Matushka Paulette Hirsch

Funeral services for Matushka Paulette Hirsch, who fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, February 12, 2010 after a brief illness, will be held at Holy Transfiguration Cathedral here on Friday and Saturday, February 19 and 20.

Matushka Paulette was the widow of the late Archpriest Joseph Hirsch, long-time cathedral rector, who fell asleep in the Lord on August 24, 2009.

On Friday, February 19, a Panikhida will be celebrated at the cathedral. On Saturday, February 20, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m., after which the Funeral Service will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Interment will follow at Crown Cemetery, Denver.

After serving in the Diocese of the Midwest for several years, Father Joseph and Matushka Paulette Hirsch relocated to Denver in 1984 to serve Holy Transfiguration Cathedral, located in the city’s Globeville neighborhood. Almost immediately, the Hirsches focused on renewing not only the cathedral parish, but the entire neighborhood. At a time when many inner-city congregations were leaving for the suburbs, Father Joseph and Matushka Paulette made the commitment to bring new life to the cathedral and the surrounding community. Over the years, largely through Matushka’s efforts, the neighbors organized and began to improve the Globeville area. A new parish hall was built, and the parish became “ground zero” for efforts to clean up industrial waste, install sidewalks, and reduce crime and pollution. Matushka served as president of the Globeville Civic Association until 1996. By example, the Hirsches showed how, with determination and God’s help, the light of the Orthodox Christian Faith and love for one’s neighbor can transform some of the most desperate, dark and forgotten corners of the inner city.

The diversity of the cathedral community also reflects the Hirsches’ love for their neighbors. One of the oldest parishes of the Diocese of the West, the cathedral’s original membership was composed of Little Russians, Serbs and Slovaks who had settled near and worked in the factories, packing houses, and stockyards. To this day, the parish welcomes a diverse Orthodox population which now includes many Romanians. Matushka Paulette led the singing for many years and drove Father Joseph where ever his pastoral duties took him.

Matushka Paulette is survived by her sons David, Joseph and Benjamin and their wives and children. She also leaves behind a parish family and neighborhood grateful for her willingness to pour out her life for them in so many ways.

May Matushka Paulette’s memory be eternal!