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Cardinal Burke says he is making slow, steady recovery

Cardeal Raymond Burke

Abraxham03 / Wikipedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

John Burger - published on 09/28/21 - updated on 09/28/21

Wisconsin native spent 10 days on ventilator and is now in a private home.

Cardinal Raymond Burke is making slow but steady progress recovering from COVID-19, which had him on a ventilator in a hospital ICU for a week.

In a new letter to supporters, the Wisconsin-born cardinal thanked those who have prayed for him since it was first learned that he had tested positive for the respiratory illness in mid-August.

“In thanking you, I thank, above all, Our Lord, who, in answer to your prayers, has preserved me in life,” Burke, 73, wrote Sunday on the website of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, which he founded. “I thank, too, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and all the Saints through whose intercession you have offered and are offering prayers for me.”

He said that on September 3 he had left hospital to take up residence “in a house near to where the closest members of my family live.” He did not indicate the name of the hospital, but a source told Aleteia that it was the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. 

Burke got off the ventilator after being on it for a week, Fr. Paul N. Check, the shrine’s executive director, wrote August 21. In that message, Fr. Check said the cardinal’s family spoke of the “exceptional medical care” he received from “dedicated doctors and nurses.”

The Rome-based cardinal said that the house where he is staying now is “well adapted for the rehabilitation program which I am following. My priest secretary has now come from Rome to stay with me to assist me with my program of rehabilitation.”

He said that he had “limited energy.”

“Although I am making steady progress, it is slow,” he continued. “The doctors and therapists who direct the program of rehabilitation assure me that it is necessarily so and that I am doing well. For my part, I am trying to grow in patience. My principal challenges, at the present, are regaining certain fundamental physical skills needed for my daily living, and overcoming a general fatigue and difficulty in breathing, which are typical for those who have suffered the contagion of the Covid-19 virus. I cannot predict when I will be able to return to my normal activities. Seemingly, it will be several more weeks.”

He said he believes God “has preserved me in life for some work which He wishes me to carry out. … I am determined to use the present time of rehabilitation in the best manner possible, so that I will be prepared to carry out His work.”

Burke asked for continued prayers for a full recovery and said he offers his prayers and sufferings “for your many intentions.”

“Let us all pray and offer sacrifices for the world and the Church,” he said, “which are beset with so much confusion and error to the great and even mortal harm of many souls.”

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