A Tribute to Lawrence Burke on his 60th Anniversary

Jeremiah McGinley Around the Province

“To be all things to all men.”

This is St. Paul’s admonition. In our experience, if anyone embodies these words, it is Lawrence Burke.

Evidence of this was shown on June 24 at the Regency Hotel in Wayne, N.J., where more than 200 persons celebrated, rejoiced and congratulated Larry on his 60 years as a priest.

Prior to the celebration, Larry had celebrated an anniversary Mass at St. Catherine’s in Ringwood, N.J.

The best I can do to present an appreciative picture of this man is to summarize his 60 years in ministry.

After ordination, he was assigned to Bishop Timon – St. Jude High School in Buffalo, N.Y., where his artistic talents were soon recognized and he became an associate with St. Anthony’s Guild.

When Friar Magazine was born, Larry held the post of artistic editor at the same time he was guardian of the friary in Butler. Throughout these assignments, he kept his parochial ministry alive by his regular assignments to parishes in the Paterson, N.J., Diocese, where his genuineness and congeniality won him many friends.

Leaving Butler, Larry became the guardian of the newly open St. Francis Friary in Ringwood, where his ministry to aged and infirmed friars was marked by compassion and understanding.

Like his ministries, Larry’s interests and tastes are amazingly varied: photography, calligraphy, fishing, music, air gliding, and cooking.

And so, the people who came to honor him represented a wide spectrum of activities and interest, coming from places like Buffalo, N.Y., Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Ohio. With food and beverages that were superb, and Broadway-like entertainment, it was a fun day to remember and a fitting tribute to Larry Burke.

—  Fr. Jeremiah lives at Sacred Heart Friary in East Rutherford, N.J. and, until his retirement, resided at St. Ann’s parish in Fair Lawn, N.J.