Jeffrey N. Steenson

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The Right Reverend Monsignor
Jeffrey Neil Steenson
Ordinary emeritus of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter
Appointed January 1, 2012
Installed February 12, 2012
Term ended November 24, 2015
Successor Steven Joseph Lopes
Ordination February 21, 2009 (Roman Catholic)
by Michael J. Sheehan
Consecration January 16, 2005 (Episcopal)
Personal details
Born (1952-04-01) April 1, 1952 (age 65)
Fort Rucker, Alabama
Denomination Roman Catholic
Spouse Debra Jane Steenson
  • Kristina
  • Eric
  • John

Jeffrey Neil Steenson PA (born April 1, 1952) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the first ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, which provides for groups of former Anglicans who have become Roman Catholics.[1] Steenson served as the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande from 2005 until 2007, when he resigned and entered full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.


Steenson is a scholar of patristics. He received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Christ Church, Oxford, with a 1983 dissertation entitled "Basil of Ancyra and the Course of Nicene Orthodoxy". His earlier degrees are Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School (1978) in New Testament patristics, Master of Arts from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (1976) in church history, and Bachelor of Arts from Trinity International University (1974) in history.[2]

Episcopal Church ministry[edit]

Steenson was ordained as a priest of The Episcopal Church on June 29, 1980, and became a curate at All Saints' Church in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and later as the rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, and St. Andrew's Church in Fort Worth, Texas.[3]

In October 2004, Steenson was elected bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande; he was consecrated on January 16, 2005. On August 1, 2005, he succeeded Terrence Kelshaw as Bishop of Rio Grande.[4] Steenson was a member of the Board of Trustees of Nashotah House and the Board of Directors of The Living Church Foundation.

In September 2007, Steenson announced[5] his decision to resign as bishop, effective December 1.[6]

Roman Catholic Church ministry[edit]

Styles of
The Right Rev. Msgr.
Jeffrey Neil Steenson PA
Reference style Monsignor
Spoken style Monsignor

Steenson was received into the full communion of the Roman Catholic Church on December 1, 2007. Having petitioned for ordination in the Catholic Church under the Pastoral Provision, he began studies at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome.

Steenson was ordained a transitional deacon in December 2008 by Cardinal Bernard Law, the archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.[7] On February 21, 2009, he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe by Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.[7][8] Steenson has taught at the University of Dallas (Rome campus), the University of St. Thomas in Houston, and at St. Mary's Seminary, also in Houston.[1][8] He currently teaches at the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity in St. Paul, MN.

On January 1, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named Steenson the first ordinary of the newly created Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. He was installed as ordinary on February 12, 2012.[1] Upon his appointment as ordinary, Steenson was granted the title protonotary apostolic, the highest rank of monsignor, by Pope Benedict XVI.[9] Being married, Steenson is not eligible to be consecrated a Catholic bishop, but due to his position as ordinary, he is a full voting member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.[9] At its founding, the ordinariate was said to have inquiries from over 100 Anglican priests and 1,400 people.[10] Steenson resigned from the office of ordinary on November 24, 2015. His successor, Steven J. Lopes, was appointed on the same day.

Personal life[edit]

Steenson is married to Debra Jane Steenson,[11] with whom he has three adult children.[12] He is an avid amateur pilot and aircraft builder.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Erezione dell'Ordinariato Personale di the Chair of Saint Peter e Nomina del Primo Ordinario". Pontifical Acts: 1 January (in Italian). Pontifical Council for Social Communications. January 1, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  2. ^ Sly, Randy (January 1, 2012). "It's Official and Historic - The Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter erected in America". Catholic Online. Archived from the original on January 8, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ Daniels, Bruce (September 24, 2007). "Rio Grande Bishop to Resign". Albuquerque Journal. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ "History of the Diocese". Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ Pastoral letter by Jeffrey Steenson, September 26, 2007
  6. ^ "Four bishops' renunciations of ministry accepted by Presiding Bishop". Episcopal News Service. February 12, 2008. Retrieved December 22, 2010. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b "Former Episcopal bishop discusses his new life as Catholic priest". The Catholic Review. March 7, 2009. Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  8. ^ a b Wooden, Cindy (March 6, 2009). "Former Episcopal bishop discusses his new life as Catholic priest". Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on March 10, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Patel, Purva (12 Feb 2012). "Cardinals install Catholic convert in rarefied post". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 13 Feb 2012. 
  10. ^ Boorstein, Michelle (January 1, 2012). "Some Anglicans Apply to Join the Catholic Church". Washington Post. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ Peoplefinders search on Jeffrey Neil Steenson.
  12. ^ "Anglicans have new U.S. home in Catholic church". The Associated Press. January 1, 2012. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ "About the Ordinary". Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
Episcopal Church (USA) titles
Preceded by
Terence Kelshaw
Bishop of Rio Grande (Episcopal Church)
Succeeded by
Michael Vono
Catholic Church titles
New title Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter (Roman Catholic Church)
Succeeded by
Steven Joseph Lopes