William Stang

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Streetname in Bad Schönborn / Langenbrücken

William Stang (April 21, 1854 – February 2, 1907) was a German-born prelate of the Catholic Church. He served as the first Bishop of Fall River from 1904 until his death in 1907.


William Stang was born at Langenbrücken in the Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany.[1] He received his early education at the local gymnasium and then attended the minor seminary of Sint-Niklaas in Belgium.[1] He entered the American College of Louvain in 1875, where he completed his theological studies.[2] He was ordained to the priesthood on June 15, 1878.[3]

Stang briefly taught at the Catholic University of Leuven before coming to the United States in September 1878 to work in the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island.[4] He primarily ministered to the local German Catholic community while also serving as a curate at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Providence.[5] He was named pastor of St. Anne's Church in Cranston in 1884.[1] He then served as rector of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral until 1895, when he returned to the Catholic University of Leuven to serve as vice-rector and professor of moral theology.[2] He returned to Providence in 1899, becoming head of the diocesan mission band.[4] He was named pastor of St. Edward's Church in 1901 and also served as chancellor of the diocese.[1]

On March 12, 1904, Stang was appointed the first Bishop of the newly created Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, by Pope Pius X.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 1 from Bishop Matthew Harkins, with Bishops Michael Tierney and John Brady serving as co-consecrators, at Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral.[3] During his tenure, he established eleven parishes and founded St. Anne's Hospital.[5] He once described divorce as a "pernicious practice...contrary to the moral order and the law of Christ," and condemned Saturday dances as "a source of scandal [that] must be stopped at once."[6][7]

Stang died at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota, at age 52.[1]


Bishop Stang High School, located in North Dartmouth, is named in his honor.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Carr, Edward (1909). "Fall River". Catholic Encyclopedia. V. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  2. ^ a b O'Donnell, John Hugh (1922). The Catholic Hierarchy of the United States, 1790-1922. Washington, D.C. 
  3. ^ a b c Cheney, David M. "Bishop William Stang". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. 
  4. ^ a b Murray, Thomas Hamilton (1907). The Journal of the American Irish Historical Society. VII. Boston. 
  5. ^ a b "Bishop William Stang". Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame. 
  6. ^ "BISHOP APPEALS AGAINST DIVORCE". The Meriden Daily Journal. 1906-03-10. 
  7. ^ "BISHOP DENOUNCES DANCING". Providence News. 1906-01-08. 



  • Pastoral theology (New York, 1897)
  • Historiographia Ecclesiastica quam historiae seriam solidamque operam navantibus (Freiburg, 1897)
  • Business Guide for Priests (New York, 1899)
  • The Devil, Who He Is and What He Does (Providence, 1900)
  • Sozialismus und Christentum, with Rudolf Amberg (“Socialism and Christendom,” Einsiedeln, 1907)
  • The Holy Hour of Adoration (New York, 1907)
  • Medulla fundamentalis theologiae moralis quam seminaristis et presbyteris (Neo-Eboraci, Cincinnati, 1907)
  • Life of Martin Luther
  • The Eve of the Reformation
  • More About the Huguenots
  • Germany's Debt to Ireland
  • Spiritual Pepper and Salt

Episcopal succession

Catholic Church titles
New title Bishop of Fall River
Succeeded by
Daniel Francis Feehan

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