February 11, 2005

Father William F. Stineman co-authored
necrology book

By Mary Ann Wyand

Father William F. Stineman, a retired diocesan priest who co-authored a necrology book about priests, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on Feb. 3 in Indian­a­polis. He had celebrated his 80th birthday on Jan. 7 and had just returned from a vacation in Mexico.

Before retiring in 1993, Father Stineman served 15 years as pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis.

In the preface of Catholic Clergy in Indiana: A Necrology of Those Who Served in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Formerly the Diocese of Vincennes, which he co-authored with Father Jack W. Porter, Father Stineman wrote, “May the memory of all the bishops, priests and deacons whose names are recorded here always be honored by our profound appreciation of their devoted service to the Church and to the faithful of this archdiocese.”

Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein was the principal celebrant for the Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. on Feb. 10 at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indiana­polis.

Calling was scheduled on Feb. 10 from 9 a.m. until 9:45 a.m. at the cathedral before the funeral Mass and from 6 p.m. until an 8 p.m. vigil service at St. Benedict Church in Terre Haute, which was his home parish.

Interment was in the Priests’ Circle at Calvary Cemetery in Terre Haute.

Father Stineman wrote his own obituary, thanking his parents, Arthur John Stineman and Anne Marie Burget, “for giving God’s life to me on Jan. 7, 1925,” and his godparents, Kathryn Cecile Burget and Father Frederick W. Burget, “for inspiring and nurturing [God’s] call to me to the priesthood.”

He also thanked the priests and the men and women religious who taught him in Catholic schools.

“I was blessed many times over,” he wrote, “through the influence of the Sisters of Providence, the Conventual Franciscans, the Benedictines and the Jesuits during the enlightening years of my formal education.”

William Frederick Stineman was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Paul C. Schulte on June 7, 1949, at Saint Meinrad Archabbey Church. He celebrated his first Mass on June 12, 1949, at St. Patrick Church in Terre Haute.

His first assignment was as assistant pastor of St. Mary Parish in North Vernon. In 1950, he was named assistant pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Terre Haute.

In 1952, he was appointed assistant chaplain and an instructor at Marian College in Indianapolis.

Father Stineman earned a Master of Science degree in education at Indiana University in Bloomington in 1955 and a doctorate in education from St. Louis University in 1960.

Also in 1960, he was appointed assistant chaplain for the Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. He also served as a professor at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

In 1972, he was named pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Greencastle. Four years later, he accepted additional responsibilities as administrator pro tem of Holy Rosary Parish in Seelyville and St. Augustine Mission in Fontanet, while continuing as pastor of St. Paul Parish in Greencastle. During those years, he also served as chaplain of the Newman Center at DePauw University in Greencastle and as Catholic chaplain for the Indiana Sate Farm in Putnamville.

In 1978, he was appointed pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis, where he served until retiring on Aug. 1, 1993.

He also served on the archdiocesan Council of Priests from Jan. 1, 1988, until Dec. 31,1989.

“Time spent in the Lord’s vineyard was grace-filled,” Father Stineman wrote. “God’s people came to be better understood and more fully served by reason of the discoveries I gained from advanced studies. … More profound insights about life, coupled with a deeper love and greater appreciation of [the] Holy Church, increased enormously during the years following [my] retirement in 1993.”

Father Porter, his longtime friend, said on Feb. 7 that he met Father Stineman in 1969 when he was teaching at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Father Stineman also taught a humanities class at the former Rose Polytechnic Institute, now Rose Hulman Institute of Tech­nology, in Terre Haute, where Porter was a faculty member in the humanities department.

Father Porter said he had briefly attended a minor seminary operated by the Paulists, and Father Stineman encouraged him to resume his studies for the priesthood at Saint Meinrad.

“I credit my return to the seminary to the Holy Spirit, of course, and to Father Stineman, who was responsible for ­reviving my lingering interest in becoming a priest,” Father Porter said. “I really was impressed with him as a dedicated priest and a very human, fun-loving person interested in things cultural and travel. We had a lot in common. … We often traveled together.”

Father Porter said Father Stineman was a world traveler, vacationing with his mother and aunt. Later, the two priests traveled to many countries together.

“He made two around-the-world trips, one with Msgr. John Doyle in the 1960s and he made one with me in, I think it was, 2001 or 2002. He loved to travel. He had visited almost all the countries of Europe and Australia, New Zealand, all the Pacific Islands, China, Japan more than once, India, Greece and all over northern Africa. We were in Zambia to see the Conventual Franciscans that we have here [in southern Indiana] in about 1974.”

Father Porter said Father Stineman was “a very fine homilist and loved every dimension of his priesthood and life of service for people.”

Father Stineman spoke “some German, Italian and French,” Father Porter said. “He studied Hebrew for a three-month sabbatical in Israel. He had a Jewish background. His family was from Alsace Lorraine, … and he was very proud of it.”

Father Stineman had visited Mexico many times, Father Porter said. “That was his last vacation. He was in pretty good spirits and health there.”

Surviving are a brother, Dr. Robert G. Stineman of Wilmette, Ill., and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in care of the Archbishop O’Meara Catholic Center, P.O. Box 1410, Indianapolis, IN 46206. †  


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