father Stahl (below) taught religion at Scecina.

By Beth Murphy, Director of Marketing Communications

The family of a former archdiocesan priest presented the priceless gift of his chalice to Scecina Memorial High School.

Scecina science teacher Marianne (Stahl) Echelbarger and her brother Tom Stahl ‘74 were present to gift Scecina with the chalice of their deceased uncle, Father John Stahl. The presentation was made after Mass on March 29 to current Scecina chaplain coordinator, Father Aaron Jenkins. The chalice is silver with the Gospel writers - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - carved around the stem and a set of apparent rhinestones above them.

The Stahls are an Eastside family with close ties with Scecina. Father Stahl and his brother, Father George Stahl, were both Archdiocese of Indianapolis priests who taught religion at the school at different times. Mrs. Echelbarger’s brothers, Bob ‘72, Tom ‘74 and Jim ‘75, and her sister, Jean ’79, graduated from Scecina. Her father, siblings and she all attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and School. Mrs. Echelbarger’s grandson, E.J. Echelbarger, is a senior at Scecina, and many Stahl cousins are alumni.

The family also donated Father John’s paten, the plate used to hold the bread during the Eucharist and sometimes used to cover the chalice.

“We would like to donate this beautiful chalice and paten to Scecina Memorial High School as a gift from the Stahl family and hope that I gives many years of service to the Scecina community,” Mrs. Echelbarger told the staff, students and guests at Mass. She later said she received her First Communion and first penance from Father John. Her mother warned her not to call him “Uncle John” while she was at Catholic school and he was the priest.

Father John’s chalice was made in Switzerland and presented to him by his parents, George and Margaret Stahl, as is tradition, upon his ordination in 1951. After Mrs. Echelbarger’s uncle died, her father, Robert Stahl, inherited the chalice and paten. After he died in June 2016, the family decided to donate it.

“It was just sitting up in a closet in my dad’s house, and we really wanted it to be used somewhere,” she said. 

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