A public visitation for the late Stan Musial will be held today at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. The baseball great played his entire career for the St. Louis Cardinals and became a pillar of his community. Musial died Saturday at 92.
Knoxville Bishop Richard Stika will deliver the homily at Musial’s funeral this Saturday. Before becoming bishop of Knoxville, Stika was pastor of the church Musial and his wife attended in Ladue, Missouri. When Lil Musial died last year, Stika returned to Ladue to celebrate her funeral Mass.
Since Stan the Man’s death, some fascinating articles have been published about his life. In 1989, Pope John Paul II visited St. Louis. Then-Monsignor Stika was in charge of the logistics for the visit. Musial was appointed honorary co-chair of the papal visit committee. It was not Musial’s first encounter with John Paul II.
During the 1960s and ’70s, Musial and his wife traveled to Poland several times to donate time and money to help the people of their ancestral home. They became friends with Archbishop Karol Wojtyla of Kraków, who went on to become Pope John Paul II in 1978. Musial and his Polish-American friends sent baseball equipment to Poland. Musial taught the game to coaches and players during his trips.