Father Robert Stulting, CSP, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on February 7, 1921. He was adopted when he was eighteen months old, as an only child, by Cornelius and Cora Stulting of Coldwater, Michigan. His foster father died when he was three years old. Raised in The Episcopal Church, he graduated from the local schools and served for over three years in the U.S. Army during World War II. He saw action in Sicily, Southern France, the Rhineland and Central Europe. He was in the second wave of troops to land at Anzio in Italy and he recounted it occasionally as one of the most horrible events in his life.
On September 12, 1946, shortly after his discharge from the army, he entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. He worked as an attendant nurse for defective children in the Coldwater State Home and Training School for about four years before applying to the Paulist Fathers in May 1952. After two years at St. Peter's College in Baltimore, he entered the novitiate, spent six years at St. Paul's College, and was ordained a Catholic priest on May 1, 1961, a classmate of Fr. Joseph Gallagher whom he asked to preach his eulogy.
Fr. Stulting served short assignments at Old St. Mary's parish in Chicago, the Paulist Center on Park Street in Boston, the Information Center in Grand Rapids, St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Richardson, Texas, and St. Paul the Apostle parish in New York. He returned to Grand Rapids in 1966 for eight years and then to Old St. Mary's in Chicago for four years. He was then appointed to Immaculate Conception Parish in Knoxville for eight years before his appointment to St. Cyril's parish in Tucson in 1986, where he was to spend the rest of his life.
Father Bob or "Dutch," as he was known in the community, developed a special apostolate to teach popular courses on the Bible. There was scarcely a year that he did not participate in a summer institute to deepen his knowledge. While teaching and preaching was a huge portion of his ministry, as Fr. Gallagher noted, there was more. "For years Bob was an active and enthusiastic participant in the Charismatic Movement, bringing his gifts of personal integrity, robust piety and a gentle spirit to Biblically inspired prayer. More recently, here in Tucson, he gave prime time to the sick and dying, praying with them and their families, consoling them, and bringing them the good news that ‘the Lord is with you.' Looking up into the earnest round face so filled with concern, who could not but believe the truth of his words? His manner was ordinary but everything he did or said was real and the power of God was in it. Hence its impact on others. He served his God and others superbly well in an ordinary manner."
On September 21, 1999, Father Stulting died in Tucson at the age of 78 after 38 years in the Paulist priesthood. He is buried with his adopted family in Coldwater, Michigan.
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Thanks Fr Stulting for your wonderful ministry. I have no doubt you are continuing your ministry from a much better place. From one of your many grateful former parishioners at I.C. parish in Knoxville. -
Charles Vaughan Added: Dec. 10, 2012