Beloved Chico priest to be laid to rest Saturday, large turnout expected for memorial


Father Mike Newman will be laid to rest Saturday at Glenn Oak Memorial Park in Chico at approximately 11 a.m.

A memorial service will be held beforehand at 10 a.m. inside St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at 416 Chestnut Street.

A standing room only crowd is expected for the service of the beloved Roman Catholic priest, who died last week at 79.

"He was a people person," said Gail Boswell, a parishioner at Our Divine Savior Catholic Church in Chico, where Father Newman served as an associate pastor before his death.

"He had a way of being everybody's best friend," said Bowell, who knew Father Newman since his arrival from Sacramento to Chico more than 20 years ago.

Father Newman was born and raised in Wisconsin before being ordained as a Salvatorian priest.

Father Francis Stevenson, who worked alongside Father Newman for three years, described Father Newman as "affable.," adding that he was also very learned as a musician, liturgist and historian.

But it was Father Newman's winning personality and infectious smile that drew people to him and God's message of love and forgiveness.

"He received sinners the way Jesus did, with this unconditional love," said Jennifer Forward, a member of Our Divine Savior Catholic Church. "And he didn't always agree with what we did, but he always loved us."

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