Rev. Alfred M. Burke, O.S.A. (1930-2018)
Alfred Michael Burke was born August 17, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois to William D. and Mary C. Burke.
He was Baptized September 7, 1930 at St. Carthage Church, Chicago. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation May 19, 1942 at St. Sabina Church, Chicago.
He studied for two years (1944-1946) at St. Rita High School, Chicago, before entering the Augustinian formation program at St. Monica Seminary, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin in 1946. He completed
his secondary education at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, which awarded him a high school diploma in 1948.
Alfred entered the Augustinian Novitiate September 9, 1948. He professed Temporary Vows September 10, 1949 and Solemn (permanent) Vows September 10, 1052. He was ordained a Priest February 9, 1957.
Following profession of vows, he studied at Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, earning a B. A. in Philosophy in 1953. He did his theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D. C., from 1953 to 1957. He earned an M. S. in Physics from Catholic University of America, Washington, in 1959.
Father Burke’s first assignment was to Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, where he taught from 1957 to 1961.
Responding to the needs of the Church, he volunteered for the missions in Japan, and was assigned there in 1961. Father Burke arrived in Yokohama August 14, 1961. He studied the Japanese language for two years, and then served at parishes located in Hatano (1963-69) and Takanawa, Tokyo (1969-73). While continuing his parish ministry, he taught mathematics part-time in the International Division of Sophia University, Tokyo, from 1970 to 1976.
In 1973 Father Burke became the founder and first pastor of the Church of Sagamihara, Kanagawa Prefecture. He remained there until 1983, when he was appointed pastor of the Futamatagawa parish.
He was named pastor of the Sueyoshi-Cho Church in 1992. He was named pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral, Naka-Ku, Yokohama, in 1994, and pastor of the Totsuka-Ku Church in 2005. In April 2014 he was assigned to the Ofuna Catholic Church as Associate Pastor.
Father Burke also served at varying times on the Diocesan Senate and as head of the Yokohama diocesan Liturgy Committee.
On December 23, 2015, Father Burke suffered a major heart attack. After several weeks of hospitalization and months of rehabilitation, he continued his remarkable recovery, gradually growing stronger and more active. However, his heart never did regain its full capacity.
In September 2017, he took up residence in a home for the elderly in Hokkaido, Japan, where he assisted with chaplain ministries.
On Sunday, June 17, 2018, Fr. Al was transferred to Koyama Fukusei Hospital in Gotenba, Shizuoka to receive hospice care. God's loving arms welcomed him on June 20, 2018. He was 88 years of age. Please keep Fr. Al and his family in your prayers and masses.