Paul Albert Zipfel

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Bishop Paul Zipfel in 2010
Styles of
Paul Zipfel
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
Posthumous style not applicable

Paul Albert Zipfel (born September 22, 1935) is a retired American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the sixth Bishop of Bismarck.[1]


Paul Zipfel was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Albert and Leona (née Rau) Zipfel. He has two older siblings; Ralph and Mario. He attended St. Michael's elementary school in from 1940-49, and afterwards entered the St. Louis Preparatory Seminary. After studying at Kenrick Seminary (1955–1957) and the Catholic University of America (1957–1961), Zipfel was ordained to the priesthood on March 18, 1961.[1]

He then obtained his licentiate in Sacred Theology during the following June, and completed his graduate studies at St. Louis University from 1963 to 1965, there earning his Master's in Education. From 1961 to 1989, Zipfel did pastoral work in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, served as an associate pastor, pastor, teacher and administrator at various schools and parishes. To this day, he is still revered and loved by many of the former students of Holy Family Catholic School is South St. Louis.

On May 16, 1989, Zipfel was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis and Titular Bishop of Walla Walla by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following June 29 from Archbishop John May, with Bishops O'Donnell, SVD and Steib, SVD serving as co-consecrators.

Zipfel was named the sixth Bishop of Bismarck, North Dakota, on December 31, 1996, being formally installed on February 20, 1997.

Within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he sat on the Administrative Committee and the Priestly Life and Ministry Committee. His resignation from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Bismarck was accepted on October 19, 2011, and he was succeeded by David Kagan. In retirement, Bishop Zipfel took up residence in Saint Joseph's Hall at the University of Mary, where he provided sacramental and spiritual service to students, and he later returned to his hometown of Saint Louis, MO. Within a year of retirement, Zipfel was diagnosed with dementia. His family, along with the Diocese of Bismark, decided to move him back to St. Louis to be closer to his family so he could be properly cared for. Currently, Bishop Zipfel lives at Little Sisters of the Poor in Florissant, MO.


  1. ^ a b "Bishop Paul Albert Zipfel [Catholic-Hierarchy]". Retrieved 2015-10-27. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Francis Kinney
Bishop of Bismarck
Succeeded by
David Kagan
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis
Succeeded by