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Father Burns remembered for work in spiritual direction


Jesuit Father Robert L. Burns, an Omaha native known for his work in spiritual direction and pastoral ministry at Creighton University in Omaha and parishes of the archdiocese, died Sept. 10. He was 88.

His funeral Mass was Sept. 13 at St. John Church on the Creighton campus. Father Burns donated his body to medical science.

A graduate of Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha and St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo., Father Burns was ordained in 1957 and completed his Jesuit course of studies at schools in Missouri, Kansas and Minnesota.

He served as a chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa, from 1970 to 1978, pastoral minister at St. Anthony Parish in Omaha from 1994 to 1997 and pastoral minister at Creighton University from 1997 until his death. Father Burns also taught theology at Creighton from 1963 to 1970 and was associate pastor of St. Benedict the Moor Parish in Omaha from 1970 to 1978.

In his homily, Jesuit Father Gregory O'Meara, rector of the Jesuit community at Creighton, described Father Burns as a quiet man who listened to people and helped them see the hand of God at work.

Father Burns is survived by brothers, John, of Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif., and Thomas, of Omaha; sister, Mary Clare Melia, of Omaha; and nephews and nieces.

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