DULUTH, Minn. — The Diocese of Duluth says Bishop Paul Sirba has died after suffering a heart attack. He was 59.
The diocese says Sirba collapsed at St. Rose Church in Proctor Sunday morning and was rushed to a Duluth hospital where he died about 9 a.m.
Sirba has led the Catholic Diocese of Duluth for a decade.
“Words do not adequately express our sorrow at this sudden loss of our Shepherd,” Vicar General Father James Bissonette shared in a statement. “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.”
A biography for Bishop Sirba published by the Diocese of Duluth says he grew up in Bloomington, Minn., and attended Nativity of Mary Grade School, the Academy of the Holy Angels, the College of St. Thomas, and the St. Paul Seminary. Sirba received his Master of Divinity degree from St. Paul Seminary and a Master of Arts degree from the Notre Dame Apostolic Catechetical Institute in Arlington, Va.
After being ordained he served as associate pastor at the Church of St. Olaf, Minneapolis, from 1986 to 1990; at the Church of St. John the Baptist, Savage, from 1990 to 1991; as a member of the spiritual formation department at St. John Vianney Seminary, St. Paul, from 1991 to 2000; as pastor of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin, St. Paul, from 2000 to 2006; and as spiritual director at the St. 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. Bishop Sirba was ordained a bishop on Dec. 14, 2009.
After Sirba was ordained in 1986, he served at the Church of St. Olaf in Minneapolis, the Church of St. John the Baptist in Savage, at St. John Vianney Seminary and the Church of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin, both in St. Paul, and at the St. Paul Seminary.
Funeral arrangements are pending.