Rev. Msgr. G. Thomas BurnsJune 23, 2017
Reverend Msgr. G. Thomas Burns, Retired Pastor of St. Raphael’s Church in Livingston, NJ and currently a resident of Sarasota, FL passed away on June 23rd after a very brief illness following a cerebral hemorrhage. He was the son of the late Gerald T. Burns and Zita (Finn) Burns of West Orange, NJ. He is the brother of Mary (Burns) Muoio of Mantoloking, NJ, and Zita (Burns) O’Brian of Montauk, NY.
Msgr. Burns graduated from Seton Hall Preparatory School, Seton Hall University, and Immaculate Conception Seminary (Darlington, NJ). He was ordained a priest at Sacred Heart Cathedral on May 25, 1957.
During his entire priesthood ministry, he was assigned to only two parishes. After ordination, he was assigned to St. Cecilia’s in Kearny, NJ where he remained until 1979. He was then appointed pastor of St. Raphael’s. He remained at St. Raphael’s until his retirement in 2002.
Msgr. Burns was the grand-nephew of the Founder of the Knights of Columbus, Michael McGivney. His maternal grandmother was Rose McGivney (Finn), Michael’s sister. Michael also had two brothers, Priests Patrick McGivney and John McGivney. A generation closer, Msgr. Burns had three uncles Priests, the late Msgr. Leo M. Finn, Francis J. Finn and Vincent E. Finn, his mother’s brothers. Msgr. Burns contended that his uncles were his role models and greatly influenced him in his decision to become a priest.
Lovingly known as “Father Tom,” he celebrated his 60th anniversary of ordination at a beautiful Mass and celebration given by the parishioners of St. Raphael’s. It was held on May 20th, this past month, and his life and ministry were joyfully celebrated.
An avid golfer, he played until his last days with only his “gimme” putts possibly increasing, but not his score. He loved the game, but his love of people in all walks of life, from CEO’s to the workers at McDonalds told the most about his Christ-like character. His real gift was the gift of love and family, friends, and parishioners can all testify to that love. Father Tom will be missed by all – his sisters, nieces, nephews, and their children.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 28th at St. Raphael’s Church in Livingston from 3-7pm followed by a Vigil Mass at 7pn. Visitation will also be held on Thursday from 9-10am at St. Raphael’s Church followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30am. Interment at Gate of Heaven Cemetery. To write a condolence, visit www.LeonardisMemorialHome.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to St. Raphael’s Church, 346 E. Mount Pleasant Avenue, Livingston, NJ or to the ARC of Ocean County, 815 Cedar Bridge Ave, Lakewood, NJ in honor of his beloved niece Kathleen Muoio.