Bishop Joseph W. Estabrook, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, passed away on Feb. 4, in Houston, Texas, after a lengthy illness. The bishop was 67 years old.
“The Archdiocese for the Military Services has lost an energetic and sensitive Successor of the Apostles,” said Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, who leads the archdiocese.
He described Bishop Estabrook as a shepherd “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,” the archbishop said.
Born in Albany, N.Y. in 1944, Bishop Estabrook studied at St. Bonaventure University and Christ the King Seminary in Olean, N.Y. He was ordained on May 30, 1969 as a priest for Diocese of Albany, where he served at St. Vincent de Paul Parish.
He also worked as Chaplain to the Parsons Child Development Center, before being appointed as the first diocesan family life director in 1971.
Fr. Estabrook became a Navy Chaplain in 1977 and served on ships throughout Europe as well as in chaplaincy positions in the U.S.
He eventually returned to Washington, D.C., where he worked as the executive assistant to the Navy Chief of Chaplains. In addition, he served as an ethics consultant for the Navy Surgeon General and the Department of Defense.
In 1995, Fr. Estabrook became a Captain in the U.S. Navy, where he received multiple medals and awards.
He continued serving in various capacities as chaplain until 2004, when he was named Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services. He was assigned to shepherd those in the Western Vicariate.
A funeral Mass for Bishop Estabrook will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 10 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Alexandria, Va.