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Former Pastor of Riverdale Parish, Fr. Eugene P. Burns, Dies

Chicago, IL (January 19, 2005) – Fr. Eugene Patrick Burns died of congestive heart failure Friday,

January 14, at Holy Family Villa in Lemont. He served as pastor of Queen of the Apostles Parish in Riverdale from 1981 to 1983. He was 76 years old.

Fr. Burns most recent assignment was chaplain at St. Margaret Hospital in Hammond, Indiana. He served there for three years beginning in 1989 before retiring from active ministry in 1992.

Born in Chicago, Fr. Burns was a member of St. Rita of Cascia Parish. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein. Ordained in 1955, Fr. Burns served for six years as assistant pastor at St. Anne Parish in Hazel Crest, where a memorial Mass will be celebrated for him.

He also served as assistant pastor at St. Catherine Laboure in Glenview (1961-1966), St. Nicolas of Tolentine (1966-1968), St. Denis (1968-1973), St. Joseph in Homewood (1973-1979), St. Terrence in Alsip (1979-1981), Our Lady of Knock in Calumet City (1981-1983), and St. Ann in Lansing (1985-1989).

“He did creative things in his parish ministry,” said Fr. Len Dubi, pastor of St. Anne in Hazel Crest, who also served with Fr. Burns at Queen of Apostles. While at St. Catherine Laboure he was the first priest to start the popular “Ports of Call” fundraiser that transformed parish schools into nightclubs, where acts performed and parishioners enjoyed food and games as a means of raising additional funds for the parish.

Fr. Dubi commented that Fr. Burns was in the forefront of promoting peace and was one of the first to establish open discussion on the peace documents from the Second Vatican Council. He also introduced the program “Christ Renews His Parish” at Queen of Apostles Parish.

As a recovering alcoholic, Fr. Burns was a mentor and friend to many who sought his counsel in dealing with alcohol addiction.

Most Reverend Thad Jakubowski, retired auxiliary bishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at a memorial Mass for Fr. Burns on Friday, February 11, at 11 a.m. at St. Anne Church, 16802, S. Lincoln St., Hazel Crest. Interment has taken place at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Alsip.

Fr. Burns is survived by a sister-in-law and several nieces and nephews.

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