Stanley was a humble, quiet person and would have loathed being the center of attention, Kay explained.
"He wouldn't like all the hubub," she said. "He was very quiet and humble, and he didn't brag on what he did."
Besides being a cousin and the celebrant of her wedding, Fr. Stanley is dear to Kay for another important reason: she credits his intercession for saving the life of her daughter, Amber.
Several years ago, when Amber was just in her early twenties, she had a brain aneurysm rupture. The first hospital said there was nothing to be done except to take her upstairs and harvest her organs. Another hospital said if Amber lived, she'd spend her life in a vegetative state.
That's when Kay's husband called on Stan.
"My husband said don't worry about it, I'm going to the cemetery. So he went to the cemetery and said 'okay Stan, time for you to work.' And three days later she opened her eyes, and today you'd never know it," Kay said. Amber is healthy, and happily married, with one child.
Fr. Stan is a big reason she's spent the past 30 years volunteering at the parish. Even in the midst of the beatification chaos, Kay was trying to fix the air conditioning in the church that had stopped working "today of all days."
"I just felt like I owed it to him. It's the least I can do," Kay said, doing her best to hold back the tears.
When Fr. Stanley was killed in 1981, his heart remained interned at the altar in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. His body was flown back to Okarche, where it was buried in Holy Trinity's cemetery until just a few months ago, when his remains were moved to a temporary resting place in the archdiocese, pending the completion of a shrine in his honor.
But his headstone still marks the original plot in the Holy Trinity Cemetery. "Padre A'plas", it reads, the name for Father Francis in the native Guatemalan language of Tzutuhil, which he had learned to speak fluently.
Lee Rother and his family visited the cemetery the Friday before the beatification Mass, to honor Fr. Stanley, as well as the other Rother relatives buried there. As he walked through the grounds, Lee recalled fond memories of the people whose gravestones he passed. He must have known at least half of the people buried there.
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Lee himself has settled in Minnesota, along with many of the other Rother relatives. He told CNA that he has given talks on Fr. Stanley, his third cousin, and is inspired by his faith.
"How he lived, how he served God and his people--he had a tremendous, deep faith in him," he said.
This was something Fr. Stanley passed on to the Guatemalans he served.
"That parish flourished after he died, because he gave them a faith that they could lean on in the midst of their oppression," he said, his excitement about his cousin palpale.
"It's a tremendous thrill, it's so exhilarating to have a relative who's being beatified by the Catholic Church," he said. "The best thing that's ever happened to the Rother family."
Kathy Rother is a cousin of Father Stanley's who knew him growing up. Her family lived just a few miles down the road, and she went to school with Stanley and his siblings.