WASHINGTON (May 17, 1999) -- The Reverend Edward J. Burns has been named executive Director of the Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Father Burns is a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, currently serving there as the director of the department of clergy personnel.
Monsignor Dennis M. Schnurr, General Secretary of the NCCB, announced the appointment today. He said that he was grateful to Pittsburgh Bishop Donald W. Wuerl for allowing the Conference to make this appointment.
"For a diocese of Pittsburgh's size and complexity, it is especially generous to release a priest even for a few years to work elsewhere, especially a priest who has played as significant a role as has Father Burns. I thank Bishop Wuerl for his affirmation of the importance of the Conference's work shown in his willingness to do so, and I welcome Father Burns as an excellent addition to the Conference staff," said Monsignor Schnurr.
Ordained June 25, 1983, Father Burns has served the diocese of Pittsburgh as a parochial vicar, director of the office of vocations, vice rector and rector of Saint Paul Seminary and director of spiritual formation there. He has also served as director of the office of the diaconate.
In announcing the appointment in Pittsburgh, Bishop Wuerl said, "Father Burns is a gifted priest and has served this diocese with ability and pastoral skill in a variety of responsibilities. I will miss his presence in the diocese but am confident that he will serve the Conference well."
Father Burns was born October 7, 1957. He went to Holy Rosary Elementary School, Pittsburgh, and St. Agatha Elementary School and Lincoln High School, Ellwood City, PA. He also studied at Duquesne University and Mount Saint Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD, where he obtained master's degrees in divinity and in theology.
The Secretariat for Vocations and Priestly Formation promotes vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life and assists bishops and seminaries in matters relative to seminary formation. The Secretariat also collaborates with national organizations concerned with vocations and seminaries. Most recently, the secretariat staffed the implementation of A Future Full of Hope, a national strategy for vocations developed by the Bishops' Committee for Vocations.
Father Burns succeeds the Reverend Timothy T. Reker who is returning to his home diocese of Winona at the conclusion of his term with the Conference.