Beloved Fr. Steinberger, Pray For US
Fr. “Stiney” was laid to rest on Wednesday in his hometown of Independence.
Father Edward J. Steinberger arrived as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes parish in June of 1970. He found Pittsburg and Southeast Kansas familiar to him since he grew up in Independence, KS. Being at Our Lady of Lourdes was a blessing for him because he had a great devotion to our Blessed Mother.
Fr.Steinberger was a very prayerful and dedicated hardworking priest. He wanted everyone, especially the young people, to have a great love and commitment to the faith. He saw the Catholic schools as an important vehicle to provide training, growth and development in the Faith. A great deal of his energy was given to keep the schools and especially Colgan High School open. He would do what-ever it took to get the extra monies necessary to assist the schools even selling typewriters and cars. He was always looking for a bargain or a donation of money, equipment, school supplies or anything that could be used for the schools. He became very creative.
It was during his early years (about 1972) that one of the parishioners, John J. Towner, planted a seed in the mind of Fr. Steinberger. Mr. Towner was very committed to Catholic education and saw that Fr. Steinberger was just as committed. Mr. Towner knew that it would be difficult for the schools to survive and prosper without some planning for the future. Thus, the Our Lady of Lourdes Memorial Fund began in 1973 with a donation from Mr. Towner. Fr. Steinberger worked diligently to make people aware of the Fund’s purpose and to invite parishioners to include the Memorial Fund in their estate planning. Now 35 years later the Memorial Fund is a testimony to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of these two men.
Fr. Steinberger spent 11 years as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes parish and Administrator of St. Mary’s Elementary and Colgan High School. Under his leadership Pat Forbes became the first lay principal in 1973.
Father had a passion for the students and faculty. It was not un-common for him to have tears well up in his eyes as he talked to the faculty at their in-service be-fore the beginning of each new school year. He gave his every-thing, prayer, devotion, energy, talents and gifts in service of the people of the parish and the students of the schools.
This article was written by Fr. Thomas Stroot, associate pastor under Fr. Steinerger at Our Lady of Lourdes, and published in the Our Lady of Lourdes bulletin the week of October 19th, 2008 the following week after the death of Fr. Steinberger.