Memorial Mass for Bishop Steinbock

FRESNO, Calif.

After Bishop Steinbock's death a letter was sent to each parish encouraging a memorial mass before his burial Tuesday.

Steinbock's brother, Father Leo, showed up here at St. Anthony to help with the service. Father Leo Steinbock was a surprise addition to Saturday's memorial mass.

The service honored his late brother, Bishop John Steinbock...leader of the Catholic Diocese of Fresno overseeing close to one million followers in the Central Valley.

"He was just an example of Christ alive and we all strive to do that," Fresno's Leona Garzelli said.

"A great administrator of the diocese. I think really a man of the people," Jim O'Brien from Fresno said.

There are 87 parishes in the five county regions, each one was asked to host a memorial mass before Tuesday's funeral service... Monseigneur Robert Wenzinger said St. Anthony held a special place in Bishop Steinbock's heart.

"He was actually a registered member here at St. Anthony of Padua. So this parish community had a very very close relationship with the Bishop and so to have the Bishop's brother here I think is just absolutely wonderful," Wenzinger said.

Father Steinbock respectfully declined an interview with Action News and said his brother was the one who loved to talk... Still he took time to listen to parishioners praise his brother.

"I did get an opportunity to take care of him in the hospital. And I was able to see him eye to eye. He's amazing. An inspiration to all of us," said Garzelli.

He was a great spiritual leader, a great shepard for his flock," O'Brien added.

Bishop Steinbock asked people to send remembrances in lieu of flowers and gifts to Catholic Charities.

The executive director of the organization said they have received over $4,000 so far.

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