PDX Auxiliary Bishop retires after nearly 50 years of service

Bishop Steiner retires as Portland’s Auxiliary Bishop
By Portland Archdiocese

Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the retirement of Bishop Kenneth D. Steiner, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Portland. Bishop Steiner submitted his letter of retirement to Pope Benedict XVI on celebrating his 75th birthday, November 25, as required by Canon law.

Bishop Steiner was born in David City, Nebraska on November 25, 1936. He is one of five children of Lawrence N. and Florine M. Steiner. His education included attendance at St. Rose of Lima School, Portland, Mount Angel High School Seminary graduating in 1954, Mount Angel College Seminary (1958), and completed his theological studies at St. Thomas Seminary (1962) in Kenmore, WA. He was ordained a priest on May 19, 1962 by the Most Reverend Edward D. Howard at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Portland.

Father Kenneth Steiner served as an associate pastor at St. Monica Parish in Coos Bay (1962-1967), St. Mary’s Cathedral in Portland (1967-1970), and at St. Stephen Parish in Portland (1970-1972). He served as Pastor at Holy Name Parish in Coquille with missions in Myrtle Point and Powers (1972-1976), served at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Roy (1976-1978), and at the same time he served as the administrator of St. Mary Parish in Vernonia. He was elected Chairman of the Priests’

Personnel Committee in 1976.

He started two special ministries while working in Portland. In 1968 Father Steiner started a citywide pre-marriage program at St. Vincent and Providence Hospitals, and in 1972 he began a group for divorced and separated Catholics in Portland.

He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Portland in Oregon, and named Titular Bishop of Avensa, on December 6, 1977. He was ordained a Bishop at a Mass held at Portland’s Civic Auditorium on March 2, 1978. Archbishop Cornelius M. Power, Archbishop of Portland at the time, was the principal ordaining prelate.

Bishop Steiner served as Vicar of Clergy and Clergy Personnel Director from 1978 – 1980, and served as Vicar for Worship and Ministry 1979 – 1981. Beginning in 1986 he served as the Chairman of the Priests’ Retirement Facility Committee. The work of this committee resulted in the construction of the St. John Vianney Retirement Center in 1993.

Bishop Steiner returned to parish ministry in 1986 when he was appointed Administrator of St. Mary Parish in Corvallis. He was named Pastor of that parish in 1987, and remained as Pastor at St. Mary’s until July 2000. He moved to Milwaukie to become Pastor at St. John the Baptist Parish in July 2000, and served there until 2002. In July 2002, Bishop Steiner was appointed Vicar of Senior and Infirm Priests, and was assigned to serve as Pastor at St. Edward Parish in North Plains, where he served until October 1, 2011.

Bishop Steiner was elected the Administrator of the Archdiocese for the interim period (October 1995 – May 1996) when Archbishop William J. Levada was transferred
to the Archdiocese of San Francisco. He was elected Administrator again for the interim (May 1997 – December 1997) when Archbishop Francis E. George was transferred to the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Bishop Steiner celebrated his 25th anniversary as a Bishop on March 2, 2003. He will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday, January 15 at 11:00 am.

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