The Reverend John Robert Burke, age 85, died early Tuesday morning, February 5, 2013 at his residence at The Highlands at Brighton, Rochester, New York. Father Burke was born on July 15, 1927 in Rochester, New York, the son of Paul J. and Mary Guilfoyle Burke. He attended Aquinas Institute in Rochester graduating in 1945. He then attended Sampson College, Geneva, New York, Saint Bonaventure University and Christ the King Seminary, Olean, New York. He received a Master of Arts degree from Saint Bonaventure University in 1955 and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Fordham University in 1968. Father was a Veteran of the United States Navy. In May of 1950, he applied for and was accepted as a candidate for ordination in the Diocese of Erie. He was ordained a priest on May 27, 1954 at Saint Peter Cathedral, Erie, by the Most Reverend Edward P. McManaman. Father Burke first served as Assistant Pastor at Holy Redeemer Parish, Warren. In June, 1955, he was appointed to the faculty of Gannon College where he served as a Professor of Philosophy. In September, 1970, he was released by Bishop Alfred M. Watson to teach at Canisius College, Buffalo, New York. Subsequent appointments included serving as part-time member of the faculty of Mercyhurst College; Assistant Pastor, Saint Patrick Parish, Erie; Administrator, Saint Bernadette Parish, Saegertown with Chaplaincy duties at San Rosario Nursing Home; Saint Teresa Parish, Union City; the L'Arche Community, Edmonton, Alberta Canada and in Merida, the Archdiocese of Yucatan, Mexico as part of the Mission of Friendship. He retired from the active ministry in 2008. Father Burke was predeceased by his parents, a sister, Paula B. Reynolds and a brother, Peter. He is survived by his brother, Michael (Judie) Burke, sisters, Mary Jean Rowan and Sharon (Paul) Miller, sister-in-law, Joyce Burke and several nieces and nephews and their families. At the request of Father Burke, there will be no viewing or visiting hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by The Most Reverend Bishop Lawrence T. Persico on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at Saint John the Evangelist Church, 2400 West Ridge Road, Greece, New York. Interment will follow in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Four Walls Project c/o Journeys of Solutions, P.O. Box 28, Webster, New York (14580).
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Feb. 7, 2013