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Rev. Msgr. James O. Barta

Deceased: 2023-12-04

Diocese: DUBUQUE

Seminary Graduation Year: 1956

The Rev. Msgr. James O. Barta, PhD., 92, died on Monday, December 4, 2023, in Dubuque, at Stonehill Health Center. A native of Fairfax, Iowa, he was born on October 22, 1931, to Omer and Bertha (Brecht) Barta.

Visitation for Monsignor Barta will be held on Friday, December 8 at Loras College, Christ the King Chapel from 3:00 – 6:30 p.m. with a vigil service at 6:30.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, December 9, 2023, at Loras College, Christ the King Chapel at 10:30 with Most Reverand Thomas Zinkula officiating and Rev. Ardel Barta as homilist. A livestream of the funeral mass will be on Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory’s Facebook page.

Msgr. Barta will be laid to rest in the St. Patrick Cemetery, Fairfax, IA on Monday, December 11th, at 11:00 a.m.

Father Barta was ordained to the priesthood on December 17, 1955, at the North American College in Rome. His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Wenceslaus Parish, Cedar Rapids, where he served for a year before moving to Loras College where he would spend the next 37 years as a member of the faculty, Academic Dean, acting president and then for the final 7 years at Loras as its President. During his early years at Loras he completed graduate studies at Fordham University.

In 1994, Archbishop Daniel Kucera appointed him the Episcopal Vicar for the Cedar Rapids Region of the Archdiocese, which he served at until 1999, when Archbishop Jerome Hanus appointed him Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar for the Dubuque Region. He served as Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar until his retirement in 2009. He was chaplain of Clarke College from 1972-1987. He also served as Chaplain of the Sister’s of the Blessed Virgin Mary (BVMs) from 1999 until 2009.

Father Barta was named a Prelate of Honor (Monsignor) by St. Pope John Paul II in 1987, and was made a Protonotary Apostolic in 2004. He served the Archdiocese of Dubuque over the years on many boards, commissions and councils.

He was preceded in death by his parents Omer & Bertha; brother, Melvin (Mike) & Dorothy Barta, and sister, Arlene and Max Thompson.

Monsignor Barta is survived by his brother Ron (Darlene) Barta, of Hot Springs Village AR, and his brother Rev. Ardel Barta, of Dubuque; along with nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to “Catholic Charities of Dubuque”.

Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road is in charge of arrangements.