Bishop Francis Anthony Quinn, Seventh Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento from 1979 to 1993, passed from this life into eternal life on March 21, 2019, at the age of 97. Ordained a priest in 1946, Bishop Quinn served in the San Francisco Archdiocese in several capacities before his episcopal ordination as an Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco in 1978, where he was ordained with Diocese of San Jose Founding Bishop Pierre DuMaine. In 1979 Bishop Quinn was selected to come to Sacramento. Bishop Quinn’s episcopal motto, “Love God, love one another,” defined his long life and selfless ministry.
He reached out to the people in the twenty counties of Northern California comprising the Diocese of Sacramento, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, with compassion, humility, and dedication. He was a gifted and consummate communicator. He strived to understand and connect with everyone with whom he came in contact, including the media. He was sought out for his intelligence and keen insight on moral, social, and political issues.
He had a particular concern for those in need, especially those living on the margins. He was well-known by the homeless on the K Street Mall, where he would frequently walk in the early evenings, ministering to them in both practical and spiritual ways. He was a beloved figure throughout the vast Sacramento Diocese and a most welcome visitor to the more than 100 parishes and many ecumenical and inter-religious events.
In his annual visits to confer the sacrament of Confirmation, he had a profound and lasting influence on the youth of the Diocese. His sincerity and affable nature conveyed a genuine love and concern of young people and their families. When he retired in 1993 and became Bishop Emeritus, he dedicated the next thirteen years to ministry with Native Americans in and around Tucson, Arizona.
Returning to Sacramento in 2007, he resided at Mercy McMahon Terrace Assisted Living, where he ministered to fellow residents.
Bishop Quinn was pre-deceased by his brother Donnell in 2015. He is survived by his sister-in-law Betty Quinn, nieces Joanne (Harry) Hansen and Donna Bradshaw, and numerous grandnephews, grandnieces and their families.
Many people supported the Bishop with their prayers, kindnesses, service, and friendship, especially his devoted friends Anita Martin and her family; his long-time personal secretary Jean Tamaki; and his attentive friend Ernest Barbeau. The entire Diocese of Sacramento, both Catholic and non-Catholic alike, were touched by his love, affection, and servant leadership. His vibrant presence will be deeply missed.
Bishop Quinn received loving care from the dedicated staff of Mercy McMahon and Snowline Hospice. The Quinn family and Bishop Jaime Soto, current Catholic Bishop of Sacramento, express their appreciation and admiration for the staff’s ever-attentive care and support.