The outpouring of love, prayers and support during His Eminence’s hospitalization has greatly consoled his family, edified those who serve him at the Shrine and elsewhere, and testified to the character and virtue of the man whom so many consider a spiritual father. We deeply and abundantly appreciate this charity, and we give praise and thanks to our Heavenly Father, especially for the brilliant and faithful service of Cardinal Burke to the Church he loves so profoundly.
As of August 17th, His Eminence remains in serious, but stable condition. His family, who with a team of doctors, is responsible for all medical decisions while the Cardinal remains sedated and on a medical ventilator, has great confidence in the care he is receiving. The Cardinal has received the Sacraments from priests nearby to him. There are several relics in his room.
While the Cardinal’s family appreciates the good intentions of those who have suggested treatments, consultations, etc., they ask that people refrain from sending anything further. They also ask that you not contact them, members of the Shrine staff, or the Cardinal’s residence in Rome to discuss his condition. Texts, phone calls and emails—while certainly solicitous and often gracious—can, inadvertently, become a burden. The family does not plan to disclose His Eminence’s location to avoid the obvious difficulties that might cause.
To provide a secure source for updates about the Cardinal’s health, the family has asked that the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe—in addition to the Cardinal’s personal media—be the only authorized platforms for accurate, timely information. Other reports may be incomplete or false and so may unnecessarily disturb the minds and hearts of those devoted to His Eminence.
The Cardinal’s family has also requested that only updates of significant changes in His Eminence’s condition be posted on the authorized platforms. In humility, we understand that it is not necessary for us to know every detail of the Cardinal’s treatment. Though his family realizes that the Cardinal “belongs” to the Church, they also ask that we respect his privacy. The period of hospitalization, and for now isolation because of the COVID virus, may be prolonged as His Eminence’s body fights the infection and recovers strength. For the time being, the sedation assists his own peace and rest.
Nothing falls outside of God’s providence. Nothing falls outside the reach of His grace. These are spiritual truths we know and that the Cardinal has taught us by his own example of fidelity in trust and surrender to the Good God. Confidence in these truths opens us to the peace the world cannot give or take. Were he able to speak with us now, he would tell what he has always taught us: that Our Father in Heaven is good, merciful, just, provident and sovereign; that we are His beloved children and that He will never leave us orphans; that we should not be afraid of the Cross as the way to eternal life; that the Sacraments are the most direct channels of grace and that we do the soul the greatest good by receiving Holy Communion often and by going to Confession regularly; that we should say our daily prayers; and that we should love one another as Jesus Christ has loved us: generously, even to the point of heroic sacrifice.
And one more thing so important and so dear to His Eminence: that we should pray the Rosary frequently and fervently, and so place ourselves under the mantle of Our Lady, confident in her maternal love and intercession.
Please continue your prayers for Cardinal Burke and for his family, particularly at the Holy Mass and in the praying of the Rosary. We are filled with gratitude for the abundance of prayers and love for this faithful son and servant of the Church.
God bless you.
Rev. Paul N. Check
Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe