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Rev. Steven M. Grancini, Fatima Shrine director ; June 13, 1932 -- Jan. 2, 2011

The Rev. Steven M. Grancini, former director of Our Lady of Fatima Shrine in Lewiston, died Sunday in California after a long illness. He was 78.

A native of Milan, Italy, Father Grancini, was a member of the Barnabite Fathers. He also had been a teacher and vice principal of Bishop Gibbons High School in North Tonawanda and chaplain of the Carmelite Nuns and of Sisters Hospital, both in Buffalo.

Most recently, he was pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in San Diego.

He entered the Minor Seminary of the Barnabite Fathers when he was 12 years old and made his first profession of vows in 1950 in Monza, Italy. He made his solemn profession of vows in 1955 in Rome, Italy.

He completed his studies at Our Lady of the Angels Seminary at Niagara University, and the late Most Rev. Joseph A. Burke, then the bishop of Buffalo, ordained him to the priesthood Dec. 8, 1957 in St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo.

Father Grancini was appointed provincial superior of the North American Province in 1963. He was elected as the superior general of the Barnabite Order in 1976 in Naples, Italy. He lived in Rome for six years.

Upon his return to the United States in 1982, he was appointed director of Our Lady of Fatima Shrine until he was assigned in 1985 to Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in San Diego.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today in St. Joseph Cathedral in San Diego. A Rite of Commendation and Farewell will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, 1023 Swann Road.