A well-loved priest in Hastings has suddenly died, aged only 45.
Father Seamus Stapleton SCA died suddenly in the presbytery yesterday morning (Sunday, October 30).
According to Pallottines Ireland, Fr Seamus had celebrated the 10am Mass at St Mary Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church in the Old Town and went for a cup of tea with the parishioners.
He returned to the presbytery and when he did not appear for the 11.30am Mass the deacon and some parishioners went to find him and he had collapsed in the kitchen.
The emergency services were called but he had already died.
Fr Seamus made his first consecration on September 29, 2002, and was ordained on June 11, 2006.
Paying tribute to him, Jordana Lucas, said: “Fr Seamus was often seen walking through the Old Town, and taking regular walks along the seafront.
“He would often talk about how he loved living in Hastings by the sea, and what a unique place it was.
“Fr Seamus touched the hearts of many through his caring ways, being happy to help, and speak to anyone. His extremely dry sense of humour never failed to make anyone laugh.
“He will be missed by all of the parishioners, and local people of Hastings.”
Fr Seamus is mourned by his mother Mary, his brothers John, Matthew and Liam, by his sister Anne-Marie, and his extended family.
He was predeceased by his father James.
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