Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
Raymond Leo Burke was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, on June 30, 1948, the youngest of six children. He began his priestly formation as a high school student at Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse. After studying philosophy at The Catholic University of America and theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, he was ordained to the holy priesthood by Pope Paul VI at St. Peter’s Basilica on June 29, 1975.
As a priest, Father Burke served as Associate Rector of the Cathedral of Saint Joseph the Workman in La Crosse, and also taught religion at Aquinas High School. In 1980, he returned to Rome for studies in Canon Law, and obtained a Doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1984. He subsequently served as Moderator of the Curia and Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of La Crosse. In 1989, he was appointed Defender of the Bond at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome.
On December 10, 1994, Monsignor Burke was appointed Bishop of La Crosse by Blessed Pope John Paul II, who consecrated him a Bishop on January 6, 1995. After almost nine years of service as Bishop of La Crosse, during which he founded the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe at La Crosse, Bishop Burke was named Archbishop of Saint Louis, and was installed on January 26, 2004. On June 27, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Burke Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. He was elevated to the College of Cardinals on November 20, 2010.
As Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Cardinal Burke continues to serve as President of the Board of Directors of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The greatest poverty and suffering of our time is spiritual, the loss of a sense of who we are as children of God and, therefore, the loss of hope and direction in our lives. Our spiritual poverty demands a spiritual remedy. The Coming of the Son of God into the world is the true and lasting remedy of our spiritual poverty, God the Father’s perfect act of love for us as His sons and daughters. The Mother of God, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is constantly directing us to the mystery of the Incarnation which gives us unfailing hope and sound direction for our lives. The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be a proven means by which the Mother of God can lead us to her Incarnate Son to discover anew our dignity as sons and daughters of God in Him, to be filled with hope and to give hope to our world. – Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke