Rev. Robert Steigmeyer, C.S.C.

fr._robert_steigmeyerRev. Robert C. Steigmeyer, C.S.C., passed away on July 16, 2011, at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind. He was 91 years old.

Fr. Steigmeyer was born to Herbert F. and Dorothy (Reiling) Steigmeyer, on April 15, 1920, in Fort Wayne, Ind. He attended St. Patrick Grade School and entered Holy Cross Seminary in 1934. In 1940, he enrolled at The University of Notre Dame, where he earned a B.A. in Philosophy. From 1943 to 1944, Fr. Steigmeyer attended Holy Cross College in Washington, D.C., and then continued his studies at Holy Cross Foreign Mission Seminary in Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 8, 1947.

The 64-year journey of his priestly ministry started in 1947 at the Apollinaire, Rome, studying Canon Law. Beginning in 1950 for the following 20 years, he served as a missionary in Dhaka, in what is how Bangladesh, which he stated, “cemented his feet in the ministry.” It was difficult for him to leave Bengal a decision, in part, precipitated by the government’s service restrictions on the movement of foreigners.

Upon his return to the United States, Fr. Steigmeyer was the chaplain at St. John Hickey Memorial Hospital in Anderson, Ind. In 1983, he moved to Grand Rapids, Mich., becoming chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital. In 1997, Fr. Steigmeyer returned to South Bend, assisting and residing at St. Casimir and St. Stephen Parish. In 2001, Fr. Steigmeyer took residency at Holy Cross Mission House, Notre Dame, Ind. In 2006, he was assigned to Our Lady of Fatima House. From 2001 until shortly before his death, Fr. Steigmeyer served as chaplain to the Sisters of the Holy Cross at their Basil Moreau Convent, then at Queen of Peace Convent, Saint Mary’s, Ind.

Fr. Steigmeyer once commented, “God alone is responsible for my years in the priesthood. The prayers of others may have reminded God to keep an eye and hand on me, but only God could manage this feat.”

Fr. Steigmeyer was preceded in death by his parents, Herbert F. and Dorothy (Reiling) Steigmeyer and by his brothers; Rev. Gregory Steigmeyer, C.S.C., Edward, and Richard. He is survived by his brother, Charles Steigmeyer, and many nieces and nephews.

Viewing and a wake service for Fr. Steigmeyer were held in the Chapel of Moreau Seminary, University of Notre Dame, on Monday, July 18, 2011. The funeral Mass was celebrated at the Basilica of The Sacred Heart,Notre Dame, on Tuesday, July 19, 2011.

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