Clinton Franciscan was an educator

Sr. Burns

CLINTON — Sister Michael Marie Burns, OSF, 85, died July 6 at The Alverno in Clinton.

Judith Grace Burns was born June 16, 1939, in Clinton, the eldest child of Patrick and Hilda Grace (Brown) Burns. Baptized at St. Mary Parish in Clinton, she attended St. Boniface Elementary School and Mount St. Clare Academy, both in Clinton, graduating in 1957.

She entered the Sisters of St. Francis at Mount St. Clare Convent in Clinton on Sept. 8, 1957 and received the name Michael Marie at her reception on June 16, 1958. She pronounced perpetual vows Aug. 12, 1963.

Sister Burns received a B.A. in elementary education from Marycrest College, Davenport; an M.P.S. from Loyola University, Chicago; and an M.A. in Franciscan Studies from St. Bonaventure University in New York. She completed a Spiritual Guidance Training Program at Siena Retreat Center in Racine, Wisconsin.


She taught elementary grades in Chicago; Vail and Akron, Iowa; and Riverside, California. She served as a college campus minister in Riverside and in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She was a religious education director at St. Gerald Parish, Oak Lawn, Illinois; St. Benedict Parish in Chicago; and St. Pius X Parish in Indianapolis. In 2002, she moved to Chicago where she ministered as a house manager and qualified support professional for Sophia House, Esperanza Community Services. She retired from full-time ministry in August 2011 and moved to The Canticle in Clinton. There, she assisted on the hospitality and liturgy committees and served the congregation as a regional Associate Partnership coordinator for several years.

Sister Burns had a big heart with love for all, especially people living on the margins. She ministered to individuals with intellectual disabilities at L’Arche Clinton by serving on their spiritual life committee. She also offered a monthly prayer service for Mercy South residents in Clinton. She provided spiritual direction to those in need and prayed for inmates on death row. She moved to The Alverno on July 2.

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. July 13 at The Canticle, 841 13th Ave N. Visitation will be 4-6 p.m., July 12 at the Canticle. The rosary will be recited at 4 p.m. and a wake service will begin at 6:30 p.m. Burial will be in St. Irenaeus Calvary Cemetery.

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