Aquinas College is deeply saddened to share with our community that Father Stanley Drongowski, O.P. passed away suddenly on Sunday, July 9, 2023. Fr. Stan served as Chaplain at Aquinas College for a decade. He was a wonderful mentor, friend, teacher, storyteller and minister. He will be profoundly missed.
Father Stan was born to Grace and Stanley Drongowski in 1951. His middle name, Anthony, came from his grandfather, which left him with the initials SAD. Despite his initials, Fr. Stan had an excellent sense of humor and highly encouraged others to carefully consider initials when naming their children, frequently asking what his parents were thinking.
He was the eldest of eight children who all attended a local parish school in Akron and the local public high school. He then attended nearby Kent State earning a degree in English Language and Literature. In his English program, he took courses taught by a Dominican Sister named Sr. Diana Culbertson, O.P. who deeply inspired him through her brilliant scholarship, excellent teaching and service to God. She became his mentor in the discernment process and he entered the novitiate in September 1974. He made profession in 1975 and was ordained in 1979.
Fr. Stan studied philosophy, theology and pastoral studies at the Aquinas Institute of Theology, earning a Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Divinity. He later earned a Doctorate of Ministry in homiletics. He also served in several positions including Parochial Vicar in the Blessed Sacrament Parish, Novice Master in the Province of St. Albert the Great, Pastor in the Madison, Wisconsin area, Community Associate at Friends of God Dominican Ashram and Parochial Vicar and Director of Undergraduate Ministry at the St. Paul Catholic Center of Indiana University. Before becoming a Novice he had the privilege to spend a year in the Angelicum in Rome with a cohort of Dominicans rearing for formation ministry.
He felt his assignment to Aquinas College in 2013 was a perfect match. “There is nothing about AQ that does not nourish and challenge me,” he said in his campus ministry bio. “…I have come to love it all.” He cared deeply about all people, especially our tight-knit campus community, and was always available for a heart-to-heart.
Fr. Stan was just about to leave Aquinas College before his passing to pursue new opportunities in the Grand Rapids area.
President Alicia R. Córdoba, DMA gave the following statement: “Fr. Stan will be greatly missed by the campus community. He was a wonderful mentor and friend. I will greatly miss his keen, compassionate perspective and warm hugs.”
Funeral arrangements in Chicago are pending at this time. A memorial mass at Aquinas College will be planned for the fall.