Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R. D. Walter Joseph Burke, O. Praem.

Birth: March 20, 1919

Death: May 15, 2005

House: Immaculate Conception Priory

Born in Philadelphia, PA, son of the late Walter G. and Eva Burote Burke, Father Burke was educated at St. Edmond's and St. Monica's parochial schools and at Roman Catholic and Southeast Catholic high schools. He received a baccalaureate degree from St. Norbert College, DePere, WI and was vested a Norbertine at St. Joseph 's Shrine, St. Norbert Abbey, DePere, 1938-08-23. Father was solemnly professed in June 1943 and after theological studies, was ordained a priest 1944-06-17 at the former locus of Immaculate Conception Priory, Claymont, DE. He celebrated his first Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Monica Church in Philadelphia, PA. Father Burke was assigned to the Southeast Catholic faculty and in addition to teaching Latin and English, served as moderator of the football and basketball teams. He was soon appointed athletic director, and to a generation of Catholic youth in south Philadelphia, became priest, mentor, advisor and friend. He continued his association with the Millay Club. In 1957, Father Burke was appointed assistant pastor of St. Norbert Church, Paoli, PA. In August 1964, he was named pastor and so generations in Chester County came to know his zeal and concern. Father served as pastor until January 1997, at which time he was named pastor emeritus by Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua. Father celebrated his Golden Jubilee of ordination on Pentecost, 1994-05-22. Father Burke's goodness and prayerfulness were a model to all. Rt. Rev. John M. Logan, O. Praem, wrote that Father was remarkable for his generosity, loyalty and steadfastness, but was most outstanding for his presence. Abbot Logan wrote, "When Father Burke is with you, he is with you all the way in good times or bad, in ups and downs, unswerving in his commitment."

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