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Rev. Lawrence E. Burns, pastor, educator

Jan. 5, 1937 – Feb. 5, 2016

The Rev. Lawrence E. Burns, an educator, cleric and leader in the Buffalo Catholic Diocese for 50 years, died Friday in the Bishop Head Residence, Lackawanna. He was 79.

Father Burns was born in Buffalo and graduated from Little Seminary High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University, a master’s degree in theology from the University of Ottawa, a licentiate of sacred theology from St. Paul University, Ottawa, and doctorate of moral theology from Academia Alfonsiana of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.

He also earned a master’s degree from Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.

He was ordained July 1, 1962, in Louvain.

Father Burns was pastor of Our Mother of Good Counsel Church in Blasdell for 20 years, from 1992 to 2012.

From 1962 to 1963, he was a missionary apostolate at Sacred Heart Church in Angelica. He served as the assistant pastor of St. Andrew’s Church in the Town of Tonawanda from 1963 to 1968.

Father Burns was a member of the faculty at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora from 1974 to 1988. He was a faculty member at Niagara University with residence at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Tonawanda from 1988 to 1992. In 1992, he became pastor of Our Mother of Good Counsel Church. He served as the episcopal vicar for the Western New York Vicariate from 2003 to 2006. Father Burns retired Sept. 1, 2012.

Father Burns was a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America and an associate member of the Hastings Center. He was the supreme spiritual director of the Knights of St. John International, with the rank of brigadier general. He also served on the Medial Moral Committee of the Diocese of Buffalo, and Erie County Medical Society & Medical Society of New York State Task Group on Medical Privacy-Confidentiality.

He is survived by a sister, Monica C. McNeill; and two brothers, Timothy F. and Dennis M.

Father Burns will lie in state from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesday in Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, 3688 South Park Ave., Blasdell. Bishop Richard J. Malone will preside at funeral services there at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

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