John G BirkApril 5, 1935 ~ October 28, 2017 (age 82)
Fr. John George Birk, Jr. passed away peacefully at the age of 82 years in the early morning hours of October 28, 2017 in Spokane. He had been nourished and strengthened with the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, in the same way that for 54 years he had faithfully provided strength, consolation, and mercy to others as a priest of Jesus Christ.
He was born on April 5, 1935 to John George and Mary Birk in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Quigley Seminary in Chicago, moving on to St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, and finally studying theology at Regina Cleri Seminary in Regina, Saskatechewan. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Spokane on June 8, 1963.
After ordination, he served as Associate Pastor at the Parishes of St. Augustine (Spokane), St. Anthony (Spokane), St. Patrick (Walla Walla and Pasco); Pastor of the Parishes of St. Joseph (Dayton) and St. Mark (Waitsburg); Chaplain in the VA Hospitals in Chicago and Spokane, and at Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco. In addition, he served many years as chaplain to the Marriage Encounter, Retrouvaille, St. Vincent de Paul, Knights of Columbus, Serra Club of the Tri-Cities, Civil Air Patrol, and many others.
In the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul, he spent much of his life in service to the poor and the sick, accompanying the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Pasco for many years in addition to his duties as hospital chaplain. He also generously supported the Guatemala Mission, including by regularly joining mission trips there, as well as numerous other charitable organizations and needy individuals.
Fr. John was preceded in death by his parents, John George and Mary Birk, and his siblings Clarence, Edward, Mary Ann, and Loretta.
The Vigil will be celebrated at St. Patrick Parish in Pasco at 3:00PM on Sunday, November 5. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00AM on Monday, November 6 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in Spokane. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Spokane.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.