August 31, 2017 – Father Leo Joseph Tibesar, Jr. passed today in St. Paul, Minnesota. This obituary was contributed by Cousin James Bernard Tibesar.
Fr. Leo J. Tibesar, Jr. Obituary
Tibesar, Fr. Leo J., Jr. Born December 7, 1942 in St. Paul, MN.
Died peacefully on August 31, 2017 at age 74. Leo was a graduate of St. Agnes School and Nazareth Hall.
He was ordained into the Priesthood on March 9, 1968.
Leo is preceded in death by parents Leo, Sr. and Margaret “Marge” Tibesar.
Survived by brother, Rick (friend Ginni Doyle); and sister, Rose (Dennis) King; nieces, Pam (Bart) Inniger, Shari King (John Ferstl), Katie (Tom) Flood, and Sara (Geoff) Carlston; nephews Larry King, Tim (Jill) Tibesar, Dr. Robert (Amy) Tibesar, and Marcus (Jessica) Tibesar; also 24 great nieces and nephews.
Leo’s ministry included work at many parishes in the Archdiocese, including serving as Pastor at St. Frances Cabrini for 17 years until his retirement. Leo also was Librarian at the St. Paul Seminary, taught at St. Thomas College, and served as Chaplain at Fairview Riverside and University of Minnesota Hospitals for 25 years.
The family would like to thank the University of Minnesota Hospital and Woodlyn Heights Senior Living Center for the exceptional care Leo received. A special thank you to Mary Beth Sullivan who was always there with caring advice and assistance when questions arose concerning Leo’s care, and also special friends, Jim, Bob and Charlie.
Mass of Christian Burial 10:00 AM Monday, September 11 (2017) at THE CHURCH OF ST. FRANCES CABRINI, 1500 Franklin Ave SE, Minneapolis. Interment Calvary Cemetery. Visitation at MUELLER-BIES FUNERAL HOME ROSEVILLE, 2130 N. Dale St. @ County Rd B from 4-7 PM Sunday 9/10, and at the church from 9-10 AM Monday.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to St. Agnes School, St. Frances Cabrini Church or donor’s choice. MUELLER-BIES 651-487-2550 muellerbies.com
November 8, 2017
J.M.J. I remember Father Tibesar with fondness when he served as the librarian of Saint Paul Seminary. May he rest in peace. I will gladly offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for his Soul’s everlasting repose.
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan, Sioux Falls, SD
November 3, 2017
Leo was one of the strongest and most determined men I ever had the pleasure of knowing. Jim Golembeski
September 12, 2017
I attended the visitation for Fr. Leo Tibesar on Sunday and met his brother and a cousin. Among things I learned is this beautiful and insightful description of Leo Tibesar from St. Agnes High School’s 1962 yearbook:
“Uses well his extensive potential but often is underestimated because of his quiet and unostentatious manner … knows something worthwhile about everything important … competent journalist and persuasive debater … reads around everything.”
John Mehring, Minneapolis
September 11, 2017
Benevolence is the word that comes to mind. I have known Leo, a bit at a distance, since the 1970’s and was always struck by his open heart, his determination in matters of social justice and his prayerful, inwardly aware presence. Rest well, friend, well earned!
Dr. Stephen Parker, Minneapolis, MN
September 9, 2017
Dear Fr. Leo, what pleasant memories: morning Mass at Corpus Christi, memorable dinners, ‘rivering’ on the St. Croix and many more. As you encouraged and helped my ministry here, I know you will continue to help me here, from the heart of Jesus, thank you; pray for us.
Jim and Tina, River Falls, WI
September 7, 2017
Fr. Leo Tibesar was a great support to persons with AIDS, particularly in the mid-1980s through his work with Services to Persons with AIDS (SPA), the direct services component of the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP). Tibesar also helped organize the interdenominational response to the epidemic.
John Mehring, Minneapolis, MN
Long-time pastor of St. Frances Cabrini dies
Dave Hrbacek, September 8, 2017 The Catholic Spirit
Father Leo Tibesar, known for putting Catholic social teaching into action, died Aug. 31. He was 74. His funeral Mass is 10 a.m. Sept. 11 at St. Frances Cabrini in Minneapolis, with a visitation beginning at 9.
A long-time priest and member of Father Tibesar’s 1968 ordination class said that he was soft-spoken and introverted, but by no means passive when it came to standing up for the rights of others, particularly the underprivileged and defenseless.
“The works of mercy were very, very important to him,” said retired priest Father Stephen Adrian, who first met Father Tibesar when both were attending Nazareth Hall in the 1950s and later were seminary classmates who were ordained in a class of 18 men. “Leo was the kind of guy who would take a public stand on things,” he said. homily
In the homily he preached at Father Tibesar’s Sept. 11 funeral Mass at St. Frances Cabrini, Father Adrian remembered his friend as a pro-life advocate and early supporter of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, an advocate for farm workers and activist against the Vietnam War, and for his ministry to LGBT Catholics.
Father Tibesar was a long-time pastor of St. Frances Cabrini, where he served from 1994-2011. He was also a hospital chaplain for the Fairview Riverside Medical Center from 1987-2012. Other assignments included associate pastor at St. Rose of Lima, librarian at the St. Paul Seminary, tribunal judge for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and chaplain at the University of St. Thomas.
Long-time parishioner Bob Reid described the priest as a “really gentle person” who was “an outspoken supporter of diversity and inclusivity” and “a blessing to Cabrini [parish].” Reid enjoyed monthly meals with Father Tibesar in a group that included his wife, Beverly, and four other parishioners. He noted that Father Tibesar enjoyed trying interesting food, nature photography and collecting African art.
As quiet as Father Tibesar could be, some folks may not have recognized what a powerful brain rested behind his mild-mannered exterior, said Father Adrian, who planned to highlight his classmate’s intelligence and dedication during the homily he was scheduled to preach at the funeral Mass.
“He was the kind of person you could walk into a room and not notice. There were people who made judgments about him that there really wasn’t much there,” Father Adrian said. “But, they were really very, very wrong. He was an incredibly bright man, and an incredibly active man.”
Father Adrian last saw Father Tibesar at a Mass he celebrated several weeks ago. Even though Father Tibesar’s health was failing, he “was very positive,” Father Adrian said. Father Tibesar was looking ahead to 2018, when the priests and their still-living classmates would celebrate their 50th anniversary of ordination.
“Leo was part of an active committee putting together a 50th anniversary gathering,” Father Adrian noted. “They were reserving a place at the seminary for a two-day event.”
At that gathering, Father Tibesar’s classmates will be left rekindling memories of a priest who won the respect of clergy and parishioners alike.
“I think I’ll miss most his insightfulness,” Father Adrian said. “Leo was a good summarizer. He could listen to a whole mess of stuff for hours on end, and then … within a paragraph or two, he could summarize what happened. He had an insight and an ability to bring material together, which made him a very valuable person.”
Father Leo Tibesar, social justice activist, dead at 74
SEPTEMBER 26, 2017 BY ANTHONY D’ARCO National Federation of Priests’ Councils
Father Leo J. Tibesar, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and longtime pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Minneapolis died on Aug. 31. He was 74.
According to The Catholic Spirit, the archdiocesan newspaper, Fr. Leo was pastor at St. Frances Cabrini from 1994 until his retirement in 2011. He also served as Chaplain at Fairview Riverside and University of Minnesota Hospitals from 1987 to 2012.
Fr. Leo was ordained in a ordination class of 18 seminarians in 1968. His classmate, Fr. Stephen Adrian, who gave the homily at Fr. Leo’s funeral on Sept. 11, said, “Leo was the kind of guy who would take a public stand on things.”
Father Adrian remembered his friend as a pro-life advocate and early supporter of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, an advocate for farm workers and activist against the Vietnam War, and for his ministry to LGBT Catholics.
During the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s Fr. Leo was involved with Services to Persons with AIDS (SPA) and the direct services component of the Minnesota AIDS Project (MAP). He also helped organize the interdenominational response to the epidemic. He also took on a leadership role with the National Catholic AIDS Network until it ceased operation in 2007.
During the 2006 NFPC Annual Convention in Minneapolis, Fr. Leo acted as Parliamentarian as the organization discussed by-law changes that were eventually enacted in 2008.
May Fr. Leo’s soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, Rest in Peace!