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Francis Quinn

Bishop Francis Quinn greets guests after the opening of the cause for beatification ceremony for Bishop Alphonse Gallegos
Styles of
Francis Quinn
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
Posthumous style not applicable

Francis Anthony Quinn (born September 11, 1921) is the Roman Catholic bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Sacramento.


  • Background 1
  • Bishop 2
  • Work in retirement 3
  • Retirement prayer 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6
  • Episcopal succession 7


Born in Los Angeles, California, he graduated from St. Joseph’s Seminary and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of San Francisco on June 15, 1946. He earned a MA in education from the Catholic University, Washington, D.C. in 1947 and an Ed.D from the University of California, Berkeley in 1962.[1][2]

Quinn was a teacher at Serra High School, San Mateo, and a counselor at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, San Francisco, before becoming an assistant superintendent for the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 1955. He was editor for the San Francisco Monitor in 1962 and was appointed pastor of St. Gabriel’s Church in 1970.


Quinn was consecrated an auxiliary bishop of San Francisco on June 29, 1978. Pope John Paul II named Quinn as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Sacramento. Quinn was installed on December 18, 1979.

From 1980-1992, seven new parishes, several missions, two elementary schools and one high school were established. He oversaw a 10-year pastoral plan for the diocese as well as a spiritual renewal program, reorganized the deanery structure, initiated a diocesan pastoral council, and celebrated the hundredth anniversary of the diocese.

Quinn inspired and encouraged women to lead in parish governance, educational, liturgical, financial and social ministries. He also activated lay individuals to continue their formation and assume leadership roles in various groups and movements. He supported the launch of an AIDS hospice, and he protested the death penalty on the steps of the Capitol and at prison gates. He also spoke up regarding nuclear disarmament, immigration policies, and many foreign issues.

Bishop Quinn High School in Palo Cedro, California is named in his honor. The school has since closed.

Work in retirement

Quinn retired in 1993. Since his retirement he has worked with the Yaquis in Arizona. In 2007, Bishop Quinn returned to the Diocese of Sacramento after several years of service to Native Americans in Tucson, Arizona. Now residing at Mercy McMahon Terrace, a residence for seniors run by the Sisters of Mercy in midtown Sacramento, Bishop Quinn continues to serve as an activist for change, particularly in the area of social justice and human rights, especially for the poor and the impoverished.

Retirement prayer

On the issue of retirement, Bishop Quinn wrote the following prayer of reflection:

"Lord, make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not use it all, but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want to keep a few friends at this time of life.

"Keep me reasonably joyful; I do not want to be a saint—some of them are so hard to live with—but a gloomy person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people, and give me the grace to tell them so.

"Heavenly Father, we remind ourselves that You Yourself are elderly, not over the hill, but mature.

Many of the great champions of the Old and New testaments were people of maturity: Methuselah, Moses, Noah, Zachary, Anne, Elizabeth, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.

George Burns won his first Oscar at 80.

Golda Meir was 71 when she became prime minister of Israel.

George Bernard Shaw was 94 when one of his plays was first produced. At 96, he broke a leg when he fell out of a tree.

Benjamin Franklin had the honor of framing the US. Constitution when he was 81.

Michelangelo was 71 when he painted the Sistine Chapel.

Albert Schweitzer was still performing operations in his African hospital at 81.

Henry Ford and Abraham Lincoln did not realize any success until they were 40 years old.

Winston Churchill became Great Britain's prime minister at age 65. When 70, he addressed crowds on V-E Day.

Casey Stengel didn't retire from the rigorous schedule of managing the New York Mets until he was 75.

Lord, the mature years give us a sense of humor.

When his grandson asked my brother if he watched 'Saturday Night Live,' he answered, 'So far.'

And, Lord, I have a question for you: How come the same foods that widen our waists narrow our arteries? Lord, you know to be Over the Hill means that we have reached the summit.


  1. ^ "Bishop Emeritus Francis A. Quinn's Biography". Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Bishop Francis Anthony Quinn".  

External links

  • A conversation with Bishop Francis A. Quinn last retrieved February 25, 2007.

Episcopal succession

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Alden John Bell
Bishop of Sacramento
Succeeded by
William Weigand
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