Tribute to Fr. Pat

Fr. Patrick Burke, 16th November, 1979 – 25th June, 2018

I met Fr. Patrick Burke (Pat) in the summer of 2011 in Dublin Airport as we were departing for the Faith & Light pilgrimage.

I was immediately struck by his sense of calm and, over the course of the pilgrimage, how unruffled he was. He cared deeply for people and for his ministry to people. He was friendly and very witty in his own understated way.

Patrick & I shared a great love of the islands of the West of Ireland and cycling. He regularly ministered to the people of Clare Island and Inis Turk and he loved it. I have loved diving around these islands for many years.

At his funeral, Pat’s brother spoke of his grá for ‘visiting’ in his younger days.
This explained a lot to me – it is clear that visiting people and accompanying people was the seed and the heart of his vocation.

Anyone I have spoken to of him has remarked and agreed with me that he worked hard at keeping in touch with his friends. He & I built a friendship during and since that pilgrimage and he regularly visited with me. Visitors were equally welcome with him in Castlebar, Knock and latterly in Westport.

I got a phone call on Tuesday morning, June 26 th to gently tell me the heartbreaking news that Pat had died the previous night. His is a great loss to his family, to Faith & Light and to his many friends. I greatly miss him and his calm aura. We were privileged to have him while we did.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Niall Stapleton