Fr. Paul Burak Asked Questions That 'Penetrated Your Soul'

Lorraine Swanson

ORLAND PARK, IL – A funeral Mass for Rev. Paul C. Burak, former pastor of St. Michael Catholic Parish in Orland Park, will be held at a later date due to COVID-19 restrictions. A resident of Palos Heights, the retired priest passed away Monday, Jan. 11, at the age of 74.

Burak was born on April 30, 1946, in Chicago. He attended Quigley Preparatory Seminary and Niles College Seminary, both in Chicago, and graduated from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein.

He was ordained to the priesthood on May 10, 1972, by Cardinal John P. Cody, and celebrated his first solemn Mass on May 14 of the same year at St. Linus Catholic Church in Oak Lawn. Following his ordination, Burak served the archdiocese in a variety of roles. He was associate pastor at St. Kilian Parish on 87th Street in Chicago and in 1981 was appointed a pastor at St. Catherine of Genoa Parish on 118th Street (which eventually merged with Assumption BVM Parish on Parnell Street in Chicago), Our Lady of the Ridge Parish in Chicago Ridge and St. Michael Parish in Orland Park.

Burak was also dean at Deanery V-D and V-E while serving as a pastor. In addition, Burak served as the cardinal's liaison to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement for a few years.

“Five years after ordination, Paul invited Fr. Ron Gollatz, Fr. Bob Tonelli and me to come together monthly as a prayer group,” said Msgr. Pat Pollard, former director of Catholic Cemeteries.

That invitation to share and pray monthly endured for more than 40 years, Pollard said.

“Fr. Paul was a spiritual leader for so many. He could inspire whatever community he was sent to; he asked questions that penetrated your soul. I shall always treasure Paul’s exhortation to me to trust in the Lord’s care for his priests.”

Fr. Paul Burak
Fr. Paul Burak


This article originally appeared on the Orland Park Patch