J. Terry Steib

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
James Terry Steib
Bishop Emeritus of Memphis
Archdiocese Louisville
Diocese Memphis
Appointed March 24, 1993
Installed May 5, 1993
Term ended August 23, 2016
Predecessor Daniel M. Buechlein
Successor Martin Holley
Ordination January 6, 1967
Consecration February 10, 1984
by John L. May, George Joseph Gottwald, and Charles Roman Koester
Personal details
Born (1940-05-17) May 17, 1940 (age 77)
Vacherie, Louisiana
Previous post Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis
Styles of
James Terry Steib
Coat of arms of James Terry Steib.svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

James Terry Steib, S.V.D. (born May 17, 1940) is an African-American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the Bishop of Memphis from 1993 to 2016.


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. 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 named to succeed Daniel M. Buechlein as the fourth Bishop of Memphis on March 24, 1993, and installed on May 5, 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]

Pope Francis accepted his resignation - as is customary when a bishop turns 75 - August 23, 2016.

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

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