Date of death: 8/31/2020
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1981
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.