Sister Mary Zirbes

In her semi-retirement years, Sister Mary Zirbes has been a strong advocate for social justice and preservation of the environment and all of creation.


MaryZirbes_StoryInvolved in a variety of causes, she has done much to bring awareness to the critical issues affecting our society today. 

She also has a love for painting, producing many works of her own and teaching art classes to her religious sisters. 

Sister Mary Zirbes, originally from Melrose, Minn., joined the Franciscan Sisters in 1942. For many years she served in elementary education, the Community Mission in Peru, and in promoting outreach and social justice ministries in parishes of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.


At a glance

Ministry: Social Justice Advocate
Location: St. Cloud, MN


Sister Mary Zirbes Paintings

Past Ministries

  • Teacher-Primary Grades at St. Nicholas School, St Nicholas, Minn.
  • Principal/Teacher-Grade 1 at Holy Spirit School, St Cloud, Minn.
  • Teacher - Grade 8 at Our Lady of Victory School, Fergus Falls, Minn.
  • Principal/Substitute Teacher; FSLF Community Board at St. Mary's School, Morris, Minn.
  • FSLF Community Board, Mission Coord; Religious Ed--Royalton, MN at Franciscan Sisters, Little Falls, Minn.
  • Pastoral Worker/Catechist at Franciscan Sisters, Little Falls, Minn.
  • Pastoral Worker/Catechist at St. Edward's, Imm. Concep., St. Pius X Parishes, Princeton/Becker/Zimmerman, Minn.
  • Pastoral Minister Adult & Family Education/Social Justice at St. Richard's Parish, Richfield, Minn.
  • Parish Social Justice Ministry Coordinator at Urban Affairs Commission, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Parish Outreach at Catholic Charities, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Coordinator of Parish Social Justice Ministry at Catholic Charities, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Minister Franciscan Associates at Franciscan Sisters, Little Falls, Minn.

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116 8th Avenue SE
Little Falls, Minnesota



(320) 632-2981

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The Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota, is a community of Catholic women religious who follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ, walking in the footsteps of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi. We believe that the living of a poor, simple and prayerful community life is a ministry of presence and witness. Our doors are open to the public to celebrate Mass in Sacred Heart Chapel and to benefit from the St. Francis Music Center and St. Francis Health & Recreation Center. We welcome those who wish to join us as sisters, associates, volunteers, transfer sisters, friends and donors.


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