Bishop Emeritus William K. Weigand released the following statement on the passing of Bishop Emeritus Francis A. Quinn at age 97. Bishop Weigand succeeded Bishop Quinn upon his retirement and served as the eighth bishop of Sacramento from 1993 to 2008.
“Bishop Francis A. Quinn’s long and noble life was a lasting blessing for countless people, including myself. He will be deeply missed. But our lives, our communities and our world are forever better for his having passed our way.
“Bishop Quinn was a rare and special person. He was a churchman of high rank, yet always able to connect with the ordinary person; an effective administrator, yet never losing a personal and pastoral touch; highly educated, yet clear and simple of expression; driven to address countless expectations and projects, yet always having time for you; serious and focused, yet always wearing a big smile and making one laugh; a priest/bishop of deep prayer and Christ-centered spirituality, yet not above or distant from others; respectful of someone disagreeing with him, yet sticking to his own conviction without cause for hard feelings, and much more.
“Bishop Quinn was installed as the seventh bishop of Sacramento in early 1980. I was installed as the seventh bishop of Salt Lake City later that same year. As suffragan bishops of the ecclesiastical Province of San Francisco, we attended countless meetings, retreats, church events and consultations together. We often had the occasion to ‘compare notes,’ share experiences and have a good laugh. In the process, we became friends. I will miss my friend.
“It was first an unexpected surprise and then both an honor and a challenge for me to be asked by Pope John Paul II in November of 1993 to succeed Bishop Quinn as the eighth bishop of Sacramento. An honor, because with his sterling qualities Bishop Quinn had brought extraordinary respect to the office of bishop. A considerable challenge, because I would not be able ‘to fill his shoes’ or match his bigger-than-life persona. Yet, Bishop Quinn, being the gentleman and churchman that he was, did everything possible to make my entry easy and my pastoral service fruitful. Thereafter, Bishop Quinn was ever supportive and helpful to me. In these later years, we became spiritual confidantes for each other.
“We will all miss this extraordinary person who was such a blessing to us in life. We can honor Bishop Quinn best, I think, by following his example and each striving to be a blessing for the other. Bishop Quinn: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into your Father’s rest.’”