J. Terry Steib

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Styles of
J. Terry Steib
Coat of arms of James Terry Steib.svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop
Posthumous style not applicable

James Terry Steib, S.V.D. (born May 17, 1940) is an African-American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the fourth and current Bishop of Memphis.


The oldest of five children, J. Terry Steib was born in Vacherie, Louisiana, to Rosemond and Vivian (née Jones) Steib. He worked alongside his father in the sugar cane fields of Louisiana, and was inspired to become a priest by his doctors, ministers and community leaders. He attended St. Augustine Divine Word Seminary in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi from 1953 to 1957, and graduated from Divine Word Seminary in Conesus, New York, in 1961. He completed his philosophical studies also at Divine Word Seminary in Techny, Illinois in 1963, and earned a theological degree from Divine Word Seminary in Bay St. Louis in 1967.

Steib was ordained a priest of the Society of the Divine Word on January 6, 1967, and served as Assistant Dean of Students at Divine Word Seminary in Bay St. Louis until 1969. He was a professor at Saint Stanislaus College, a Catholic high school in Bay St. Louis, from 1967 to 1976, and earned a Master of Arts degree in Guidance and Counseling from Xavier University of Louisiana in 1973. In 1976, he was elected to the first of three terms (1976–83) as the provincial superior of the Society of the Divine Word's Southern Province. He was also Vice-President of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men from 1979 to 1983.

On December 6, 1983, Steib was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis and Titular Bishop of Fallaba by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on February 10, 1984, from Archbishop John L. May, with Bishops George Gottwald and Charles Koester, serving as co-consecrators. He was later named to succeed Daniel M. Buechlein as the fourth Bishop of Memphis on March 24, 1993.

During the 2008 presidential election, Steib declared: "We cannot be a one issue people ... If our conscience is well formed, then we will make the right choices about candidates who may not support the Church's position in every case."[1]


  1. ^ Palmo, Rocco (2008-10-21). "In the King's Backyard, "We Cannot Be a One Issue People"". Whispers in the Loggia. 

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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Daniel M. Buechlein
Bishop of Memphis
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis
Succeeded by