1923 – 2015 (June 15)
Robert Edward Steinman, was born on January 3, 1923, in Reading, Pennsylvania, one of two sons of Otto M. Steinman and Anne Gibney, and was baptized in the same city on January 14, 1923, at Saint Margaret Church. He attended Saint Gabriel's Parish School, Norwood, Pennsylvania, from 1928 to 1934, Southern Junior High School, from 1934 to 1935, and Mount Penn High School, Reading, from 1935 to 1940. Following High School graduation, he attended State Teachers College, Kutztown, Pennsylvania and was employed in a boiler factory. In 1942, he entered Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, as a postulant, and on September 9, 1943 was received into the Order as a novice. After a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed first vows on September 10, 1944. He attended Villanova College, from 1944 to 1947, and then Augustinian College, Washington, DC, for his theological studies, until 1951. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1947, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 6, 1950 at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, by Bishop John McNamara.
Fr. Steinman was assigned, as an instructor, to Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, DC, in 1951, and remained there until 1964. In 1953 he received an MS in Mathematics from the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. In 1964, Fr. Steinman was assigned to preach retreats and missions throughout the country, as a full time member of the Province's "Mission Band". He continued in this ministry until 1990, with residence in a number of communities: Saint Paul, Mechanicville, New York; Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York; Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, Our Mother of Good Counsel, Bryn Mawr, Our Mother of Consolation, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, all in Pennsylvania. In 1974 he was once again assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova, and remained there for the remainder of his life. Even after he retired from the Mission Band, Fr. Steinman continued to be active in ministry at St. Anastasia's parish, Newtown Square, and at Malvern Retreat House for many years.
In his later years, Fr. Steinman suffered from failing health, but continued, nonetheless, to participate in the monastery's life at common meals and community Mass, ably maneuvered in his wheel chair by friars and nurse aids. His sense of humor and penchant for telling jokes remained a constant, and his deep, strong, voice, developed over many years as a preacher and speaker filled the dining room when, as the eldest of the community, he was called upon to lead grace before meals in the occasional absence of the prior and sub-prior.
Fr. Steinman, known affectionately as "Abe", died in the Villanova Monastery on Monday, June 15, 2015. A wake was held at the St. Thomas Monastery Chapel on the evening of June 21. A wake preceded the funeral Mass, which was celebrated by Prior Provincial Michael Di Gregorio, O.S.A., on Monday June 22, at 10:00 AM at St. Thomas of Villanova Church on the campus of Villanova University. Father Robert Murray, O.S.A. preached. Father Steinman is buried in the Augustinian Plot at Calvary Cemetery in Conshohocken, Pa.