Bishop Joseph Estabrook Called Home Following Lengthy Illness

Archbishop Broglio calls on faithful to pray for deceased bishop and his family

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Most Reverend Joseph W. Estabrook, D.D., a native of Albany, N.Y. and Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern half of the United States of the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS), died on February 4, 2012 in Houston, Texas following a lengthy illness. He was 67 years old.

Bishop Estabrook is survived by his mother, Genevieve, brother Timothy and his wife, Giselle, and by his sister Mary Ann and her husband, William. He is the son of the late J. Walter Estabrook formerly of Albany, N.Y. He has several nieces and nephews, William, Julianne, and Joseph Tortolano and Michael and Giselle Marie Estabrook. He also has numerous cousins and family members who reside in Saugerties, N.Y., and Hoosick Falls, N.Y.

Bishop Estabrook is an alumnus of St. Bonaventure University and Christ the King Seminary in Olean, N.Y. He was ordained a Catholic Priest on May 30, 1969 for the Diocese of Albany, N.Y., and served as an Associate at St. Vincent de Paul Parish from 1969-1971. Additionally, he served as Chaplain to the Parsons Child Development Center in Albany. He was appointed as the first Family Life Director for the Diocese in 1971 and served in that capacity until joining the Navy as a Chaplain in 1977.

As a Navy Chaplain he served on many ships throughout Europe, and then with the Marines at the Marine Corps Development and Education Command, Quantico, Va. After completion of studies at the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Va. in 1983, he was assigned to the Chief of Chaplains Office in Washington, D.C., and then to USS CARL VINSON (CVN70), an aircraft carrier serving the Pacific Fleet.

Father Estabrook graduated from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif. in 1989 after successfully completing graduate studies in Ethics. He served at the Navy Air Station, Sigonella, Sicily and supported troops in the First Gulf War both in Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He was the Chaplain Basic Course Officer, Navy Chaplain School, Newport, R.I. and returned to Washington, D.C. as the Executive Assistant to the Navy Chief of Chaplains. He also was appointed as the Ethics Consultant to the Navy Surgeon General and served on the Department of Defense Health Affairs Ethics Panel until 1997.

He was Fleet Chaplain, U. S. Pacific Fleet, with additional duty as the Senior Chaplain of the U.S. Pacific Unified Command from 1997 to 2000.

Estabrook reported aboard as Command Chaplain, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay in September 2000 until his elevation to the Episcopacy on July 3, 2004 and retirement from the Navy in September of that year.

He became a Captain in the U. S. Navy in September 1995. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit with two gold stars, the Meritorious Service Medal with a gold star, a Navy Commendation Medal with a gold star, four Meritorious Unit Awards as well as a number of other medals and awards.

He was made Honorary Prelate to his Holiness and given the title of Monsignor in March 1997, appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the AMS and Titular Bishop of Flenucleta on May 7, 2004, and ordained a Bishop on July 3, 2004. He was assigned to care for the faithful of the Archdiocese for the Military initially in the Western Vicariate and resided at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, San Clemente, Calif.

Bishop Estabrook is Fourth Degree in the Knights of Columbus and a Knight of The Holy Sepulcher.

In announcing the death, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, called on the faithful to pray for Bishop Estabrook and his family.

Archbishop Broglio said:

“The Archdiocese for the Military Services has lost an energetic and sensitive Successor of the Apostles, whose pastoral zeal and love for the men and women in uniform and their families electrified everything he did. His valiant struggle with cancer and his sense of hope have given us all a lesson in how to live and how to face death. My heartfelt sympathy goes to his mother and family. They have given him exemplary care and showered him with love throughout his illness.”

Arrangements are as follows:

Reception of the Body and Evening Prayer:

Thursday, February 9, 2012 – 7:30 p.m. PM

Church of the Good Shepherd

8710 Mount Vernon Highway

Alexandria, VA 22309

Mass of Resurrection:

Friday, February 10, 2012 – 10:30 AM

Church of the Good Shepherd

8710 Mount Vernon Highway

Alexandria, VA 22309

Priests are welcome to concelebrate.

Concelebrants are asked to bring an alb and white stole.

Interment with Military Honors will take place at Calvary Cemetary in Albany, N.Y. at a time yet to be announced.

Priests are asked to offer Mass for the repose of his soul.

Contact: thenry@milarch.org