A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Friday, Jan. 12, at Mary, Queen of Heaven Church.
A native of Yonkers, he attended Cathedral College, Brooklyn, and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington. He was ordained May 22, 1948 by Bishop Thomas E. Molloy at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn.
He served as an assistant at St. Ephrem, Dyker Heights, 1948-65; Guardian Angel, Brighton Beach, 1965-69; and St. Sebastian, Woodside, 1969-74.
In 1974, he was assigned as pastor of Mary Queen of Heaven, a position he held until he retired in 1997 when he became pastor emeritus. He was named a monsignor in 1988.
He continued to live in the parish rectory and to assist at Mass until a recent fall.
Special concelebrants at the funeral Mass included Msgr. Steven Ferrari and Fathers Thomas Leach, John Fullam, Frank Tumino and Brendan Moss, O.S.B., who preached the homily.
Father Leach, the current pastor, said that Msgr. Burns “was the parish. He did everything here. He spent the last 43 years here. He’s been here through so much. He got them out of debt. He collected enough money and convinced enough men to volunteer that he was able to redo the entire church. He basically did everything.”
Father Leach pointed out that several years ago the parish rededicated the former convent as the Msgr. John A. Burns Parish Center. It houses parish offices and meeting rooms, leases space to the Office of the Aging, and provides a home for four Dominican Sisters.
Burial was in Mount St. Mary’s Cemetery, Flushing.