Father Patrick G. Burns

Father Burns

Updated Dec. 28 with names of survivors.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated for Father Patrick G. Burns at St. Michael Church, Sunset Park, Dec. 21.

He died Dec. 14 at Holy Name of Jesus rectory, Windsor Terrace, where he was in residence while ministering with the diocesan Office of Parish Giving. He was 57.

Born in Brooklyn, he attended Good Shepherd School in Marine Park; Sheepshead Bay H.S.; Iona College, New Rochelle; Cathedral College, Douglaston; and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington.

He was ordained May 23, 1992 by Bishop Thomas V. Daily at St. James Cathedral-Basilica, Downtown Brooklyn.

He served as an assistant at St. Catharine of Alexandria, Borough Park, 1992-93; Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians-St. Mary’s Winfield, Woodside, 1993-95; and Blessed Sacrament, Jackson Heights, 1995-99.

He served as pastor at St. Martin of Tours-Fourteen Holy Martyrs, Bushwick, 1999-2004; St. Michael, Sunset Park, 2004-10; and Blessed Sacrament, Jackson Heights, 2010-13.

After being on a medical leave, he returned to ministry as a weekend assistant at St. Leo’s, Corona. He served as parochial vicar at St. Francis de Sales, Belle Harbor, 2017-18, and was named to minister with the Office of Parish Giving in January.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass. Special concelebrants included Auxiliary Bishop James Massa, and Fathers Jeffry Dillon and Joseph Fonti. Father Thomas Haggerty preached the homily.

Msgr. Joseph Calise, the homilist at the vigil Mass, came to know Father Burns when they were stationed in Woodside.

“He loved his parishioners and through his many talents brought them closer to the Church,” Msgr. Calise said. “He had an amazing way with his congregation. He could delight them with a song.”

Besides singing, Father Burns’ many gifts included being a great fundraiser and fluency with Spanish, which enabled him to invite even more people to know God.

He is survived by his brother Michael of Breezy Point; Edward of Plainview, L.I.; Daniel in Brooklyn and his sister Jeanne in Culpeper, Va.

Burial was in Holy Cross Cemetery, Flatbush.

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15 thoughts on “Father Patrick G. Burns

  1. During his time as Pastor of St. Michael’s Church in Sunset Park Brooklyn, Father Patrick Burns served as a Clergy Liaison with the 72nd precinct. Father Burns was always there for the NYPD whether in times of crisis or just to share a light hearted moment and his efforts to bridge police and community were unparalleled. Father Pat, thank you for your service. You are loved and missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing you. God bless you.

    Frank Siclari
    (Retired) NYPD

  2. May the good Lord take in arms the beloved Priest soul and that all his good deeds be taken into account. It is a tragedy to loose a very important part of the community because a priest is a confessor, psychologist, social worker, and many times a friend. Moreover, he will be missed.

  3. I knew Patrick for a very long time and even though we lost touch about 15 years ago, I have nothing but great memories of our friendship. My whole family loved him and we considered him part of our family. He will surely be missed!

  4. I am so disheartened to hear of Patrick’s passing. He was a wonderful, caring, and compassionate person. Our family will deeply miss him. Rest In Peace, dear cousin.
    You will always have a place in my heart.

  5. My name is Alex. I attended St. Michael’s Church, when most of my life, it was Father Burns who was the priest. He held a special place in my family’s heart, as he did for us. He was so friendly. I’m shocked and quite saddened of his loss. May he Rest In Peace, and May he be remembered for the greatness he once was.

  6. Patrick was indeed beloved by my family as we grew close to him through my brother, Steven and their friendship. We are all very saddened and shocked to hear of his passing and obvious suffering. When I think of Pat I see him being very animated and ALWAYS smiling, telling funny jokes or stories, and treating us to some wonderful experience. An extremely generous and selfless soul surely has a place with the God he chose to serve. I hope you are resting in peace now .. I’ve missed you and will forever miss you now.

  7. Father Pat,

    Though we had only chatted once since your ordination, I knew you from the good old Christian Awakening on Humboldt Street.

    Pat, it must have taken tremendous courage to answer the call to priesthood at this juncture of history – a terribly challenging time for all Catholics. All of us need to pray for the grace to accept God’s abundant mercy.

    Pat, I was extremely proud when I read of your pro life involvement. You are in my prayers, and I ask for your prayers.


  8. I am a recent Floridian. Upon returning to Brooklyn for my 96-year old dad’s surgery, I attended Sunday Mass at my old patish, Holy Name. Fr. Patrick was the celebrant; and after his inspiring homily, I approached him after Mass. I explained that my dad was elderly and having surgery the next day, and I asked him to pray for him. He immediately offered to come to the house to anoint my dad. I explained that we’d both love that, but I walked half a mile in the rain to Mass. That didn’t deter him… He walked with me in the rain to anoint my dad. I enjoyed our conversation and was blessed to see Fr. Patrick again to thank him and let him know dad’s surgery went well. I was FOREVER touched by him and his kindness. My heart is saddened by our loss.
    May God have mercy on him and may eternal rest be granted to him.

  9. With overwhelming sadness, I am writing to remember my friend, Father Patrick.

    My memories are of Patrick’s loving, selfless and gentle service to his family, the community, parishioners, the NYPD, myself and my family and the God he cherished.

    I always felt comforted to be included in Patrick’s prayers. Now I take comfort to know, Patrick is in peace remembering alll as he prays and sings with the angels in heaven.

    Patrick, you will be forever missed but only a prayer away.

    Eileen A. Auld
    (Retired) NYPD

  10. So incredibly sad to hear this news today. I actually read his name in our my church’s bulletin. Father Burns married my husband and I in 2004 and baptized our son in 2006 at St. Martin of Tours in Bushwick. He bridged the gap between the church and the youth. His singing and flawless Spanish will be missed. His legacy will always be remembered by me and my family. Such a sad loss. Prayers for those who knew him and worked with him. Suicide leaves so many unanswered questions, especially from a priest. May you find comfort and healing through this difficult time. God bless.

  11. He was the priest when i did my first communion at blessed sacrament in jackson height. Always a great man he gave great lessons always happy rest in peace.