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Funeral services for Fresno Bishop John Steinbock

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Catholic Diocese of Fresno has announced the funeral of the late Bishop John Steinbock will be next Tuesday December 14th. The bishop died Sunday at St. Agnes Hospital.

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The bishop made certain before he died, that those closest to his heart would be taken care of for years to come.

The doors of St. John's Cathedral in downtown Fresno are being draped in black. A sign of mourning displayed only for popes and bishops. The viewing for Bishop Steinbock will take place at St. John's on Monday. The drapes will remain until after the bishop is buried.

While sadness hangs over valley Catholics. There is also hope. Before he died, Bishop Steinbock expressed a desire that all remembrances be sent to catholic charities. A non-profit organization that feeds, clothes and houses more than 75-thousand valley families every year.

Kelly Lilles said, "He loved, loved loved the poor. He could be amongst anybody anywhere and would always find the person who was less fortunate. "

Lilles, the Development Director for Catholic Charities was also Bishop Steinbock's next door neighbor. Lilles had the opportunity to know the bishop on a personal level, and said goodbye to him only 12 hours before he died. "I prayed over him and I said, 'Bishop ... it's Kelly your neighbor.' Course my voice is a little bit loud so I think it startled him. And he put his hand up like this. And I said, 'I'll see ya on the other side.' And he gave me a big thumbs up."

Bishop Steinbock presided over the Catholic Diocese of Fresno for 19 years. A Diocese of about one million Catholics ... the 14th largest in the United States. Despite his position, the bishop told Action News his work as a young parish priest on skid row in L.A. Was the most impacting of his life.

Lilles says his final wishes will allow his ministry to the poor to continue. "Knowing that we can do that will give solace to all of us. That's his gift to us, and our gift to him. That we can do it."

Services for Bishop Steinbock will take place next week. A viewing will be held on Monday, December 13th at 10 a.m. for friends and family at Saint John's Cathedral in downtown Fresno.

The funeral will take place the next day at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Anthony of Padua in northwest Fresno. The bishop will be buried at Saint Peter's Cemetery in Fresno County.

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MORE INFORMATION

MONDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2010:

10:00 a.m.
RECEPTION OF THE BISHOP'S BODY AT THE CATHEDRAL

11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Lying In State at the Cathedral

7:00 p.m.
VIGIL AND ROSARY

8:00 p.m. -11:00 p.m.
VISITATION WILL CONTINUE

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010:

10:30 a.m.
FUNERAL MASS AT ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA, FRESNO
BURIAL AT ST. PETER'S CEMETERY

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Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Office of Media Relations
STATEMENT OF CARDINAL ROGER MAHONY ON THE DEATH OF FRESNO BISHOP JOHN STEINBOCK

All of us in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles extend our prayers and our sympathy to the people of the Diocese of Fresno upon the death of their beloved Bishop, Bishop John Steinbock.

Bishop Steinbock was a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, ordained in 1963. It was my privilege to be with him over the years at St. John's Seminary in Camarillo. Even then, his humility and goodness were cherished by all of us.

After serving in various assignments, he became the Pastor of St. Vibiana's Cathedral Parish in downtown Los Angeles where he labored for several years. He was a friend to the homeless and to street people; he began extensive visits to the small apartments in downtown Los Angeles visiting with joy the poor families living there and working in the area for minimum wage salaries. His personal impact in the poorer sections of downtown Los Angeles was grace-filled.

He learned Spanish in the seminary and truly loved working with the Spanish-speaking communities in all of his assignments.

In 1984 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Orange, where he served with great love and fidelity, admired by all of the people. In 1987 he was appointed Bishop of Santa Rosa where he gave pastoral leadership for four years.

In 1991 he was appointed Bishop of Fresno, and spent the past nineteen years serving this expansive population. Again, his Spanish language abilities helped him greatly in his pastoral care of the people of the great Central Valley.

While always very humble and unassuming, his demeanor became more active when he played sports. He was very good at basketball and handball, and after ordination, he loved playing golf regularly with various priest friends.

Bishop Steinbock was deeply in love with God, and spent significant time at prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He frequently would give greetings such as "God is good," and he was always alert to knowing and following God's will.

The Church has lost a wonderful pastor, someone with the heart and goodness of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. May his example continue to inspire all of us to live out our discipleship with Jesus more fully, humbly, and lovingly.

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Press Release
NOTICE OF DEATH OF ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP JOHN STEINBOCK

Bishop John T. Steinbock, Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno, passed into eternal glory at 3:10 a.m. today. He was surrounded by family, his pastor, and friends. Diocesan funeral arrangements are in preparation. Once they are complete, they will be disseminated on our website, notices to parishes, and various other sources.

The Papal Nuncio has been notified of Bishop John's death. A report of Bishop John's death has also been circulated to His eminence Cardinal Roger Mahony and to the California Bishops.

We ask for prayers for the repose of the soul of Bishop John Steinbock.

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