Fresno Bishop John Steinbock dies at 73

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Bishop John Steinbock, leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno and a former auxiliary bishop of Orange County, has died. He was 73.

Steinbock died Sunday at Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, church officials said. Steinbock told church officials and parishioners in August that he had lung cancer, the Fresno Bee reported. He was also treated for facial cancer in the last year.

Steinbock had been the diocese’s bishop since 1991. The diocese includes about 1 million parishioners in Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Madera, Merced, Mariposa, Kern and Inyo counties.

Born in Los Angeles on July 16, 1937, Steinbock was ordained in 1963 at St. Vibiana’s Cathedral in Los Angeles, according to the diocese’s website.


He was named associate pastor of St. Vibiana’s in 1973 after serving at three East Los Angeles parishes.

In 1984, Steinbock was named the first auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Orange and was named the diocese’s administrator after the death of Bishop William R. Johnson in 1986.

Bishop Norman F. McFarland of the Reno-Las Vegas diocese was named to succeed Johnson and Steinbock was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Santa Rosa in 1987.

Survivors include two brothers. Services are pending.

-- Associated Press