Diocesan priest Father Lawrence E. Burns, 79, died Feb. 5, 2016, at his home at the Bishop Head Residence in Lackawanna.
He was born Jan. 5, 1937, in Buffalo, to Emmett W. and Ruth O. (George) Burns. He attended Little Seminary High School in Buffalo, and received a bachelor's degree from St. Bonaventure University in Olean. Later, Father Burns went on to earn a master's degree in theology from the University of Ottawa, Canada; a licentiate of sacred theology from St. Paul University in Ottawa, Canada; and a doctorate of moral theology from the Academia Alfonsiana of the Pontifical Latern University in Rome, Italy.
After attending the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium, for seminary and earning a master's degree, Father Burns was ordained on July 1, 1962, in Louvain.
After his ordination, Father Burns served as a missionary apostolate at Sacred Heart in Angelica. In 1963, he was named assistant pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Kenmore. From 1968 to 69, Father Burns was a faculty member of St. John Vianney Seminary (now Christ the King) in East Aurora, then continued his education in Canada and Italy until 1974. He returned to East Aurora to work at Christ the King Seminary until 1988, then was a faculty member at Niagara University in Lewiston for four years. In 1992, Father Burns was assigned as pastor to Our Mother of Good Counsel Church in Blasdell, where he served until his retirement in 2012. He also served as Episcopal vicar of the Western Erie Vicariate from 2003 to 2006.
Father Burns also served on the Catholic Theological Society of America, the Hastings Center, Knights of St. John International as supreme spiritual director, the medial moral committee of the Diocese of Buffalo, the advisory council on moral issues for the New York State Catholic Conference, and the Erie County Medical Society of New York State Task Group on Medical Privacy.
Father Burns is survived by his sister Monica C. McNeill of Denver, Colo., and brothers Timothy F. of Chicago, Ill., and Dennis M. of Coventry, Conn.
Visitation will be held at D. Lawrence Ginnane Funeral Home, 3215 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, on Monday, February 8, from 2 to 7 p.m.
Visitation will also be held 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, February 9, at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 3688 South Park Ave., Blasdell, where the Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Bishop Richard J. Malone at 11:00 a.m. Priests are invited to concelebrate and Deacons are invited to vest.
Father Burns will be buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Kenmore.