About Fr. Burke

Fr. Burke & Fr. Mike Lavan prepare for Palm Sunday Mass at St. Peter's in Rome.

Fr. Burke & Fr. Mike Lavan prepare for Palm Sunday Mass at St. Peter's in Rome.

Fr. Burke was born December 17, 1966 and raised in Joliet, IL, the youngest of three sons to Tod and Janet Masters.  He was not raised Catholic but attended Providence Catholic High School in order to move closer to his dream of becoming a Major League baseball player.  It was at Providence that Fr. Burke fell in love with the Eucharist and the Catholic Church.  He became Catholic his senior year in high school.

 

 

He went on to play baseball at Mississippi State University, where he played in the College World Series.  He was nominated as one of the top student-athletes in the history of Mississippi State University as the SEC celebrated its 75th anniversary.  For a commercial narrated by John Grisham about Fr. Burke click http://secsports.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=22&url_subchannel_id=&url_article_id=9256&change_well_id=2

 

His major league dream did not materialize, so after working as an actuary, and then ticket manager for the Kane County Cougars, Fr. Burke felt the call to become a priest.

 

 

He attended Mundelein Seminary from 1997-2002 and was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Joliet in June of 2002.  He served for four years as associate pastor at St. Mary’s Parish in West Chicago, IL. 

 

 

In June of 2006 he became the Vocation Director for the Diocese of Joliet.  He now travels around the diocese to encourage young men and women to lay down their lives for the sake of Jesus Christ.

 

Fr. Burke Masters

Fr. Burke Masters

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Responses

  1. Father Burke:

    Thank you ever so greatly again and again for everything you’ve given me and feeding my soul with. I thank Our Lord Jesus for your constant gift to everyone and your beautiful gift of ministry to everyone you come in contact with. Your message today is so beautiful and giving and the way you have been opening yourself up with to all of us is just incredible. I finally met you in person a few years ago at the Cathedral when I sang with the Chorale for Bishop Sartain’s installation – I will never forget that day – finally meeting you briefly and singing with all of those priests and deacons walking into the Church.

    Please remember if you are downtown, my office is right downtown across from the Daley Center at 171 N. Clark St. 5th Floor – Chicago Title Land Trust. I would really like to have lunch with you if you had the time.

    Your dad is going to be in my prayers as I am thinking of you both.

    THanks again for your great and powerful gifts not only to me but for everyone you come in contact with!!!

    With love in Christ,

    Glenn Richter

    • can you please change my email address to info@hardwoodsofnashville.com

      • Harold, I can change your address on the blog. You will have to respond to the email that is sent to you.

        God bless,
        Fr. Burke

    • Thank you Fr. Burke. I am a Jesuit seminarian from Kenya and I am always impressed by your reflections. You do a great job and only God through his great mercy can reward you. Keep up

      George

    • Happy birthday Father Burke!
      You are such a gift to me. Your daily posts help me greatly on my spiritual journey. Thank you.

      Lori

  2. Dear Father Burke,

    I don’t personally know anyone with a “blog”, so you’re my first!

    Just wanted to encourage you in your ministry and vocation. I first heard you speak at my former parish, St. Anne in Oswego, a couple of years ago. We now attend, a little closer to home, the wonderful Holy Spirit-filled parish of Holy Cross in Batavia (I’m sure you know of it and our amazing Monsignor Deutsch).

    Back when we originally heard you speak, you really touched my “baseball husband’s heart” with your message. Since then, I have been on your e-mail list and forward MANY of your “thoughts” to family and friends. They have touched so many hearts, Catholic and non-Catholic Christian friends alike; which only goes to prove that “We
    Are All 0ne Body”. I hope that they will subscribe to your new website.

    Thank you for all you do with a passion for Christ!

    Many Prayers in Jesus & Mary,
    Rennell

  3. As a 72 yo retired physician I “discovered” you only fairly recently after attending Cursillo. Now you are one of the first Emails I look for and the frequent topic of discussion of our seven man group that meets here every week. I find your “mini homilies” incisive, stimulating and inspirational and a Godsend in my personal life.
    Please tell me that you have or soon will publish the complete collection of these reflections. How great it would be to have one to read everyday. Please give serious thought to my request. God bless you!
    Ed Anderson

    • Dear Dr. Anderson, thank you so much for your kind message. Are you from the Diocese of Joliet or another diocese? Cursillo had a huge impact on my life. I am in the process of compiling these thoughts into a book. How would you like them organized – by liturgical year, by topic, by day of the year? I would appreciate your input.

      God bless,
      fr. burke

  4. Dear Fr. Burke,
    Thank you for such a prompt response. I am from St Henry’s parish in the diocese of Nashville. You have a a very large following here — almost exclusively by word of mouth. (Think what a little PR and a good manager could do.)
    I share your opinion about Cursillo. Coming from a small southern town where I was the only Catholic in a high school of over 700 students, faith sharing did not come naturally to me. Cusillo changed that and I consider it the most important single event in my Catholic life.
    Great! that you are preparing the book — it absolutely has to be done! From my viewpoint it would be nice to have a reading for each day — possibly indexed by subject matter so one could look up something appropriate for an occassion.
    My mind is racing !! What a feather in my cap if I can get you down here, not just to speak with our group but to the entire Ultrea group and maybe one or two homilies thrown in for good measure. Trust me, your career is just beginning and you have not heard the last from me.
    May God truly bless you!
    Ed Anderson

  5. Fr. Burke, I’ve never met you in person but your daily emails get me through and have gotten me through some tough times! I am a friend of your cousin Mark Masters! He began forwarding your thoughts and reflections to me before I was on your mailing list. I am not Catholic and I am from the South but I must say that your emails are so appreciated and needed!! I now forward them to one of my best friends who just happens to be Catholic! Last but not least I am a huge follower of SEC football and baseball…my son plays baseball on a scholarship! I must have seen you play…I went to Auburn!Thanks for being who you are! Leigh Taylor

    • Thanks for your comments Leigh. Yes, I played at Mississippi State from 1987-1990 when Frank Thomas was at Auburn. We had some good games against them. Have a blessed day!

  6. Dear Fr Burke and Dr. Anderson, What a wonderful idea – a book collecting your reflections would be spiritually enriching as well as nourishing to the soul. Grouped either by topic or daily – either way would work. Like both of you gentlemen, Cursillo was certainly a life-changing event. Look how the Lord is using our “4th Day” to bring us together. Thank you Fr. Burke for sharing your wisdom with us. DeColores, Betsy McNeil, Stewardship Coordinator, St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Rogers, AR.

    • Betsy, thanks for your encouragement. I’ve had several people recommend this to me so I’m thinking about how to organize them. I think it might be better to organize by topic/theme so people can find something based on what they are dealing with in life. We could also cross reference them by Scripture verse for easy finding…

  7. Dear Father Burke,

    A friende of mine sends me your ‘Thought for the Day’ and I would like you to know how much it helps me both bringing me peace, and helping me better understand scripture.

    God Bless you and your family always,
    Donna

    • Thanks Donna! You can actually subscribe on this blog to receive the e-mails directly to your inbox if you’d like. Have a blessed day!

      Fr. Burke

  8. Really nice posts. I will be checking back here regularly.

    • Welcome Kelli!

      fr. burke

  9. I didn’t know another way to reach you except this way. My parish priest is leaving on a new assignment he received from the bishop. We will all miss him. Based on your biography, I hope you can help me with something.
    My priest is an avid Red Sox fan and from my email you can see I am a Yankee fan. I would like to get him a gag gift which would be a Red Sox jersey, but with a roman collar on it. Do you know if there is someplace to buy such a gag gift.
    I know this is strange but I know my priest would love it!

    Thanks

    • Dear Jim, I would love to help you with this kind of gift, but I don’t know where you can find one. You might just have to get a jersey and then add the collar. Sorry…

      fr. burke

  10. Father Burke, It is two weeks ago today that you celebrated the union of my brother, Joe Stoiber to his beautiful bride, Eileen Cleary. I just wanted to extend to you my heartfelt gratitude for sharing that day & weekend with us. Being a friend and schoolmate of Joe’s, it meant everything to him for you to perform the ceremony. I admit, it was a wediing Mass that I don’t think any one of us are likely to forget. I still remember your face when the musical group preformed parts of the Mass, & the look amd smile on your face of the “Great Amen”. It really was the “Great Amen” that we all search for in our lives. I knew you were meant to be there. My mom commented that she really felt they were married after such an extraordinary service. I was touched by our talk in the little Chapel after Mass. We do have so much to be grateful for.
    I was very happy to pick you up at the airport, & the time we had before rehearsal. Mon & I enjoyed the ride, talk, & the alone time at the restaurant before the masses arrived!
    You are a special Man, and you will now be in my prayers. May God continue to Bless you in your Ministry…God Bless You…Bernie Stoiber

    • Thanks Bernie. It was a pleasure to celebrate this wonderful day with Joe, Eileen and your whole family. We could all feel the Lord’s presence that day among us. It was truly a blessing.

  11. Dr. Father Burke;

    need to know how to sign on to your blog and how how to send your message to others.

    Grouped in Batavia starting
    in 1998

    • Greetings!

      This is how to subscribe to my blog to receive the daily email messages:

      1. Log on to https://frburke23.wordpress.com
      2. On the right hand side of the page click on the tab “Subscribe to Fr. Burke Masters by Email”
      3. Follow the instructions by inserting your email address and the code at the bottom.
      4. You will then receive an email that you will have to open and click on the link.
      5. You should receive a message stating that you are now subscribed.

      God bless,
      Fr. Burke

  12. Hi there Father Burke. Reading your reflections nourish me spiritually.

    • Thanks Glenn. I appreciate your note. To God be the glory!

      peace,
      fr. burke

  13. Let us keep for our prayers, Father Burke… Good luck to your mission. Let the world know the Perfect Words of Real Wisdom. Pls. do pray for me too, for my vocation to priesthood. I hope one day, I will also do the same mission as you and others do. Thanks and God bless…

  14. I was told about your blog spot some time ago by my mother and her by my Aunt Judy.I am always looking for spiritual nourishment so I happily subscribed. Fr. Burke I cant tell you how many times since I have done that the Lord help me through your thoughts and reflections. Even when I let your blogs build up in my inbasket and it seems obligatory for me to read them (only because I feel the Lord proding me) I am always filled with a sense of peace by your work on this blog. THANK YOU!
    Blessings from my wife and myself.

    • Dear Gerald, thanks for your kind message. I think your Aunt Judi is my Aunt Judi Masters? She was a Gerten before Masters so that is why I think we are connected through marriage. My Dad and Terry Masters are brothers. Blessings to you and your wife as well. Have a blessed Advent in preparation for Christmas!

      peace,
      fr. burke

  15. Happy Birthday Father Burke! Like the world when Jesus was born, as with your family, when you were born, and as for my family, when my son Nolan was born in Dec ’89, best Christmas ever! What a gift!

  16. Mark Masterson suggested that I establish contact and get to know you. I hope that will happen. I will be in Naples this winter and will read your ‘THOUGHTS” etc. I pray daily for Catholic religious vocations for men and women. I have been active in the Chicago Archdiocese for many years eg. seminary boards, Big Shoulders, Mercy Home etc. God Bless you.

    • Dear Tony, it is nice to hear from you. Yes, I met Mark Masterson on a plane trip to Florida one day. God has a plan for everything. I look forward to communicating with you to see how we can work together to build up God’s Kingdom here on earth…

      God bless you and blessings in this new year…

  17. Our prayers will be with you during National Vocation Awareness week, Father Burke.

    Kathy Fitch
    St. Mary’s Parish, West Chicago

  18. Hi Father Masters:

    Just read in yahoo.com news about another baseball player, Grant Desme from California is going to seminary school. God bless him. He was listed as in the top 10 prospects for the Oakland A’s this year.

    Corey

    • That is a pretty cool story. It sounds like Grant and I would get along well. I will have to meet him some day.

      God bless,
      Fr. Burke

  19. Peace be with you, Fr. Burke. I just can’t express much how I being guided thoroughly by the daily spiritual reading in this website. It strengthen my heart and my souls as well. This is a great way and also a new form to proclaiming the Good News through media.

    Nice and thanks Fr. Burke.

    Before I leave, here I need your kind comments:

    First of all, I am totally agreed what have posted in Category of Sacrifice. Indeed a self-sacrifice to God is a sincerity and desire from our own heart to giving everything in our life in order to serve God and his people. As we know, to become servant of Christ, we first have to offer ones life to God alone without exception.

    But, how about if one’s sacrifice to God being rejected by the close family members? Should the person go ahead into self-surrender to God and put their family aside? What’s is the best way to concur this issue especially for those youth who are seeking into a religious life?

    How do we respond this call?

    • Aemy, this is a challenging question. In the Gospels, many people left everything behind, including their family, to follow Jesus. This is not an easy decision. In fact I was in seminary with a couple of men whose parents told them, “It is either the priesthood or your family.” Both men left the seminary because they didn’t want to lose their families.

      That was so difficult for me to witness. I was fortunate enough to have a family that supported my decision, even though they were not even Catholic. I would hope that parents see that if this is God’s call for you, that is where you are going to find true fulfillment in life.

  20. It is a small world. I found your website after reading a note on caringbridge.com. Someone had requested your prayers for a sick infant.
    I recognized your name because I worked @ Silver Cross Hospital and worked very closely with your mother. She somehow always managed to find me that “extra nurse” when we were short. She was a wonderful person—and she always bragged about her talented son, Burke. I left Silver in 1997—so I never realized that her talented son entered the seminary.
    We retired to Hot Springs Village—Bishop Sartain will know where it is.
    I truly am inspired by your daily spiritual readings. I think that this was a “God thing” that I found your site.
    May the Peace of Christ be with you. I will include in my prayers that many vocations to the priesthood will come from the Joliet Diocese.

    • Dear Pat, this is a God thing. What a small world. Yes, my mother was a wonderful lady. I know that she was proud of her three sons. Likewise, I have always been proud of her. She was a wonderful person, with a very generous heart, always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone. I hope that I can continue to make her proud. Blessings to you and your family, Pat.
      Fr. Burke

  21. Hi VEry nice posts i’sure i’sts nice

  22. how are u Father Burke?Hope you are doing it wonderfully. As for am Wonderful.My full name is TSEGBA BARTHOLOMEW BEM BLAISE.The first my surname,second my baptismal name,third my local name,fourth confirmation name.I am a nigerian from Benue state and i come from the ethnic group called ‘TIV’. I have done this brief introduction because this is the first time i have gain access to one page of a kind.
    I so much enjoy reading your inspired written sermon for today and had no choice but to subcribe for a daily posting to my email for my spiritual growth.Thank for this wonderful work your are doing to pass across the message of Christ throgh this medium. in the course of my reading your inspired sermon you will get to hear my view about them. If you wish to call my number is +2347025965156.thank you and bye.

  23. fr. thank u 4 ur inspiring messages. my questionh is that how can one be helped in the vocation to he priesthood?

  24. Fr Burke,
    You are awesome! I really look forward to your daily meassages which I find to be insightful and very inspirational. You have to be extremely busy so, to take the time to share your thoughts is so unselfish and extremely appreciated by all us readers. We love you and wish you the best!

    Peace!

    Tim

    • Tim, thanks for your kind words. It amazes me how the Lord uses these simple words at times to touch peoples’ hearts. I sincerely appreciate your words. Have a blessed day!
      Fr. Burke

  25. Father;

    I enjoyed your message. It puts me in the mind to share something that happened a few years back.

    I am a stay-at-home father for our five children. At the time we only had four children. We lived in a small rental home. Our fourth child, Michaela, was born with special needs. She looked different. Her airway was to too small. A trach was needed, along with a feeding tube. She was born at six pounds. Feeding her was of the most importance.

    Feeding Michaela took an hour. When I was finished she would vomit all over herself, me and the crib that was set up in the living room. Our older children, all under the age of five, ran wild all around us.

    One dark winter day she had projectile vomit after I fed her. Her siblings were wild with energy. I picked Michaela up too hard. Instantly, I realized it– putting her back down into the crib of vomit. I went to sit on the edge of the bed to pray. I do not pray as much as my wife does but that day I prayed–for help.

    Time passed. We were expecting our fifth child. He, Wyatt, was born a duplicate of Michaela–with all the same needs. For a long while I remembered my prayer. Why had it not been answered? This was not the help I wanted. Now I had two children with special needs.

    A resentment had been growing in our home. I was unaware of it. Our older children resented Michaela because I had to spend so much time with her, could not go out with the rest of the family the way I did before she was born. In time I came to realize Wyatt was the answer to my prayer. With his birth the older siblings did not complain with resentment about the time I spent with Michaela. They understood that I had to be home with the babies. The bubble of resentment forming in our home over Michaela had been burst. Michaela had a sibling who was like her. I realized that my prayer had been answered, just not in the way I had hoped that it would be.

    Today our family flourishes. Our children are blessed with good health. I know that during my dark time of need I was never alone.

    Thank you for the chance to share this experience, Father. I hope through you, as you continue to share your message, that it might help someone else. Have a wonderful day.

    Tom Mulroe

    • Thanks for sharing your story. I appreciate it very much!

  26. Father Burke,
    I would like to wish you a Happy and Blessed Birthday today. I find your words both refreshing and inspiring. Your blog was passed on to me by a friend and I am very grateful for that. This may sound selfish but please keep me in your prayers today as we share the same birthday. Also, I am going through a time of discernment myself and your prayers would be would be greatly appreciated. You will definitely be in mine.
    Yours in Christ,
    Phil Aguilar

  27. I’m going to bookmark this as inspiration and refer visitors from my website. I’ve just put up additional new ideas too, so I will put a hypelink to this post (if OK) on my site?

  28. Please add me to your readers via email. Thank you.

    • In order to subscribe to the “Thoughts for the Day” please go to my blog at https://frburke23.wordpress.com and click on the right-hand column “Subscribe to Fr. Burke Masters by Email”.

      You will then be asked to give your email address (and verification code).

      You will then receive an email from the blog. Open this email and click on the link. You will then receive a message saying that you will begin receiving the “Thoughts for the Day”.

      Please let me know if you have any problems…

      God bless,
      Fr. Burke

  29. Dear Fr. Burke: I came to your Mission at St. Richard’s in Jackson, MS. Was only able to be there for one night, but thoroughly enjoyed it and hope our paths will cross again one day (maybe a mission at St. Paul’s, Vicksburg??)…..It was wonderful!!

    • Marie, I too hope our paths will cross. I thoroughly enjoyed being back in MS!

      peace,
      fr. burke

    • Marie, may God bless you and all those at St. Paul’s…

  30. Fr. Burke,

    I recently met you on a flight from Orlando to Chicago. We both experienced the traumatic incident when a passenger became gravely ill and the flight had to get diverted. I noticed during the tense moments when the flight crew and doctor were working on the passenger that you were obviously deep in prayer for this poor man. I prayed for his recovery as well and hope he is doing well. Our conversations on that prolonged flight prompted me to google you and your life story was very inspirational. I guess the most important message I got out of your story is that despite what we think are our life’s ambitions, professional baseball for you, God knows where we need to take our life if we will simply listen.

    God bless you in your vocational work and I wish you the best.

    Chris Hanson

    • Chris, it was nice to sit by you on the plane during that difficult ordeal. I too hope that the man has fully recovered. I was so impressed by the quick response of the flight attendant, the doctor and the nurse. Quite impressive!

      Yes, the message that I try to get out to everyone is that God’s will is often different from our will. And it is in following God’s will that we truly find joy in life. I couldn’t be happier being a priest!

      Have a blessed day!
      Fr. Burke

  31. Dear Father Burke,
    Hello….I’m Rhonda, the Mom whom called in about her sons future in baseball, on the program “The inner life” last Friday when you were a guest on the program. In the meantime I have been wondering if I could contact you some how. Typed in your name to google….and the Lord guided me to here. Thank you Lord.

    Thank you very much….for all you are doing. It was great to talk with you and Chuck Neff on this program. This field our son is choosing….”pride” can really grab ones soul…..Just wondering in our future if we/or our son have questions can we contact you? Feel really blessed to have crossed paths with you. Any reccommendation you can give will be appriciated.

    We were raised in the catholic faith and are becoming stronger in it even more today (Just use to go to church….through a few bad trials have been studying it and learning so much what it really has to offer)…..lots out there today.

    The will for his life…..Pondering on how does one know? The sports field from the years we have been in it. All glory goes to one’s/self. Could he be putting him in this field to show others….whom deserves the glory?

    Thanks Father Burke….Make it a Blessed Day!!
    Rhonda

  32. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  33. Hello dear Fr. Burke,

    This is Huver Navarro Vigo. I am from Peru. I’ve read your web page and I’d like to thank God for the gift of your priestly life. I keep you in my prayers so that the Lord may continue blessing you in your service as you look for new vocations to serve the Lord.

    Dear father, I would like to have the opportunity to follow up a discerniment process to the priesthood with you, with the intention to become a priest in your dioces. I am 30 years old. I’ve just finished my basic formation of phylosophy and theology. I was with the Comboni Missionaries for 110 years. I was in Kenya for 5 years studying theology and there I made a rich experience of apostolate which corfirm my deseire to become a priest. Today, I hear the Lord calling me to the priesthood. Therefore, I would like to be given the opportunity to put my talent and my life to the service of the Lord in your dioces of Joliet.

    I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    together in prayer and communion. this is my eamil address. you can write to me here please. huvernavarrovigo@hotmail.com

    Huver

  34. Dear Fr. Burke,

    Thank you so much for the ever-thoughtful thoughts of the day! Your gentle way of dealing with scripture and applying it to everyday life has helped me more than once in times of weakness and uncertainty. I want you to know that your words don’t go unread nor unheeded!!

    Thanks again,
    Thomas

    • Thanks Thomas for your kind words. How are things going in Germany? I saw your parents recently in West Chicago and they told me you were doing well. I am doing well – filling in at a parish in Plainfield while the pastor is on sabbatical and promoting vocations. Life is good…

      Talk to you soon…
      Fr. Burke

      • I’m glad to hear things are going well for you! Germany has been an adventure for me. I’ve experienced and learned so much in my short time here, and I can’t wait to get back and share everything with those I meet. I’ll be heading out to the U of I in August, just over a month after I get back. Life just keeps on moving!

        Thomas

      • Tom, I’m glad to hear that your experience in Germany is going well. You probably are looking forward to coming home. When you get to the U of I, get involved in the Newman Center – it is great! Have a blessed Easter if I don’t talk to you before then…

        peace,
        fr. burke

      • Thanks, I’ve been looking into the Newman Center, and I would love to have other kids around me interested in their faiths. You have a grace-filled Easter as well!

        Thomas

  35. Hi Father,
    I clicked on your blog after reading your message this morning. Just want you to know that I think of you often and am always happy to see you at St. Mary’s. Kate is receiving the sacrament of Confirmation this June and as her sponsor, we’ve been attending RCIA together this year. It’s been a great experience and an answer to my prayers.
    Hope to see you soon.
    Jan

    • Thanks Jan. Have a blessed Holy Week!
      fr. burke

  36. Dear Father,
    I live in Goa, India. I am 17 years old. I am joining Carmelite seminary on the 10th of June. I just wanted to thank you for your blog posts. They have been a source of strength and encouragement for me. God bless you always.
    Jason

    • My prayers are with you Jason as you embark on this new journey. May the Lord bless you and the Holy Spirit fill you with peace and joy as you follow Him with all your heart and soul.

      peace,
      fr. burke

  37. I attend St. xavier currently and I have to admit I find myself disconnected from the church time to time. I suppose it is because I never could really find a connection between the scriptures and life now. Most priests went on during the sermon about loving God and every other thing we ALWAYS here. I’m a 22 year old woman and I’ve heard it all before my whole life. I felt this way until one day I decided to get up and go to mass because it had been some time. To my surprise a young priest was leading the congregation that day. Its so rare to see one that isn’t a senior citizen. during your sermon you talked about a baseball game that went horrible for you while in college and made some jokes but somehow made a connection to the scripture for me. it was like modern day problems meet bible. I was amazed. so i kept going. Recently, you mentioned a book called heaven is for real. I have never read a “spiritual” book for my enjoyment but I picked up a copy and read it. WOW. this book has renewed my fatih and made me realize that yeah, we might get angry with God when something bad happens or even lose our faith but at the end of the day, God is there and listening and still loving us, even after our little temper tantrums. At the end of this long message I just want to say thank you so much Father Burke for coming into my church, into my life, and showing me that the lessons of the scripture do apply to today. Most of all, thank you for bringing back my faith.

    • Thanks for this note. Praise be to Jesus Christ!

  38. Hello Father Burke,

    My name is Chris Rhodes and I live in Hattiesburg MS. I went to MSU at the same time with you and was a walk on in 87′ “catcher” from Kosciusko MS… you was a freshman as well. I played in 2 spring games before my knee blewout and I left the team and actually didn’t finish my freshman year and returned home, only to go back to State some 8 years later to earn my BS in forestry. Many years have gone by since those wonderful fun filled baseball years!!! Loved it back then, and still Love baseball ( I follow state yearly and Southern). The reason I’m writing is that my family and I currently started RICA at Sacred Heart Church here in Hattiesburg and we have started the conversion into the Catholic faith. This feels like a blind leap of faith for us, which we know its a calling from God and this has been a materializing step for us for 2-3 years, before we actually committed to explorer further.

    My question is can you offer some guidance and experience for myself, and my family to help us trust the process completely. We have a wonderful preist here at Sacred Heart (Fr. Ken) and I have a wonderful sponsor, but I have so many questions and I find it hard to be patient and waiting for God to lead the way for us. I want to let go and let God, but my natural instincts and human nature are working against me.

    Any advise or guidance which would help me to adjust and settle down would be much appreciated! Maybe a book on Trusting the conversion process?

    I know I’m jumping all over the place and probably didn’t make a bit of sense abou tthis all, but I saw your MSU record (Most Games Played) and recalled you was a priest, then I stumbled across your e-mail subscription … so I figured you could help.

    I hope alll is well for you and hope to hear from you soon.

    • Chris, thanks for your note. What exciting news that you are joining the Church. I am a convert also, from 1985 at the age of 18. My advice would be to read the book “Rome Sweet Home” by Scott and Kimberly Hahn. It is a great book about two extremely bright people who, despite many obstacles, joined the Catholic Church. Now they travel the world speaking about the beauty of the Catholic Church, always with a deep Scriptural basis.

      I know as I was joining the Church I had many doubts. I questioned the teachings on confession, Mary and the Eucharist. But as I continued to pray and to study I realized that it all made sense in the Church. So that would be my advice – pray, trust, study and read “Rome Sweet Home”.

      peace,
      fr. burke

  39. Am interested in knowing Father personally so i would like your email address.

  40. Dear Fr. Burke,
    Thank you so much for your inspiring homilies and your work as vocation director of the diocese of Joliet….May God bless bless you and bless our the diocese of Joliet.

    Fr. Ray Bader

    • Thanks Fr. Ray. I hope that your ministry is going well at St. Mary’s…

      peace,
      fr. burke

  41. Dear Father Burke,

    I understand you are doing a wonderful job up there in Joliet, as, of course, you would. God Bless you for all you do and have done. We still love you
    down here in Mississippi and follow your outstanding work through your
    calling as a Catholic priest. As you know, I am a convert since April 6, l985, and know that God blessed me when he led me to the Church. Thanks so much for the Thoughts for the Day. God Bless You!!! Edwina Quinn – Greenwood, Mississippi.

    • Thanks for your kind words. I’m actually in Omaha right now teaching a class for a week. It just happens to be the week of the College World Series – great memories!!!

  42. Hi Father Burke,
    My name is Katie Russo (maiden name Green) and I used to work with you at the Kane County Cougars back in the summer of 1996…a long time ago! I was doing my internship there and I had the opportunity to work in the Ticket office with you, Amy and Sue…and I think Matt? I just came across this blog because we are going to be joining our new church that is being built in Sugar Grove. Great to see your name and see what you are doing now! Hope all is well!

  43. Dear Father Burke,

    I came across your blog while looking over the speakers for the Great Lakes Catholic Men’s Conference in November. I’m looking forward to seeing you there, and thank-you for your insightful blog.

    And your picture in Rome is with our Pastor, Father Lavan. It is truly a small world.

    Be seeing you at the Men’s Conference.

    • I look forward to seeing you soon. Yes, it is a small world, especially the Catholic world.

      peace,
      fr. burke

  44. hi father, i´m Jose Muñoz from peru – Arequipa. i need some information about your community and the discernement vocation because awas study filosophis and teology in peru. I´ll be a priest.

  45. hi father i´m jose muñoz fronm peru .

  46. Hello Fr. Burke, Could you please include my special intentions while at Mass in Rome. My wife and I went there for a pilgrimage in 2007 and it will stay with us forever. May the Lord continue to Bless you and your Ministry for Him. Your Brother in Christ — Frank B.

    • Hello Frank B

      Its a blessing that you once had a chance to visit Rome as a pilgrim. I am longing to visit one time in my life…I am also looking how i can join your Diocese as a seminarian from Kenya.I have tried to write letters to the vocations Director but i am not sure if he has ever received my letters.

      If you come across his Email address please help me to get it and talk to him.

      Thank you so much.

      vincent m.kamba

  47. Dear Father Burke,
    You spoke at my children’s RE class at St. Raymond’s tonight. I was very moved by your life story and your thoughts on spending quiet time to reflect and pray. I’ve subscribed to your blog and I look forward to reading more from you.

    Cheers,
    Mike

    • The kids were so engaged and well behaved during the talk and adoration. Welcome to the blog!

      peace,
      fr. burke

  48. hi father, i´m jose muñoz from peru. father a was studied philosophy and teology. but now i ´m teacher in secundary school. father i feel the vocation for to npriest. pepearequi@hotmail.com

  49. Good morning Fr Burke. Been receiving your daily scripture email. Thank you for your insights. I’ve included a link to your webpage for our visitors to subscribe also. Keep up this good work, God bless. Tom,

  50. Hello Father Burke. My name is Agnes and I met you recently through attending the 5pm tri-parish mass and mission at St. Pat’s on Sunday. (I also attended the mission on Monday and I can’t wait until tomorrow’s message!). I just wanted to share with you that when my fiance and I had heard your life story at Sunday’s mass, we were so totally amazed and inspired that we couldn’t stop talking about you for hours! What an awesome priest you are and what an incredible background you have! The Lord has truly worked wonders in your life!! Apart from inspiring us on Sunday, you have also taught me sooo much at yesterday’s mission! Thank you so much! Your message is so practical and so very much needed in the Catholic church aka the sleeping giant. I was so excited when you mentioned yesterday that you have a blog where you do daily reflections on scripture, I looked up your blog as soon as I got home. I also am a blogger and use my blog to reflect on my faith and life and I thought it was great that I could add your blog to my daily readings and through it add to the “study” part of the 4 signs of a dynamic Catholic. I am also glad to have received Mathew Kelly’s book yesterday and I cannot wait to read it. My fiance and I are currently preparing for our wedding, which is 5 months away, so we will definitely take your advice on improving our relationship with God and scheduling daily prayer, since this is a time in our lives where we especially need prayer, study, and preparation. Thanks so much again for being a wonderful priest and a beautiful example to all of the people you encounter! If you are ever bored, I blog over at http://agnes1990.blogspot.com/. (Actually, my whole blog is named after St. Augustine’s quote of our hearts being restless until they rest in God and it is one of my favorite quotes…and YOU actually used that quote on Sunday, which is another thing I loved about your homily/speech on Sunday 🙂 )

    God Bless You Father

    • Thanks for your kind message. I had fun at St. Patrick’s this week for the mission, etc.

      God bless you and your fiance on your upcoming wedding…

      peace,
      fr. burke

  51. Fr Burke – You spoke today at St Jude’s in New Lenox. I really enjoyed listening to you and found much of what you said very interesting. You have given me inspiration have the church be a bigger part of my life than it has been recently. I only wish that my husband had also been there. He is Arizona watching some baseball Spring training.

    Thanks and God Bless

    • Thanks for your note, Sonya. They videotaped my talk yesterday and will be showing this talk to the other sessions of Generations of Faith. Maybe he can attend one of those remaining sessions or you can borrow the video from the parish. I encourage you to make Jesus and the Church the center of your life, especially of your family, and your life will never be the same.

      God bless,
      Fr. Burke

  52. Dear Fr Burke,i am a seminarian from one of the congregations in Nigeria…am a nigerian.fr,i wish to join ur Diocese.pls help me…my number is +2348063148912.thanks

    • At this time we are not accepting seminarians that have no connection with our diocese. I will pray for you and your vocation.

      peace,
      fr. burke

  53. Father Burke. I am jose from peru. father I was a seminarian and finish my studies in philosophy and theology and I would like to continue my vocation in his diocese. I am currently working as a teacher. Thanks dad. hopefully I can answer. Happy Holidays resurrection.

    • Jose, gracias por tu mensaje. En este tiempo no estamos acceptando seminaristas de otras diocesis que no tienen conneccion con la Diocesis de Joliet. Voy a rezar por tu vocacion. Que Dios me lo bendiga,
      P. Burke

  54. Hey Fr. Burke. I listened to your story by way of the Catholic Lighthouse CD series that my parish offers. I really liked it! Thanks for all that you do, Cheers!

  55. Dear Father Burke, I want to thank you for using the internet to minister to so many. Your posts have influence me to think about Jesus and my faith at times during the day when I was focusing on work or running my home and I was not focused on Him. Thank you so much for all that you do and give, and for dedicating your life to serve us. It is an honor to receive your preaching to my email. Maria Rago

  56. Dear Father Burke,am grateful for your sharing, am also a priest serving in amazon forest Roraima in Brazil the red Indians.I like your examples in your sharing.Be blessed

  57. Father Burke
    I love your daily comments on the Gospels, I am the father of five boys, two have made Cursillo and we love our Catholic faith. I am also a Catholic Church mural painter and a sports artist, its great painting for the big league of art which is the Sanctuary. Let me know if you need anything. Thanks for your priesthood. AMDG

    • Thanks for the note. I will keep you and your family in my prayers…

      peace,
      fr. burke

  58. Add me to your daily list remember I met u at corpus. Christi and I know Kevin the soccer coach

    • Pete, I don’t have a list of emails. Please click on the main page of my blog – http://www.frburke23.wordpress.com and go to the right hand column. You can click on “sign me up” or “subscribe me” and then put in your address and the thoughts will go to your inbox.

      Thanks!
      Fr. Burke

  59. Hello father,

    I am vincent kamba from Kenya a seminarian.I follow your gospel input and get more inspired more and more.I have been longing to get the vocations email address so that we can communicate.I would like to seek a place in your diocese as a seminarian.please help me.

    I am always blesses by what you update concerning vocations.May the good Lord bless you always.

    Thank you once more.

    Vincent Kamba.

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  63. Where can I find Father Burke’s speaking schedule?

    • Sometimes it is on http://www.vocations.com but not always updated until we start our new diocesan website in January. I will be speaking at Our Lady of Peace in Darien at all of the Masses this weekend.

  64. Hi Father Burke!
    We met this weekend at Our Lady of Peace in Darien, I was the cantor at several Masses. Once again, it was such a pleasure to have you at our parish. Your story is so inspiring!!! Just a note. Besides you knowing my cousins Joe and Rosemarie DeLascio, I talked with my sister Denise Ehlen today and she informed me that she has worked with you through the Catholic Leadership Institute . . . the world is getting smaller 🙂

    Blessings!
    Frank Marsala

    ps. Just listened to your grand slam at MSU . . . Awesome!!!!!

  65. Really appreciate your thoughts on daily readings

  66. Dear Fr. Burke,

    Your sermon at the 10:45 mass at Saint Margaret Mary today was very interesting! It made me as a 15 year old teenager make me think not of what I want to do but instead of what God wants me to be. I was your lead Altar Server st 10:45 mass, due to that service many people have told me I should be one. I shrug that off, because my dream is to get my college degree in Music Education. Your story though made me realize that God may not want me to do that. But who knows what he wants us to do until we hear that calling that will fill the void in our hearts. So, thank you for making it more understandable! Your story is very unique but inspirational at the same time!

    Christian

    • Christian, thanks for your note and thanks for serving today. Yes, just keep your heart open to what Jesus wants you to do. He will lead you to where He needs you. He has given you gifts and talents that are meant for the good of others. May God bless you abundantly…

      peace,
      fr. burke

  67. Hello Farther Masters….

    Thank you for speaking at our church, St. Mary’s Minooka, over the past 3 evenings. I learned so much. You are truly an inspiration to all. God Bless You.

    Ps. I just listened to the audio of your Grand Slam HR !! Wow !

  68. I just saw you on EWTN and enjoyed your story!

  69. Thank you for blogging

  70. I just saw you on EWTN and I would love to subscribe to your daily blog. Would you please advise how I can do this?

  71. Please advise how I can subscribe to your daily blog. Thanks!

    • In order to subscribe to the “Thoughts for the Day” please go to my blog at https://frburke23.wordpress.com. On the right-hand column go to “Sign me up!” and click.

      You may be asked to type your email address. You should then begin receiving the “Thoughts for the Day”.

      Please let me know if you have any problems…

      God bless,
      Fr. Burke

  72. Fr Burke,
    Maura Mc Caughey from Sligo, Ireland. Just saw you on EWTN here yesterday and have subscribed now to your blog, thanks! I had been looking for a homily on the daily Gospel. Not sure if you include Sundays. May God bless you.

    • Hi Maura, thanks for subscribing. I usually don’t do Sunday reflections, but try to do 4-5 daily homilies. There seemed to be a lot of Sunday resources out there; but not many daily homilies. I hope that you enjoy these reflections…

      • I too enjoyed your appearance on EWTN and I subscribed to your blog. I look forward to your daily homilies and I am certain that I will enjoy your reflections. I follow the daily reflections of His Holiness, Pope Francis on Twitter, however those are for the most part just one liners. Your reflections appear to have more substance. Thank you.

      • Thank you Fr Burke for getting back to me. Could I bother you with a further question: I’d love to find a commentary for kids on the Sunday Gospels that might help them tune in more at Sunday Mass. Have you come across anything good? God bless you

  73. Saw you on EWTN the Rock and wanted to join your Blog
    Chris

  74. Father Burke,
    I just saw you on EWTN. I have lived in Tustin CA for 39 years. I grew up in Illinois and am still a Cub fan. How great that you are their chaplain. I have 4 daughters and 1 son. He was an aspiring baseball player, played at Mater Dei High School and San Diego State. Today he is a lawyer. I was especially interested in hearing about Spirit and Truth Illinois. I am a member of the Serra Club and take care of activities to support our seminarians. Spirit and Truth would be a wonderful program to have for our young adults. I have subscribed to your blog. God bless you.
    Mary Brockschmidt.

    • I encourage you to start Spirit and Truth in your diocese. It has energized many young adults in our area…

  75. Thank you Father Burke. Yes, We definitely need something for our young adults in Orange County. I loved your vocation story, very powerful.

  76. […] CD’s. They absolutely loved Stealing Home by Mike Sweeney and The Baseball Priest by Father Burke. If you order from Lighthouse Media, please use Debbie’s code  Promo Code […]

  77. […] to and laughing along with Stealing Home by Mike Sweeney and The Baseball Priest by Father Burke, two of the package of CD’s I won through a contest sponsored by Debbie Gaudino from […]

  78. Father Burke where are you??? I am missing “Thoughts of the Day”……I haven’t received an email since the 5th. I pray that you are well and maybe on vacation. I have enjoyed my scripture readings along with your written homily afterwards. I have loved its addition to my daily spiritual life after seeing you on The Journey Home…….hope to hear from you soon!

    In-Christ……..Kathy

    • I was doing a parish mission in MS and didn’t have time to work on the reflections. I”m back now…

  79. In the process of listening to God’s will for my vocation (I am college student), I am always thankful for the people working for God to spread the Gospel. I hope to find the way I should go in life, whether it be in religious community (I am female) or in single/married life. I want to honor God, and these reminders are exactly what I need to remind me of God’s presence in the world and in my life. Thank you so much for what you do.

    • You are welcome. Stay close to the Lord in prayer and in the Sacraments. As you grow in your relationship with Jesus, He will reveal your vocation to you. You might get a spiritual director also if you don’t have one already. God bless!

  80. i would really be interested in becoming a brother in some type of “monastery” do you know where i would have to go to do that?

  81. Fr Burke-
    I love your daily devotionals- I look forward to reading them every day! Our oldest child is a freshman baseball player at Mississippi State and he is trying to start a bible study with his teammates. Do you have any studies that you’d recommend? Thank you and may God bless you!

  82. I wanted you to know that I posted your Ash Wednesday article about Lent being like spring training on FB and my niece who is a Senior at Montini commented that she heard you give that as a sermon and she was very complimentary about your style, delivery and connecting to the students there. Nice! Thank you for providing us with this Lenten guidebook–maybe if enough Cubs fans read it, the curse will be broken!

  83. Fr Burke,
    I would love to have you speak for our woman group at St Marys in Lake Forest IL. Do you book speaking engagements?

    • I’m trying to scale back right now on speaking engagements as my schedule is pretty full. I’m focusing on vocations right now. However, I’m open to talking about possibilities…

  84. Fr. Burke, after attending your mission in Kankakee IL, I subscribed to your daily blog and enjoyed your messages everyday. However, I have not been receiving them via my email for the past couple weeks and when I try to subscribe again I get the message that I have already subscribed. Can you help solve this mystery for me?

    • Are you getting them now? I was on vacation for a week.

  85. At this moment of writing, I am listening to your cd talk re- your conversion to Catholicism, which included your receiving your first communion by accident. That was really funny. Thanks for sharing. I did really enjoy it incl your celebrating wedding of Stephanie & husband. You indeed have good sense of humour which I guess is essenrial also in promoting prayer, networking for Jesus plus a lot more work.
    I am Sydney-based, a 68yo retiree, just happy ‘paying-back’ to God via voluntary works, – first/foremost is Catechism, albeit, I am on leave cuz of stroke/s last April/May. Another (good) story on prayers, FrBurke

    My prayers for you & your chosen ministry.
    Best & God bless
    Angie DJ Delara

    • Thanks Angie for your note. May I ask, how did you hear about this blog being in Australia?

      God bless!

  86. Fr.Burke

    Several years ago I was at St. Mary Immaculate on Christmas Eve Mass. You were the presider in our gym. I was alone, sad. and if was a few years after the passing of my husband. Your homily referred to your Mother being a die hard St. Louis Cardinals fan. She had passed and you recalled how sad you were. You said a Cardinal appeared and you knew it was your Mom. I am also a die hard Cardinal fan (going to spring training in Jupiter at the end of
    March – a lifelong dream). I too know that my husband appears to me in Cardinal birds. We are so lucky to have these experiences. You reassured me after the Mass that day, that my husband was coming to me in the form of a Cardinal. I will carry your message forever. Thank you. You made my Christmas much happier that year. I knew then that God put me in that place to be ministered too.God bless you.

    • Thank you Jeanne. Yes, God speaks to us in so many ways! He loves us infinitely and goes to great lengths to show us His love!

  87. May you be constantly blessed by our Lord. Thank you for sharing this message.

  88. Congrats to your CUBS!!! Heard your interview yesterday on relevant radio…lived your story.

  89. Hello Fr Burke

    Just listened to your interview on the Bill and Wendy Show. Good stuff! Being lifelong Cubs fans, my dad and two brothers are flying up for the weekend from Kansas City to experience the World Series in Chicago! I heard you are having mass at Wrigley field on Sunday. Is there anyway we could attend or is it just for the Wrigley staff?

    Thanks and Go Cubs!

    -Eric Raplinger

    • Hi Eric, sorry for my delay. These Masses are just for players and staff before the gates open. Go Cubs!

  90. Fr. Masters, what an inspiring and wonderful story…how God looks out after us…and what is best for us. More times than not, it’s even BETTER than what we’ve dreamed for ourselves. God bless you!!☺ Lyn

  91. Great prayer on ESPN yesterday. The glory of God is everywhere. Keep praying ….just one more win! Mary😊

  92. Go Father and go Cubs!

  93. Hey Fr Burke,
    Just thought I’d say hello and let you know that I too am a Mississippi State grad (’74) and a Catholic priest ( Franciscan, OFM) living in Chicago and working At Jesse Brown VA Medical Center.
    Go Dawgs! Go Cubs!!!
    Fr Randy Roberts

    • Amen. Go Dawgs and Cubs!


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