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RIP: Father Terry Burke MHM – 1944-2017

Much Loved Catholic Priest to Communities in Bali and Sarawak Dies at 73 of Cancer


Bali News: Bali, Sarawak, London, Mill Hill Mission, Father Terry Burke
Click Image to Enlarge

(9/5/2017)

Fr. Terry Burke MHM, a popular Catholic Priest who visited Bali on a number of occasions and founded the Bali International Catholic Chaplaincy, died in the UK on Wednesday, August 30, 2017.
 
“Father Terry,” 73, was born in Barnes, South London on March 24, 1944. Drawn to the work of a missionary, he joined the Mill Hill Mission taking his perpetual oath on May 1, 1970, followed by his ordination on June 12, 1971.
 
Outside brief missionary assignments in Bali and India, Father Terry spent more than 40 years working with the people of Sarawak. Arriving as a young priest, he spent the 1970s traveling in long boats and hiking through the jungle to minister to a far flung group of parishioners. After obtaining an advance degree in Moral Theology in Rome, Father Terry responded to the request of the Bishop in Sarawak and established a Seminary in 1980 that remains in operation to this day preparing young men for the Priesthood.
 
Forced to leave Sarawak in 1984 when the Government temporarily banned foreign missionaries from working in the Country, Father Terry then assumed regional administrative roles, ministered briefly in India, studied in the USA, and worked as religious studies teacher at Reading University.
 
The dawning of the new millennium saw Father Terry “back home” in Asia working in Sarawak and Bali.
 
In May of 2016, he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Indefatigable in his religious duties he continued to teach until May 2017 at St. Peter’s College, Kuching, the major seminary for Malaysian Borneo until  worsening health saw him return to London.
 
After a month of loving care from his surviving sister, Margaret, Father Terry was admitted to the Duchess of Kent Hospice on July 21, dying in Tilehurst, UK on August 30, 2013.


A funeral mass was held in the UK on September 3, 2017, and a mass of remembrance in Sarawak on Monday, August 4, 2017.
 
In May 2017, in London and accepting that his declining health would no longer allow him to again visit his beloved Sarawak or Bali, Father Terry Burke wrote the following to his many friends and admirers via his blog:
 
“So, now I have begun my next and probably last missionary journey and I am looking round for what the Lord is calling me to – for if I am here, then there is something for me to do. I have so many memories to help me, of so many wonderful people – so many things to remember and laugh about, so many things to hand over for healing, so many thanks to give the Lord for a wonderful life, so far lived. And I am at peace! May His peace be with you, too.”
 
R.I.P
Father Terry Burke MHM
24 March 1944 – 30 August 2017


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