Sister Celine Steinberger, SNJM

Sister M. Lorene Therese

October 3, 1942 – December 25, 2017

Sister Celine Steinberger, SNJM departed this life December 25, 2017, at Hospice House, Spokane, Washington.

Sister Celine celebrated 75 years of life and 55 years of religious profession.



Obituary for Celine Steinberger, SNJM

Contact:  Mary Ann Farley, SNJM, (509) 954-5902

Celine Steinberger, (M. Lorene Therese), SNJM
October 3, 1942 – December 25, 2017

Celine Therese Steinberger was born in Seattle, Washington, the first child of Rina Nelli and Leo Steinberger.  She was later joined by her sister and two brothers.  She consciously embraced the best qualities of her Italian mother and German father, as well as their deep Catholic faith.  She attended Holy Names Academy in Seattle from first grade through High School.  Her twelve years’ experience with the Sisters of the Holy Names inspired her to pursue a religious vocation. She entered the Congregation in 1960 and pronounced her vows in 1962 as Sister M. Lorene Therese.  She earned a BA and an MA in Education from Fort Wright College of the Holy Names.  She began her teaching career in the primary grades at St. Paschal in Spokane, then St. Frances Cabrini in Tacoma, Our Lady of Fatima in Seattle, and Holy Rosary School in Edmonds from 1974 to 1981, serving as Principal from 1976.

In 1981, Sister Celine came to Spokane as Staff Development Director at Fort Wright College.  After the closing of the four-year college at Fort Wright, she served as Co-Director, then Director of Holy Names Center on the Fort Wright Campus until 1988.  In recognition of her gifts in telling the story of the Sisters of the Holy Names and inspiring others to join the community in mission and ministry, she was invited to be the Development Director for the Washington region of the congregation, a position from which she retired at her death.  In support of her new ministry, she participated in Leadership Spokane, class of 1987 and attended fund-raising school in 1989. With her whole heart, she dedicated her passion for the mission and ministry of the Sisters, for establishing and nurturing relationships, for service to the broader church and civic community.  She believed that her role was Friend-raising, and that funds to support the works of the Sisters would follow.  It is not possible to overstate her success!  Literally thousands of people call Celine “Friend.”  But, in each of her ministries, Celine was also a powerfully competent professional woman.

Sister Celine worked tirelessly in support of Holy Names Music Center, particularly in finding and supporting excellent board members to help carry on the legacy of music and art, long a tradition of Holy Names Sisters.  She also served on the Diocesan Foundation Board

Celine was a creative woman in many ways.  Her problem-solving included stretching to the utmost possibilities before settling on the best options.  Her wisdom then showed itself.  A latent interior decorator lived inside Celine and many residences have been made more attractive and inviting through her efforts.  She loved color, design and beauty.  She combined all those in her own wardrobe, in her gifts for others, her way of presenting her space in each season, and in her way of seeing the world.

At the heart of Sister Celine’s life was her spirituality, her deep faith in God, her constant nourishing of a hopeful heart.  She prayed and reflected every morning in preparation for whatever each day would bring.  She held and shared the essence of what Blessed Marie Rose, the Foundress of her community envisioned: women of faith dedicated to proclaiming by their lives the primacy of the love of God.  Her daily mantra was that “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,” and she cleared her heart each day to make room for those gifts!

All will miss the warm and welcoming smiles and hugs that have made so many know they have been loved.  Hundreds of generous donors will miss the personal phone calls and handwritten messages, as will the many friends blessed to have crossed her path.

Celine is survived by her SNJM Sisters and Associates, by her brothers Vincent (Diane) and Richard (Robin), and her sister Janie Bolton (Lee), her niece, Sarah Bolton (Andrew Klebberud) and nephew, Andrew Bolton (Marian), and their three children.

Sister Celine Steinberger died December 25, 2017, at Hospice House in Spokane.  A vigil was held on Friday, January 5, 2018, at 6:30 PM, at Mukogawa Fort Wright Commons, Spokane, Washington.  Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated on Saturday, January 6, 2018, at 10:30 AM, at Our Lady of Fatima, Spokane, Washington.  A Memorial Service was held at 11 AM, January 10, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Edmonds, WA, with a reception to follow.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Sisters of the Holy Names Retirement Fund, 2911 West Fort Wright Drive, Spokane, WA  99224.


Click here for the reflection given by Adrianna Carr at the Memorial Mass for S. Celine on January 18, 2018 at the Chapel of the Holy Names.