Roland Burke, OFM
1904 – 1977
Fr. Roland Burke, OFM, was born July 14, 1904 in Philadelphia. He entered the novitiate in 1923 and professed temporary vows one year later. Fr. Roland made his solemn profession in 1927 and was ordained in 1930.
He taught Latin and English at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., until 1935, when a serious illness necessitated a prolonged stay at St. Francis Hospital in Woodhaven, N.Y. Fr. Roland then served as pastor of St. Mary’s Parish, Pompton Lakes, N.J., for a brief period before transferring to St. Joseph’s Friary in Warwick, N.J., where he served for 20 years as chaplain of St. Anthony Hospital and instructor of postulants at Mount Alvernia Convent.
For 33 years, he served as vice-postulator for the cause of Mother Frances Shervier, and in 1973, experienced the joy of witnessing her beatification. Fr. Roland did parish ministry in Wanaque, Rochelle Park and Butler, N.J., and during his semi-retirement, he worked at Immaculate Conception Parish in Montclair, N.J.
He died on Feb. 22, 1977 at St. Clare’s Hospital in New York City. Fr. Roland was 72 years old, a professed friar for 52 years and a priest for 46 years.