Fr. Steven Peay
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Fr. Steven Peay

Steven Peay, a worthy servant of the Lord, left this earthly life on August 31, 2020. He is preceded in death by his parents Willard and Doris (Nee Furnish) Peay. He is survived by his wife Julie (nee Frankwick), Stepsons Jeremy Strandt and Matthew Strandt, family, friends, and colleagues.

Steve was a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, and did his undergraduate work in Church History at Greenville College (now University), Illinois, and his studies in philosophy at St. Meinrad Seminary College, Indiana. He entered the novitiate of St. Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and after professing vows as a Benedictine monk did his studies for the priesthood there earning the MA in Systematic Theology and MDiv from Saint Vincent Seminary. Steve was ordained to the priesthood in 1982. He did additional studies in Classical Rhetoric/Communication at the University of Pittsburgh (MA) and earned his PhD at Saint Louis University in Historical Theology. He returned to the monastery where he served as Assistant and then Master of Ceremonies for seven years. He joined the faculty of Saint Vincent Seminary as assistant professor of Homiletics and Historical Theology; serving as the school's Academic Dean for five years. He eventually left monastic life, and the Roman Church, serving Congregational Churches in Wisconsin from 1995 until 2010. He continued to do scholarly work, and eventually began as an adjunct professor of Church History at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, Wisconsin in 2008. He joined the regular faculty in 2010. His orders were received by the Episcopal Diocese of Albany. He served as Director of Field Education in 2011, became the Academic Dean in 2012, and was elected Dean-President in 2014, taking office in February 2015. He stepped down, for reasons of health, in August 2017, taking appointment as Research Professor of Homiletics and Church History. He was named Dean-President Emeritus by the Board that same year.

Steve has had a long-standing interest in the study of academic dress, which led him to join the Burgon Society. He was elected a fellow of the society in 2018 for his work on the development of academic dress at Nashotah House Theological Seminary. It was published as "Appropriate Hoods: The Development of Academic Dress at Nashotah House Theological Seminary" in TRANSACTIONS OF THE BURGON SOCIETY (2018).

Steve joined the staff of the Cathedral Church of All Saints in Milwaukee as Associate Dean on September 1, 2018. He directed the Cathedral Institute and developed programming in spiritual formation. He was elected and installed as Canon Residentiary in October 2018. He was appointed Canon to the Ordinary for the Diocese of Milwaukee in December 2019.

Among his work he has edited four books and published articles and book chapters on the history and practice of preaching, Congregationalism, Nashotah House and its relationship with the Oneida Indians (published in THE WISCONSIN ONEIDAS and the EPISCOPAL CHURCH: A Chain Linking Two Traditions Indiana University Press, 2019), and Benedictine spirituality. He has done spiritual direction for many years and has also facilitated retreats and workshops for clergy and religious of various denominations. Some of the lectures and retreats have taken him to Great Britain, Ireland, South Africa and Canada.

A Visitation will be held on Saturday September 5, 2020 at the All Saints Cathedral, 818 E Juneau Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202, from 10 AM until 11:45 AM. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic a PRIVATE Funeral Service will be held at 1 PM. Father Steven Peay's Funeral Service can be live streamed on Saturday September 5th at 1 PM, please see the Becker Ritter website for further details. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee, the Dekoven Center, or a charity of your choice is appreciated.

The family expresses gratitude for the care and treatment by the physicians and staff at Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin.






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Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Sep. 2 to Sep. 6, 2020.
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19 entries
October 26, 2020
Dr. Peay was a huge influence on my wife and I as we went through our marriage classes with him. We had lengthy discussions and to this day, when my friends ask me what advise I have for marriage, it is the advice given to me by Dr. Peay.
" Marriage is about two things only; transparency and intention. Transparency in your love, in your pain, in your desires, and your insecurities.. As a loving partnership, you can't address these alone, and expect the relationship to succeed. Intention: Believe it or not, there will come a day when you will wake up and want nothing to do with the person in the bed next to you... Intend to love them anyway. Sometimes the mere act of looking them in the eyes and saying it, even when you are not feeling it, can snap you back into love..."

We were remiss in our lack of attention through the last 14 years, and many a day have gone by where I thought to seek him out, only to get lost in the shuffle of everything that needs to get done in a day.

My wife and my best to the family.. Our sincerest... most heartfelt condolences to you, and everyone he touched the way he touched us.

Robert Martin
Student
September 23, 2020
Steve was a confrere at St. Vincent Archabbey and one of my seminary professors. I thought the world of him. He made being a scholar look like fun. He was funny. He liked my sense of humor and encouraged me in many ways. I hope he’s enjoying Eternity, and I pray his loved ones have found acceptance and grace in his passing. I can still hear him laughing.
Paul Longo
Student
September 7, 2020
Such a great, generous, and caring spirit. Though I knew him only a little, he influenced me a lot. May his memory be a blessing.
Nina Harlan Kohl
Friend
September 7, 2020
The world and our diocese has become a better place, thanks to to the loving presence of Fr. Steven Peay.
Rt Rev Dr Ed Leidel, Jr.
Coworker
September 6, 2020
I met Steve at Wabash Free Methodist campground when we were kids. He fascinated me with his thirst for knowledge and loved to share what he was learning! He also, had a great sense of humor! I didn't realize that he was having a difficult time with his health. I spoke with him at the beginning of this summer and he never said a word. He will be missed! See you in heaven, Steve!
Teresa Rardin
September 5, 2020
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Cindy Comeau
September 4, 2020
I am truly amazed by the life he’s led as so well-detailed above. He has lived many lifetimes in all he’s accomplished, yet he was a humble man of the cloth. Well done, good and faithful servant.
My sympathies to you, Julie and family.
Pam Hanson
Acquaintance
September 4, 2020
Words cannot express the feeling of loss that we, in the Diocese and Cathedral of Fond du Lac, are experiencing right now. To us, Steven+ was far more than a valued colleague, wise counselor, or learned teacher. He was, for many of us, a beloved friend and spiritual father. Though we grieve the absence of his physical presence from our midst, we are consoled by the knowledge that he is with the Lord he so faithfully loved and served.

Julie, you and your dear family remain in our prayers, just as we know, now freed from earthly shackles, Steve+ is now bearing both you and us in his prayers. Recalling the comforting words of Julian, whom Steve+ loved so well and quoted so frequently, we are reminded that sin and, even, death are “behovely, but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”
The Very Reverend C. Patrick Perkins
Friend
September 4, 2020
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C. Patrick Perkins
September 4, 2020
Fr Peay was the Man who showed me the way to United States of America. He equally admitted me as a son of the House at my matriculation. His memory will be indelible in my life. RIP.
Fr Ernest Osuchukwu
Student
September 4, 2020
Steve was an amazing individual, and was always ready for a fascinating conversation. Our prayers are with him and his family.
Andrew Nencka
Acquaintance
September 4, 2020
Truth sees God and wisdom contemplates God, and from these two comes a third, a holy and wonderful delight in God, who is love....Julian of Norwich.
Rest in peace, good and faithful servant.
Patricia Furnish Murphy
Family
September 3, 2020
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September 3, 2020
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September 3, 2020
Steve was a dear friend, and someone I have always been in awe of. He was academic, yet common, passionate, yet understanding of differing views. I will always fondly remember living a few doors down from him on 1st Flood Joy dorm at Greenville. His memory looms large in my mind and he will be truly missed by all who knew him.
Tony Preston
Friend
September 3, 2020
I am truly shocked at the news of Steve's passing and my thoughts are with Julie. He was a good friend who showed me great kindness at a very difficult time. I will always treasure the memories of the times we met and shared thoughts and ideas. Rest in peace, dear friend, and rise in glory.
Geraint Tudur
Friend
September 3, 2020
I knew him as Father Bede, of St Vincent. One of the most intelligent people I have ever met. Many a long night discussing Greek mythology, The medieval Church and modern church practices —always with a very good ale !
He was a good mentor to me, an “ uncle “ and confirmation sponsor to my children. One of God’s good ones, he will be missed
Jim Ramsay
Friend
September 3, 2020
Fr. Peay was a dear teacher and advocate. My warmest sympathies to his family, friends, and all his spiritual children. +Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord, and may light perpetual shine upon him.
James Krueger
Student
September 3, 2020
The world has lost a great light, a brilliant mind and kind soul. Mark and I often remark how Steve was the smartest, most intellectual person we know. Julie, our hearts are broken. We know Steve is reveling in his heavenly home, but our thoughts and prayers are especially with you! Peace and Blessings!
Donna & Mark Dudenhoefer
Friend
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