Please view message from Fr. Tom Burke
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The last three months have turned our lives upside down in so many unimagined ways mainly because of COVID-1: globally, economically, socially (We now speak of social distancing) and religiously as well (Our places of worship were closed, opening only now with stringent safeguards put in place). All of our lives have changed. What will be the new normal?
During this time we have been broadcasting the Mass using the modern tools of communication: the smart phone, the internet and the video camera. We will continue to do for the coming months as well as having the Mass in Church.
During the past few weeks I haven’t been seen saying the Mass with you. Why? A few weeks ago I was working over in the Knights of Columbus hall doing some heavy construction. I felt some pain in my back that I thought was from using different muscles and from age. As always I took Aleve and Tylenol, heating pad, etc. Nothing worked.
Having gone to the doctor it was discovered that I had a compression fracture on my spine. Sadly something else was discovered. I had tumors on my back that ate into five of my vertebrae. An orthopedic surgical procedure called a Kyphoplasty was performed. A biopsy was also performed at the same time. The tumors were cancerous originating from my lungs.
I have lung cancer. 34 years of smoking. I had stopped for the last 5 years. Not surprised yet still surprised. What is next? I am presently over at the Redemptorist Villa (Now an assisted living facility for all my Redemptorist Brothers) receiving 5 radiation treatments while waiting a complete diagnosis. An MRI will be done of my head this coming Wednesday that will be put together with blood panels, CTs etc.so that a proper treatment can treat the cancer.
I honestly asked the oncologist: Do I have 3 months or 5 years? He couldn’t answer me because he still as yet didn’t have all the information and more so because he said tremendous advances have been made during the past 5 years. There is no one way to treat it. There are many other avenues to treating it: immunology’s etc.
When I learn more I will share the information with you. There are 2 things I ask of you. First, don’t draw conclusions until all the information is there, secondly, pray for me! Nothing is impossible for God! Nothing.
My provincial as well as our Bishop have been informed and will continue to be informed as time goes by.
God’s blessing—always, Fr. Tom Burke C.Ss.R.