Kevin Birmingham, an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has passed away in his sleep, the archdiocese confirmed on Monday afternoon. He was 51.
Father Manuel Dorantes, the pastor at St. Mary of the Lake Parish in Chicago, wrote on the social media website X on Monday afternoon that he was “shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago Kevin Birmingham during his sleep last night.”
“Please join me in praying for his soul and for his dear mother during this very difficult moment for her,” Dornates said. “He was about to turn 52 this week.”
A spokeswoman at the archdiocese subsequently confirmed to CNA that the archbishop had passed away in his sleep overnight.
The archdiocese on Monday afternoon published an obituary on its website in which Chicago archbishop Cardinal Blase J. Cupich called Birmingham “a wonderful priest and bishop” and “a dear friend and valued colleague.”
Birmingham’s fellow auxiliary bishop Jeffrey Grob, meanwhile, described the late prelate as “genuine, personable, funny, and pastoral. He had a pastor’s heart.”
Funeral arrangements are forthcoming, the obituary said.
Birmingham was 25 when he was ordained as a priest, according to a 2020 article in the archdiocesan newspaper the Chicago Catholic. He grew up in Chicago Ridge “the seventh of 10 children in his family.”
He attended Niles College Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake, according to the archdiocesan website.
He was ordained as a priest in May 1997 and again in his final role as auxiliary bishop on Nov. 13, 2020. He also held the title of Titular Bishop of Dolia.