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Oct. 11, 1918 – Feb. 8, 2013

The Rev. Francis J. Staebell, a Jesuit priest who served as Mercy Hospital chaplain and later as assistant pastor of St. Michael Catholic Church, died Friday in Murray-Weidel Hall in the Bronx. He was 94.

The Buffalo native entered the Society of Jesus in 1937 at St. Andrew-on-Hudson and studied philosophy and theology at Woodstock College in Maryland.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1950 and taught for several years in high schools in the Bronx and Rochester prior to becoming a missionary priest in 1964. Father Staebell was followed into the priesthood by his younger brother, James, who was ordained as a Buffalo diocesan priest in 1957. James Staebell died in 2008.

Father Staebell served as a missionary in Majuro in the Marshall Islands from 1964 to 1967 and then in Ebeye, also in the Marshall Islands, from 1967 to 1978, including a year as superior.

He also was superior in Majuro from 1978 to 1980, when he became pastor of a parish there.

In 1981, Father Staebell returned to Buffalo as chaplain at Mercy Hospital, and in 2001 he was named assistant pastor of St. Michael Church in Buffalo.

Survivors include two sisters, Alice Smith and Dorothy Pack.

Father Staebell will lie in state from 3 to 5 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday in St. Michael Church, 651 Washington St.

A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 7.