DULUTH HAS A BISHOP! And what a Bishop!

I was thrilled to read this morning that a friend of mine, Fr. Paul Sirba has been named Bishop of Duluth.

You cannot find or imagine a holier and well-balanced Catholic priest than Fr. Paul Sirba.

Ninth bishop named for Diocese of Duluth! His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI today named Father Paul Sirba, 49, the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Duluth.

Bishop-elect Paul SirbaBishop-elect Sirba was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1986. He is the son of Norbert (deceased) and Helen Sirba. He has two brothers, Father Joseph Sirba and John (Sue Ann) Sirba, and one sister Catherine (Scott) Kelly, 13 nieces and nephews, and three grand-nephews. He was raised in Bloomington, attended Nativity of Mary Grade School, the Academy of the Holy Angels, the College of St. Thomas and the Saint Paul Seminary. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Saint Paul Seminary and a Master of Arts degree in spiritual theology from the Notre Dame Apostolic Catechetical Institute in Arlington, VA. After his ordination, he served as associate pastor at St. Olaf Church in Minneapolis from 1986 to 1990 and at the Church of St. John the Baptist in Savage from 1990 to 1991, as a member of the spiritual formation department at St. John Vianney Semininary in St. Paul from 1991 to 2000, as pastor of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin in St. Paul from 2000 to 2006, and as spiritual director at the Saint Paul Seminary from 2006 to 2009. He was appointed vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis by Archbishop John C. Nienstedt on July 1, 2009.

In the name of the priests, deacons, religious and faithful of the archdiocese, Archbishop John Nienstedt expressed their “collective joy in the Holy Father’s appointment of Bishop-elect Paul Sirba to the Diocese of Duluth.”

“Bishop-elect Sirba has been a priest of this Archdiocese for 23 years, and during that time, he has served with great distinction as a pastor, spiritual director at both our undergraduate and graduate seminaries, and more recently, as vicar general and moderator of the curia for the archdiocese,” Archbishop Nienstedt said. “ He is held in high esteem by the clergy of this local church. Along with his brother priests and the parishioners he has served, I greatly value his many valuable contributions to the building up of our Catholic faith here in St. Paul and Minneapolis. He will truly be missed. However, I also realize that he will not be far away, and I look forward to working with him in the Province.”

Father James Bissonette, diocesan administrator of the Diocese of Duluth, welcomed the news on behalf of the diocese. “It is a great blessing to the Diocese of Duluth that our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has sent us our next shepherd, Bishop-elect Paul Sirba,” he said. “I have known Bishop-elect Sirba since our seminary days. I know him to be a very good man and a fine priest with a deep spirituality. It is a special joy that he comes to our diocese somewhat familiar with it, since he already knows many of the priests and his brother Father Joseph Sirba serves here as a pastor. I, together with the lay faithful, religious and clergy of the Diocese of Duluth, welcome our new bishop and look forward not only to his ordination and his installation but to assisting him in his new mission as our shepherd.”

Bishop-elect Sirba will be available at a press conference at the diocesan Pastoral Center, 2830 E. Fourth Street, beginning at 3 p.m.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. salus says:

    It seems that the Archbishop Niestedt is getting to appoint the bishops he wants, I hope this means good things up in Minnesota, you certainly believe it will.

  2. priest up north says:

    Thank God for such a gift in Bishop-elect Sirba! Thanks to all of you who have prayed for us in Duluth! We have truly received a great blessing in this wonderful man and holy priest.

  3. TNCath says:

    Deo gratias! Is he “Latin-friendly”?

  4. ssoldie says:

    I have to believe that Archbishop Niestedt had something to do with this appt, thank you Archbishop, Pope Benedict XVI, and the Holy Ghost.

  5. I’m not sure that it’s a matter of commendation that “your archdiocese is orthodox, so we’ll pick from the hometown boys”; it could be “your archdiocese isn’t too clique-y and inward-looking” as well. It even could be that the best candidate just happened to be a hometown boy.

    Shrug. I’m not so worried about the message as happy that Duluth seems to have gotten a good man, who’ll be around for the foreseeable future.

  6. Tim Ferguson says:

    Bishop Sirba will be a great addition to the episcopate – it looks like the north country is getting some incredibly fine shepherds. Praise the Lord!

  7. Fr. John Mary says:

    I have heard many good things about this new Bishop. May the Lord bless and keep him, and prosper
    the works of his hands!

  8. Geometricus says:

    I can’t tell you how pleased I am, as I see what Fr. Z sees: this is a holy and sensible priest, who is well-known in the Twin Cities of MN for his orthodoxy and friendliness to the hermeneutic of continuity, as opposed the hermeneutic of rupture. Ad multos annos, Bishop-elect Sirba!

  9. Aaron says:

    We’re waiting for a new bishop down here in Springfield, Illinois. It’s very heartening to see good orthodox bishops being appointed for other dioceses; I just hope there’s one left for us!

  10. This is tremendous news! Bishop-elect Sirba is a great man. I hope he inspires many vocations in the Northland. They could use them. Many priests in northeastern Minnesota serve several parishes or are still going long after they should’ve retired because there are no replacements.

  11. Greg Smisek says:

    He is an incredibly humble and holy man. The second local priest mentored by Msgr. Richard Schuler to be made a local bishop. May God grant him many years.

  12. lucy says:

    We’re waiting for a good bishop in Fresno, CA. Congratulations to the good people of Duluth!! May God continue to grace our great country with good bishops to return to solid Catholicism. Deo gratias.

  13. Agnes says:

    I’m so excited! Blessings, prayers and best wishes to Bishop-elect Sirba!!! (I hope we get a “field trip” for the installation!)

  14. Kerry says:

    This is terrific. Father Sirba was our parish priest at Maternity of Mary just up the street from our house. (By the way, the Yard Shrine I made for my yard can be seen here if you’re interested- Signovinces.com)And, of course, in my yard.

  15. lome says:

    Those dedicated, who love serving Christ by prayers and living a holy life, May their daily life be a holy example to those around him.
    But for Father Silva, As Bishop, May God sent him additional helper Angels to help and guide him in the battle ahead.
    May he gather enough courage to deny, correct, or criticize those influential erring Christian Public Servants that happens to come his way?
    May God protect his bishop against the onslaught of the enemy of the Church?
    Guard their purity and shower them with lots of Holy common sense…
    Father Silva, Congratulation.Holiness attracts Souls!

  16. Liz F says:

    It’s so encouraging and heartening to read such happy news!!

  17. Dr. Eric says:

    Ad multos annos! I hope Fr. Sirba will make an awesome bishop!

    Aaron, hands off Bishop Perry, I want him here in Belleville when our good Bishop Braxton gets moved to an Archdiocese!

  18. bookworm says:

    I second Aaron’s motion. Cheyenne finally got their bishop today so I figure we’ve moved a couple of steps closer to the front of the line :-)

Comments are closed.