Born in 1948 in Richland Center, Wisconsin, Raymond Leo Burke attended seminary in La Crosse, Washington, D.C., and Rome, where he was ordained a priest by Pope Paul VI in 1975. Ordained a bishop in 1995 by Blessed Pope John Paul II, he served for almost nine years as Bishop of La Crosse, where he founded the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and over four years as Archbishop of St. Louis. Since 2008, he has served as Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome. He was named a cardinal in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Burke has written and spoken widely on Roman Catholic canon law, as well as on the Holy Eucharist, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the sanctity of human life.
Order the Book
Nearly everyone at Sunday Mass gets in the Communion line, but few communicants have a solid sense of what (or who) they are receiving. They know that Christ somehow is present in the Holy Eucharist, but they are unclear about how that presence is to be understood and why it can be called “real.” It’s little wonder then that, for many Catholics, receiving Communion ends up as a social rather than a devotional act. We shouldn’t be surprised. You can’t love Christ in the Holy Eucharist unless you first understand that he is there and why he is there. Cardinal Burke explains both the that and the why in a way that is accessible to everyone and that can transform habitual Mass-goers into fervent Mass-goers.