His Eminence, Cardinal Burke, Health Update
September 25, 2021
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Thanking you once again, with all my heart, for your faithful and generous prayers for the recovery of my health, I write to update you on the progress of my rehabilitation. In thanking you, I thank, above all, Our Lord, who, in answer to your prayers, has preserved me in life. I thank, too, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and all the Saints through whose intercession you have offered and are offering prayers for me.
On September 3rd last, I left the hospital to take up residence in a house near to where the closest members of my family live. The house is well adapted for the rehabilitation program which I am following. My priest secretary has now come from Rome to stay with me to assist me with my program of rehabilitation. He is also helping me to respond to correspondence and to deal with the many schedule changes necessitated by the time I was in the hospital and now by the several weeks which I will need to recover as fully as possible from the illness.
Although I am making steady progress, it is slow. The doctors and therapists who direct the program of rehabilitation assure me that it is necessarily so and that I am doing well. For my part, I am trying to grow in patience. My principal challenges, at the present, are regaining certain fundamental physical skills needed for my daily living, and overcoming a general fatigue and difficulty in breathing, which are typical for those who have suffered the contagion of the Covid-19 virus. I cannot predict when I will be able to return to my normal activities. Seemingly, it will be several more weeks.
I regret that I am unable to respond to your communications individually, since I must concentrate my limited energy on regaining my forces. For that reason, too, I must limit the number of telephone calls and personal visits which I receive. I am deeply grateful for your understanding.
Our Lord has preserved me in life for some work which He wishes me to carry out, with the help of His grace, for love of Him and of His Mystical Body, the Church. I am determined to use the present time of rehabilitation in the best manner possible, so that I will be prepared to carry out His work. Throughout the time in the hospital and now, I continue to place myself into the care of Our Blessed Mother, so that my heart, one with her Immaculate Heart, may rest always securely in Our Lord’s Most Sacred Heart. As a spiritual father in the Church, I have counted heavily upon the help of Saint Joseph, whose Most Pure Heart embraced the Heart of Mary, his true spouse, and of Jesus, her Divine Son confided to his fatherly care.
Before concluding, let me also express my gratitude for the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which, as mentioned in my previous message, has accepted on my behalf the indispensable role of direct communication. Once more I ask that, in your kindness, please direct all of your communication to me through the Shrine’s website, at GuadalupeShrine.org/MessageCardinalBurke.
Please continue to pray for my full recovery. For my part, each day I offer my prayers and sufferings for your many intentions. Let us all pray and offer sacrifices for the world and the Church, which are beset with so much confusion and error to the great and even mortal harm of many souls.
Asking God to bless you, your homes, and all your labors, I remain
Yours in the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
and in the Purest Heart of Saint Joseph,
Raymond Leo Cardinal BURKE
August 28, 2021
Praised be Jesus Christ!
In the Sacred Heart of Jesus and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I express deep gratitude to God, who has brought me to this point of healing and recovery. As previously communicated by the leadership and staff of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, for whom I also express my profound appreciation, I am no longer intubated with a medical ventilator. I have been transferred out of the Medical Intensive Care Unit and settled in a hospital room where the doctors, nurses, and numerous hospital staff have provided vigilant, superb, and steadfast medical care. For these dedicated professionals, too, I offer heartfelt thanks, as well as to the priests who have ministered to me sacramentally. To those who have offered innumerable Rosaries and prayers, lighted candles, and requested the offering of the Holy Mass, I extend my sincere gratitude, and I ask the Lord and His Mother to bless you all. I also thank my brother bishops and priests who have offered Mass for me or prayed for me at the altar.
This generous outpouring of grace unites me to you in a special way, as I am also particularly united to all victims suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 virus. With all my heart, I express to you my wish that I could respond to every phone call, text message, and email. However, due to the intensive rehabilitation that I will soon begin, providing a response beyond these universal letters will not be possible. In your charity, I know you will understand this circumstance and accept that I must preserve my energy so that I can recover my health and strength. Hospital regulations limit visitors to immediate family members. During the forthcoming extended period of convalescence, it is my intention to provide only occasional updates when there is something significant to share with you.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe has accepted the necessary and crucial role of direct communication, on my behalf. Again, in your kindness, may I ask that you direct all of your communication to me through the Shrine’s website, at GuadalupeShrine.org/MessageCardinalBurke.
Of late, I have been reminded of the motto that I took when I was selected for the episcopacy: “Secundum Cor Tuum” (“According to Your Heart”). All things ordered in and through the Divine Will have as their origin the Sacred Heart of Our Savior, whose fundamental motivation is His Eternal Love for His Father and for His children. Since Divine Providence has governed that I remain hospitalized for the present, I now reaffirm that same episcopal conviction: suffering, united with the suffering of Jesus Christ, is truly efficacious in His Divine Plan for our salvation when accepted willingly and wholeheartedly. Saint Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, teaches us the meaning of our suffering: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church” (Col 1:24).
United with Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim, I offer all that I suffer for the Church and for the world. Asking God’s blessing upon you and your family, and confiding your intentions to the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego, Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and your holy patron saints, I remain
Yours in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and in the Purest Heart of Saint Joseph,
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
28 August 2021
Feast of Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
August 21, 2021
Praised be Jesus Christ!
The Cardinal’s family is pleased to announce that His Eminence has come off the ventilator and will leave the ICU today to return to his hospital room. His sister spoke with him on the phone this morning, and His Eminence expressed his deep gratitude for the many prayers offered on his behalf. His family asks that we continue those prayers for his full and speedy recovery, and they are grateful to God for the exceptional medical care the Cardinal has received from the dedicated doctors and nurses who continue to assist him.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Cardinal’s media will provide further updates as directed by his family.
God bless you.
Rev. Paul N. Check
Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
August 17, 2021
The outpouring of love, prayers and support during His Eminence’s hospitalization has greatly consoled his family, edified those who serve him at the Shrine and elsewhere, and testified to the character and virtue of the man whom so many consider a spiritual father. We deeply and abundantly appreciate this charity, and we give praise and thanks to our Heavenly Father, especially for the brilliant and faithful service of Cardinal Burke to the Church he loves so profoundly . . .
August 14, 2021
Cardinal Burke has been admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 and is being assisted by a ventilator. Doctors are encouraged by his progress. His Eminence faithfully prayed the Rosary for those suffering from the virus. On this Vigil of the Assumption, let us now pray the Rosary for him.