Dec 2, 2019
Bishop Paul David Sirba, Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Duluth, MN, beloved shepherd of the people of the Diocese of Duluth, dear son, brother, uncle and great-uncle died of apparent cardiac arrest at his home in Proctor, MN on Sunday morning, December 1, 2019, the First Sunday of Advent. Bishop Sirba was born in Minneapolis, MN on September 2, 1960, to Norbert and Helen Sirba. He attended Nativity of Mary Grade School in Bloomington, Academy of the Holy Angels in Richfield, and the College of St. Thomas and St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul. Bishop Sirba received his Master of Divinity degree from St. Paul Seminary as well as a Masters in Arts from the Notre Dame Apostolic Catechetical Institute in Arlington, Virginia. Paul Sirba was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on May 31, 1986 and served in the following parishes: St. Olaf, Minneapolis; St. John the Baptist, Savage; and Maternity of Mary, St. Paul. He also worked in the Spiritual Formation Department at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul and was a Spiritual Director at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul. He was appointed Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis on July 1, 2009, and was subsequently appointed by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, as the Ninth Bishop for the Diocese of Duluth. He was ordained Bishop of Duluth on the feast of St. John of the Cross, December 14, 2009.
While a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Sirba was a member of several committees including the Priority and Plans Committee, Administrative Committee, and the Catholic Home Missions Committee. Bishop Sirba was also an active member of the St. Paul Seminary Board of Directors and the Episcopal Advisory Board for the Institute on Religious Life. He also served as the state chaplain of the Knights of Columbus.
For the ten years of which Bishop Sirba was the shepherd of the Duluth Diocese, he was known to be an incredibly kind and compassionate pastor, a wise and thoughtful administrator, and a holy and virtuous man of prayer and deep faith. He was a beloved and dear member of the Sirba family, and was revered as a true spiritual father by the clergy, religious and faithful of the diocese. He will be greatly missed.
Bishop Sirba was preceded in death by his father, Norbert. He is survived by his mother Helen of St. Paul, brothers the Reverend Joseph Sirba of Hinckley, and John (SueAnn) of Bloomington, and a sister Catherine (Scott) of Canon Falls. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Duluth.
Visitation will be on Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary located at 2801 East Fourth Street in Duluth, MN, with the praying of the Rosary to take place at 6:00 p.m. and Vigil prayers at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at the Cathedral on Friday, December 6, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. Following the funeral Mass, burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in Duluth. Requiescat in Pace.
We anticipate that many mourners, both from the Diocese of Duluth and from outside of our diocese, will wish to attend our beloved Bishop Paul Sirba’s funeral Friday at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, and that the resulting crowd may well far exceed the available seating at the Cathedral. Therefore we are grateful to announce that WDIO-TV has graciously offered to have the liturgy livestreamed on the Internet, making it accessible to all across the region and beyond who wish to see it. The stream will be available on WDIO.com. We hope this will enable as many people as possible to be united in prayer for the repose of Bishop Sirba’s soul and for his family and our local church and all who mourn.
As a reminder: Public visitation for Bishop Sirba will take place from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Cathedral, which is another opportunity to say goodbye and pray for him. The visitation will then resume at 8 a.m. Friday morning and continue until the 11 a.m. funeral Mass.
Please share this information widely so that as many people as possible can be made aware of it.
Dec 1, 2019
With sad hearts, we share the following message regarding the sudden death of our beloved Bishop Paul Sirba that was sent out to diocesan clergy and employees this morning and which is being announced at Masses today.
Following is the message from Father Bissonette, who has served as Bishop Sirba’s vicar general:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is with an incredibly heavy heart that I must inform you of tragic news regarding our Bishop. Bishop Paul Sirba suffered cardiac arrest at St. Rose Church in Proctor, MN this morning, December 1st. He was rushed to Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, where life-saving measures were attempted, but were unsuccessful. He was attended to by Father John Petrich who administered the last rites to him at the hospital. He was declared to have passed away at just after 9:00 A.M. this morning. Words do not adequately express our sorrow at this sudden loss of our Shepherd. We have great hope and faith in Bishop Sirba’s resurrection to new life, and have confident assurance that he will hear the words of our Lord: “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter in the joy of your Master.”
Arrangements for Bishop Sirba’s funeral Mass and burial will be forthcoming. Please pray for the repose of Bishop Sirba’s soul, as well as for his mother, Helen, and his siblings, Father Joe, Kathy, and John, and their families. Let us also hold each other up in prayer during this most difficult time.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord …
– And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace …
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God …
– Rest in peace, Amen.
Reverend James B. Bissonette
Diocese of Duluth