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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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Rev. Bernard Joseph Burke

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 578 - 579

Rev. Bernard Joseph Burke, the efficient and faithful pastor of St. Mary's Church at Cascade, and of St. Michael's Church in the town of Mitchell, dates his appointment from May 1, 1889. The priests who have preceded Father Burke in his present charge are quite numerous, and since 1859 include the following, with perhaps one or two others whose names did not appear at the time this information was given. In the order of succession they are about as follows: Fathers Francis Fusseder, Patrick F. Pettit, Patrick Bradley, James McGowan, Henry McMahon, J. Tiernan, E. J. Goss, Dennis Tierney, Thomas Maher, M. Dedacus, and Rev. Father John Casey. The latter was succeeded by the present priest.

Father Burke has accomplished very important work, which has brought satisfactory results, during the period of little more than four years that he has presided over these two congregations. His first work in the way of improving the condition of things as he found them was to thoroughly renovate and improve St. Michael's Church, which was sadly in need of repairs. Yet the people appeared to think that a new church building was not necessary, and also seemed to have impressed Father Burke's predecessor with that belief. But Father Burke went immediately to work, and soon made practically a new building out of the old one. Now the church is a neat and comfortable one for its large congregation of about one hundred families.

Father Burke's most important work, however, has been the erection of the fine new St. Mary's Church at Cascade, Wis., which was dedicated by the Most Reverend F. X. Katzer, D. D., of Milwaukee, Wis., November 22, 1893, in the presence of a large congregation and laity. He found at that village a small and unpretentious building, constructed many years ago, and he resolved, against much opposition, to supersede the old structure by a new place of worship, on a modern plan, and the result of his determination has been the erection of a fine edifice, valued at about $10,000. This is a work of which Father Burke, his congregation and the community at large may well be proud.

The Rev. Bernard Joseph Burke is a true American, but still retains a just love and veneration for the land of his forefathers. Massachusetts and Rhode Island were for many years his home, and there and in Canada he was educated. He is a man of great energy and strength of character, a faithful pastor, and a genial and instructive companion.

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