Date of death: 10/20/2022
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1970
Father John W. Birk, 85, was born December 29, 1936 in Louisville and passed away October 20, 2022.
He was baptized at Saint Columba in Louisville, Kentucky. Father Birk attended Saint Columba and Our Mother of Sorrows for elementary school, Saint Xavier for high school, and the University of Notre Dame for college.
Father Birk attended Saint Meinrad School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Indiana for major seminary. He was ordained a priest on May 16, 1970 and completed graduate studies at Indiana University, earning a M.A. in Religious Studies (1968) and University of Louisville, William and Mary, and University of Virginia for various classes.
Following ordination, Father Birk served as Pastor at Saint Luke and Holy Name; as Administrator at Saint Aloysius (Shepherdsville); and, as Associate Pastor at St. Barnabas, Christ the King (Louisville), Guardian Angels, St. Leonard, and St. Martha. Father Birk received bi-ritual faculties through the Eparchy of Newton (Melkite-Greek) and served the Byzantine Catholic faithful in the Archdiocese of Louisville for over forty years. Following college and prior to entering major seminary, Father Birk served in the U.S. Army (1958-1964) ranked as a Private First Class.
Father Birk was preceded in death by his parents, William (Sr.) and Ruth Ellyn (Grebe) Birk, and brother, William (Jr.) and sister-in-law Joan. He is survived by his sister, Ellyn Steinemann (William); six nieces and nephews, Denise Hayden (Don), Tony Birk (Tara), Billy Birk, Rob Birk (Amy), Julie Conrad (Mike) and Lee Steinemann (Julie); fourteen great nieces and nephews, and two great great nieces.