Memorial Mass Held in Toronto for Late Archbishop Emeritus of Kingston


The late Archbishop Emeritus of Kingston, the Most Rev. Lawrence Burke, was hailed for his devotion to education and the Catholic Church at a memorial mass held last week at the St. Joseph Chapel of Regis College in Toronto, Canada.
The event was organised by the St. George’s College Old Boys Association (Ontario Chapter); the Immaculate Conception High School Alumnae Association (Toronto Chapter); and the Alpha Academy Alumnae Association (Toronto Chapter) in recognition of the influence of the late Archbishop on the three schools.
“Archbishop Burke has been a trailblazer. He has paved the way where education and spirituality are concerned,” said newly-elected President of St. George’s Old Boys Ontario Chapter, Milton Hart.
“He was so involved in education to the point that we believe had it not been for him, we would not be here. I certainly would not be here today had it not been for some of the things he implemented at St. George’s,” he stated.
Archbishop of Ottawa the Most Rev. Terrence Prendergast, who delivered the homily described Rev. Burke as “hospitable, humourous, insightful, tender and brilliant.”
“Larry, from the earliest days of his vocation as a Catholic Christian, was aware of the call as a Jesuit, as a priest, as a bishop, as an educator. This is shown in his devotion to catholic education for whoever would profit from it, whether they were Catholic or not, and his administrative and organisational skills witnessed by his successful ministry in Nassau.”
“He strove to fulfill the role of Good Shepherd throughout his ministry, urging everyone to live mutually with each other in humility,” he added.
Also taking part in the ceremony was the last priest ordained by the Archbishop in December 2009, Rev. Rohan Tulloch, who is finishing a Master’s Degree in Theology at Regis College in Toronto, and will return to St. Anne’s Church in Kingston in July as an associate pastor.
Rev. Tulloch, also a former student and teacher at St. George’s College, said the ordination day meant a lot to him as the Archbishop was a role model and someone he looked up to.
Ms. Barbara Burke, one of the sisters of the late Archbishop, thanked the three schools for organising the memorial mass.
“Your tributes of love and respect for him have touched all our family deeply and have been a source of comfort and strength for all of us. Larry was a good friend to many of you and your gesture of affection is greatly appreciated. He taught us how to live and die with dignity. Not once did he complain about his illness,” she stated.
The Most Rev. Burke, who served as Archbishop of Kingston and Archbishop of Nassau, Bahamas, died on January 24 after a valiant fight with cancer.
He had a long and distinguished career, not only as a priest and bishop, but also as an educator. Having attended St. George’s College as a student, he returned as a teacher shortly after graduating. He also served St. George’s College as a principal and board chairman.
Later, he entered the Society of Jesus and went to Boston College where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Philosophy. In 1981, the same year he was ordained a Bishop, he was appointed second Bishop of Nassau and later became the first Archbishop of Nassau. In 2004, he was appointed Archbishop of Kingston.
Others participating in the ceremony included the Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in English Canada, Rev. James Webb; and Immaculate alumni member Alison Martin and Alpha alumni member Loraine Lee, who did scripture readings.
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, George Ramocan and Chancellor of Ryerson University, Dr. Ray Chang, were among those in attendance.

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