Fr. James Burke to retire

Catholic Courier    |    12.20.2009
Category: Vocations


Father James Burke, priest administrator at Holy Family Parish in Auburn, will retire June 28. He plans to move to Florida, where "the climate is much more suited for me," he said.

A native of Rochester, he grew up in St. Augustine's Parish and attended the parish's grammar school, where he first felt called to the priesthood. There were four or five priests at St. Augustine's at the time, and they set a good example, he said.

"I guess the Lord worked through them for me," he said.

He also attended Rochester's St. Andrew's and St. Bernard's seminaries and earned a master's degree in theology from the Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey.

Father Burke was ordained June 6, 1964, by Bishop Lawrence B. Casey at Rochester's Sacred Heart Cathedral. He served as assistant pastor at St. Mary's Parish in Waterloo (1964-68); Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Brockport (1968-74); and Church of the Annunciation in Rochester (1974-75).

In 1975 he attended the U.S. Army Chaplain's School in Fort Wadsworth, N.Y. In 1976 he served as parochial administrator at St. Alphonsus Parish in Auburn for three months; as assistant pastor at Holy Ghost Parish in Gates (1976-78);and as co-pastor of St. Rita's Parish in Webster (1978-81). In 1981 he became chaplain at Rochester's Strong Memorial Hospital.

Father Burke served as pastor of St. Mary's Parish in Canandaigua from 1982-90 and St. Agnes Parish in Avon from 1990-99, when he moved to Holy Family.

Father Burke also served as a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corps from 1971-94.

 

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