In loving memory of Fr Steven Wilson CSsR


On May 17, Fr Steven Wilson, C.Ss.R., passed away while in hospice care in Kirkland, WA, in the United States. He was a member of the Province of Denver and the vice-treasurer at the Redemptorist General Curia in Rome in the last sexennium. He was 69 years old.

UPDATE OF May 22: Funeral mass of Fr. Steven, live streaming on YouTube from Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish – Seattle.

Who was Fr. Steven Wilson? – An exceptional pastor who inspired and mentored many Redemptorist students, he was a highly skilled CPA (certified public accountant) who served in the financial offices of the Denver Province as well as the General Government for a substantial part of his 22 years of Redemptorist ministry – wrote Redemptorists of Denver in a circulated announcement of the confrere’s death. 

Here is how Br. Larry Lujan, C.Ss.R., who is a member of the Denver Province and currently General Consultor in Rome, remembers the late Fr. Steve.

Steven Neel Wilson was born on June 30, 1953, in Seattle, WA. After graduating from Seattle University with an accounting degree in 1975, he opened his own CPA firm, Steve N. Wilson & Co., in the Fremont District. While he was in his mid-30s, he converted to the Catholic faith and soon was serving as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Alphonsus Parish in Seattle. Although he had built a very successful company, he felt a persistent call to the priesthood.

Fr. Steven Wilson, C.Ss.R.

He considered several religious orders, but the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help at his home parish led him to the Redemptorists. He entered the formation program in 1994, at the age of 41. While he studied at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, he ministered to the Hispanics and African Americans at Blessed Sacrament Parish and the homeless in the heart of the inner city of Chicago. He found that meeting their spiritual needs was the most challenging – and most fulfilling – experience of his life. He professed temporary vows on August 2, 1997, and perpetual vows on October 15, 2000. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 27, 2001.

Fr. Steve returned to Blessed Sacrament Parish to continue working with the poor as a Son of St Alphonsus until 2005, when he was assigned as pastor of Our Mother of Sorrows Parish in Biloxi, MS. He also was responsible for two smaller parishes, St. John and St. Louis. Nothing could have prepared him for his arrival in Biloxi only two days after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. He immediately responded to parishioners, and gathered them for outdoor Masses on the steps of the churches. He worked nonstop to identify all available services, and Our Mother of Sorrows Parish quickly became an information hub for the East Biloxi area.

During the nine years he served in Biloxi, Fr. Steve coordinated the merger of St. John and St. Louis into Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos Parish. He was a friend and mentor to the youth, as well as the Redemptorist students he welcomed for summer ministry. Fr. Steve became so well known in all circles that even former Bishop Roger Morin of Biloxi referred to him as the “King of East Biloxi,” and Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway declared June 29, 2014 “Father Steve Wilson Day.”

During this time, Fr. Steve also began serving as an internal auditor for the General Government. He traveled the world, and made regular visits to the Father Ray Foundation in Thailand. The ministry had such a profound impact on him that he established Redemptorist Apostolic Works to provide financial support to his confreres, as well as other worthy organizations serving the less fortunate in Thailand, Laos and Africa.

Fr. Steve was appointed Co-Director of the Pre-Novitiate Formation House in the Bronx, NY, in 2014, but only a year later, he was assigned Treasurer/Secretary of the Denver Province. He successfully managed the Finance Office until 2018, when he was appointed Vice Econome of the General Government in Rome. When he was diagnosed with cancer, he returned to Seattle for treatment, and was serving as administrator of Sacred Heart Parish until a few weeks before his death.

As Redemptorist, Fr Steve inspired and mentored many confreres who deeply mourn his loss. His close collaborators remember him as a confrere who greatly loved the Congregation and provided excellent leadership and faithful service to the financial administration for many years.

May the Risen Lord receive Fr. Steve Wilson, a good and faithful servant of abundant redemption, into His eternal abode.

(based on information submitted from the Province of Denver)

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