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Father Stanley Bir

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Franciscan Father Stanley Bir, who served the Province of St. John the Baptist for 65 years, died March 23 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati following a long battle with cancer. He was 84 years old.

Father Stan Bir (Courtesy photo)

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated March 30 at St. Clement Church in St. Bernard.  Interment followed at St. Mary Cemetery.

Father Bir, a Franciscan friar known to religious communities around the world as “The Profiler,” was a native of Crawfordsville, Ind. He retired from active ministry last year and was living at St. Clement Friary in St. Bernard.

A member of the Franciscan friars since 1943, he was guidance director for 19 years at Roger Bacon High School in Cincinnati and taught the first remedial reading course in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He was a leader in his field, founding the Cincinnati archdiocesan Catholic Guidance Council and serving as National Council Coordinator of the National Catholic Guidance Conference.

His title from 1971-2008 was Province Personnel Advisor for the Cincinnati-based St. John the Baptist Province. In that capacity, he helped friars learn about themselves and each other through workbooks and procedures he developed using the Myers Briggs personality test as the basis.

His manuals – which have been translated into Spanish, German and French – helped countless other communities of religious men and women foster leadership skills and interpersonal understanding.

For years he profiled participants in the Lay Pastoral Ministry Program of the archdiocese as well as men entering life with the Franciscans throughout the country. In recent years he led workshops in Pakistan (with the Franciscans) and Switzerland (for agencies affiliated with Franciscans International).

Father Bir is survived by a sister-in-law, Louise Bir of Lafayette.

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