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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Burke

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 232-238 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

Rt. Rev. Thomas Martin Aloysius Burke, the fourth Bishop of Albany, the subject of this sketch, was born in Ireland, January 10th, 1840. His father was Dr. Peter Ulic Burke, a physician and surgeon, who died in Utica, New York, November 24th, 1868.

In May, 1170, the De Burghs accompanied Richard, the Earl of Strongbow, to Ireland. Although many centuries have elapsed since the advent of the De Burghs to Ireland, their Norman descent is as fresh as if the event had occurred within recent years. The name of De Burgh in the course of years was anglicized and changed to Burke. In order to perpetuate and to keep fresh the memory of his Norman descent, the name of Ulic, which is very probably a contraction of Guillaume (William), referring to the Conquerer, is always borne by the eldest son of every branch of Dr. Burke's family.

Dr. Peter Ulic Burke, or as he was called, Doctor Ulic Burke, was born in Birr, Ireland, August 24th, 1798. His classical studies were made under learned teachers in private schools and academies. When he had completed his study of humanities he entered Trinity College, Dublin, where he finished a successful course in medicine and surgery. As Dr. Burke was a Catholic, he could not receive his diploma and graduate from Trinity. The Emancipation Act had not as yet been passed, hence he was obliged to enter the University of Edinburgh, which at that time was in the zenith of its glory. The celebrated Dr. Knox was at that period the demonstrator of anatomy. Under Dr. Knox and other celebrated professors, Dr. Burke completed another full course of studies. His success in his classes was so great that he received, as a mark of special distinction, a written diploma signed by the president and all the professors.

Returning to Ireland, Dr. Burke took up his residence in Dublin and opened his office at 77 Lower Gardner street. Not very long after his coming to Dublin, an event occurred which had a great influence in the subsequent career of the young practitioner. A nobleman from the west of Ireland came to Dublin to be treated for a growth in the throat, which caused him great suffering. He applied to several of the older surgeons in Dublin, but they could not relieve him; finally he applied to young Dr. Burke. The practice of surgery at that period was much more difficult than at the present time. The use of chloroform, ether and other anaesthetics, which at the present time render surgical operations comparatively easy, was then unknown. The young surgeon fully realized the delicacy and the danger of the operation. He, however, undertook to perform it, and he succeeded so well, that the nobleman fully recovered his health. He was so grateful that he persuaded Dr. Burke to come and reside near him. The practice of Dr. Burke in his new home became in a short time very extensive. His services were called upon for many miles around, and he included among his patients nearly all the prominent families in the district. He was invited in consultation by the neighboring doctors in all important cases. Not only was Dr. Burke consulted in surgical and medical matters, but he so enjoyed the confidence of his patients and of his neighbors, that they frequently consulted him in their personal and business affairs.

As in Ireland there was but little hope of procuring suitable positions for his numerous family of sons, Dr. Burke came to the United States in 1850 and settled in Utica, New York, where he resumed his practice of medicine and surgery. His first patient in Utica was a venerable old gentleman, the father of a Methodist minister. The old gentleman was loud in his praise of the new doctor. His practice daily increased, and his success in treating his patients was phenomenal. So skillful was he in his diagnosis, that the judgment of Dr. Burke as to the final result of the illness was considered almost infallible. He took a deep interest in the Oneida County Medical Society, of which he remained an active member until he was removed from active participation by a stroke of paralysis.

Notwithstanding his large practice, the Doctor found time to devote to religious, educational and charitable works. He was for many years president of St. Vincent de Paul's Society, of which many of the most prominent Catholics of Utica were members. He had always at heart the establishment of an orphan asylum for boys. There was already in Utica a large flourishing asylum for girls. The attention of Dr. Burke was called to the case of two boys who had no home and no one to provide for them. He immediately called the attention of the society to the sad fact, and, after consultation with the other members of the society, the Doctor induced the Brothers to receive these two boys into their house and provide for their maintenance. This was really the beginning of the Boys' Asylum in Utica. The Asylum at present is an imposing building, and it occupies a prominent position on Rutger street.

Dr. Burke always took a deep interest in promoting education. He was not only a skilled physician, but he was also a linguist, having a thorough knowledge of Latin and Greek, and was also versed in Italian, Spanish and French. He translated from the French for the Christian Brothers, several works. Having suffered a severe stroke of paralysis, Dr. Burke retired from the practice of medicine. Although his left side and arm were affected, he still retained his mental vigor, so that he was able to devote himself to literary work. He composed for the Brothers of the Christian School, Burke's American Practical Arithmetic, with Burke's Primary Arithmetic. He also wrote a work upon philosophy, the publication of which was prevented by death.

A young physician, a graduate of Glasgow University, had come to Utica. This young doctor induced Dr. Burke to resume his medical practice. The active work was to devolve upon the young doctor, whilst the elder doctor was to be the consulting physician. A few days after resuming his medical practice, as Dr. Burke was returning home from his office, he had a second stroke of paralysis which deprived him of the use of his sight. His active career was at an end. He peacefully departed this life on November 24th, 1868. His funeral took place in St. John's Church, Utica, and Bishop Conroy celebrated the mass, which was the first pontifical mass celebrated in St. John's Church. There were forty priests present in the sanctuary. Laudatory obituaries were written by all the Utica papers. The Utica Observer especially published one of the most beautiful panegyrics that ever appeared in that most excellent journal. Bishop Burke lost his mother by death when he was one year old.

The Bishop received his early education under the direction of his father, in his own home. When the Academy of the Assumption in Utica was opened for the reception of pupils, he was among the very first to be enrolled amongst the scholars. He remained but one year in the Brothers' Academy. Young Burke at an early age conceived an ardent desire of consecrating himself to the holy priesthood. To carry out his design, he entered, in 1855, St. Michael's College, Toronto, Canada, and began his study of the classics. The confinement of the college and the climate of Toronto so impaired the health of young Burke, that after five months he was compelled, though most reluctantly, to return home. During the eight months which he remained at home he continued the study of Latin under the direction of his father. In September, 1856, young Burke entered St. Charles College, Ellicott City, Maryland. St. Charles College, named after the revered Charles Carroll, the signer of the Declaration of Independence, was founded in his honor by the Carroll family. The president of St. Charles College was Rev. Oliver Jenkins, a member of the Jenkins family of Baltimore. Father Jenkins had been a banker, but he renounced his position and all worldly honors to join the Society of St. Sulpice. A more worthy and learned priest than Father Jenkins could hardly be found. St. Charles College counted among its students, when young Burke entered, Mr. James Gibbons, now Cardinal Archbishop of Baltimore; Mr. John J. Keane, the present Archbishop of Dubuque; Mr. John J. Kain, the late Archbishop of St. Louis, and several other distinguished ecclesiastics. Bishop Burke was in Maryland when John Brown made his famous raid on Harper's Ferry. He was, however, at his home in Utica when John Brown was executed. He has always maintained that the attack on Harper's Ferry was the first battle of the Civil War. The excitement in the North was intense, violent language was uttered, and agitators and demagogues delivered fiery speeches. The people in the South became alarmed, and in many places military companies were formed, which, when the war broke out, entered the Confederate army.

Young Burke graduated with the highest honors from St. Charles College in June, 1860. It was arranged that he should enter upon his philosophical and theological studies in the American College, Rome, but owing to the death of his eldest brother, John Ulic Burke, of Utica, and also to the political agitation at that time in Italy, he abandoned his intention of going to Europe, and returned to St. Charles College. During the year which he spent in the college, he taught Latin, English, and other branches, and at the same time, under the direction of one of the professors, he devoted himself to the study of logic and philosophy. The following year he entered St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, where he began the study of theology. After entering the seminary he was appointed master of conference of philosophy, and during the two subsequent years he occupied the position of master of conference of theology. At the end of his three-years' course in St. Mary's he received the degrees of Master of Arts and Bachelor of Divinity. Having completed his studies, he was ordained to the holy priesthood in the seminary chapel on June 30th, 1864, by the Rt. Rev. Francis P. McFarland, Bishop of Hartford, who had formerly been his pastor in St. John's Church, Utica, New York. Up to the day of Bishop McFarland's death the warmest friendship existed between him and Father Burke.

The late Cardinal McCloskey had about this time been nominated by the Holy See as the successor of the great Archbishop Hughes. He had not as yet taken possession of his new see, and he continued to reside at the episcopal residence on Madison avenue, Albany, N. Y. His Grace received the young priest with his usual kindness and invited him to be his guest. Father Burke had from his early youth been personally acquainted with Cardinal McCloskey, for whom he cherishes to this day a warm and affectionate recollection, and whom he justly regards as one of the most amiable, eloquent and pious prelates that ever adorned the Church in America.

Father Burke's first appointment was assistant in St. John's Church, Albany. He remained in St. John's only seven months, after which he was transferred to St. Joseph's Church, Albany, of which Very Rev. John Joseph Conroy was then the pastor. During the interregnum that followed, the departure of Archbishop McCloskey, the administration of the diocese devolved upon Vicar-General Conroy. Bishop Conroy was appointed successor to Bishop McCloskey, and he was solemnly consecrated in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Albany, on Sunday, August 15th, 1865. For several years after his consecration, Bishop Conroy retained the pastorship of St. Joseph's Church.

Father Burke, by reason of his intimate relations with the bishop, was frequently deputed to perform episcopal functions, such as laying corner-stones, blessing churches, etc. The bishop also frequently consulted him in important matters referring to the administration of the diocese. Before his appointment as pastor of St. Joseph's Church by Bishop McNeirney in 1874, Father Burke had erected St. Joseph's School for boys, at a cost of forty-two thousand dollars. School No. 15 was the first of the large public schools erected in Albany. St. Joseph's Boys' School was the second large school. The erection of these two schools gave the impetus to school building, which has resulted in the erection of so many costly and magnificent school buildings which now adorn our city.

St. Joseph's parish embraced within its bounds all the section of the city lying North of Orange street, and also North and West Albany. Immediately after his appointment as pastor of St. Joseph's, Father Burke requested Bishop McNeirney to establish a new parish in North Albany, to be named the parish of the Sacred Heart. The Bishop granted his request, and at his suggestion he constituted Rev. Francis J. Maguire the first pastor of the new parish. Under the zealous administration of Father Maguire the new parish flourished, and the present beautiful church and fine parochial residence were erected. Some years later Father Burke ceded West Albany to St. Patrick's parish. West Albany afterwards became a separate parish. The Rev. James Peyton became the first pastor, and he erected St. Francis de Sales Church, a parochial residence, and a commodious hall. All these buildings were destroyed by fire. The present new brick church and elegant parish house were built by the present pastor, Rev. P. F. Scully.

Father Burke took a special interest in the young men of his parish. He assumed charge of the Young Men's Sodality immediately upon his appointment by Bishop Conroy, and he retained his office of spiritual director of the Sodality until the day he left St. Joseph's to take up his abode in the episcopal residence: He conducted many spiritual retreats both for the young men and young ladies. His last retreat was for married women, at which more than twelve hundred were present.

Although as a rule the pastor of St. Joseph's confined himself strictly to parochial duties, yet he took an active part in urging the construction of the Hawk street viaduct. On several occasions he spoke in favor of the project before the legislative committees. The bill permitting the city to issue bonds for the construction of the bridge was finally passed, but after a long and arduous struggle. As but a few days intervened between the passage of the bill and the adjournment of the legislature, the signature of the governor was requisite before it could become a law. At the request of several citizens on Arbor Hill, the bishop called upon Governor Hill and explained to him the necessity of the proposed viaduct, and persuaded the Governor to make a personal examination of the ravine, so that he might judge for himself of the reasonableness of the demand of the citizens residing north of Clinton avenue. The governor signed the bill, and the event was celebrated by fireworks and the booming of cannon. The victory was not, however, as yet won. The bill was subject to the mayor's signature. A meeting was held in the City Hall. Speeches pro and con were delivered. When Father Burke was called upon he made a forcible speech in favor of the viaduct. Among other things he said: "It has been asserted here, that only the nabobs of Fort Orange will walk over this bridge. It is indeed, true, that the members of the Fort Orange Club will use this bridge. It is false, however, that the nabobs of Fort Orange Club will be the only ones who will enjoy this structure; on the very contrary, when this bridge shall have been completed, you will see it black with working men going with their dinner pails to their work; you will see crowds of children going to the schools and academies, and you will see hundreds of citizens from the northern part of the city going to their offices and places of business. When the bridge shall have been built, should any one be so rash as to demand its removal, he would incur the indignation of the people of Albany." The result has fully verified the prediction.

During the incumbency of Father Burke, St. Joseph's Church was twice struck by lightning, which each time shattered one of the western towers; and did considerable injury to the structure itself. The damage, however, was quickly repaired. The water table, the windows and ornamental trimmings of St. Joseph's were made from Caen stone imported from France, which owing to the severity of the climate had considerably disintegrated and the exterior of the church presented a rather dilapidated appearance. The decaying stone was removed and replaced by Ohio sandstone, which has greatly improved the appearance of the building. Another improvement which added greatly to the beauty of the church and its surroundings, was the laying out of St. Joseph's Park and the opening and grading of St. Joseph's Terrace. The erection of the new parochial residence and other fine houses makes St. Joseph's Terrace one of the most desirable localities in the city.

When Vicar-General Ludden was nominated Bishop of Syracuse, Bishop McNeirney appointed Father Burke his successor in vicariate. The new Vicar-General was, by apostolic authority, June, 1890, created a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, and in June, 1894, he was elevated to the dignity of Commander of the Grand Cross of Jerusalem. The knighthood of the Holy Sepulchre is among the oldest orders of knighthood, and it is recognized by every court of Europe. Had this honor been conferred by any crowned head, Bishop Burke would have declined to receive it, but, as it was conferred by apostolic authority, he did not for a moment consider that it would in any manner conflict with his strictest loyalty to his American citizenship. Father Burke filled the office of vicar-general during seven years. Bishop McNeirney's health towards the end of his life was quite delicate, hence he went from time to time to the baths in Germany, and during his absence the administration of the diocese was committed to the vicar-general. The vicar did all in his power to lighten the burdens of the bishop, who on his part frequently and openly expressed the hope that Father Burke would be his successor in the episcopal office. The incumbency of Father Burke in St. Joseph's parish extended over the long period of thirty years less two months. Upon the death of Bishop McNeirney, January 2nd, 1894, Father Burke was appointed by the late Archbishop Corrigan administrator of the diocese, sede vacante. The appointment was afterwards ratified by the Holy See.

After the funeral of Bishop McNeirney, Archbishop Corrigan called a meeting of the Diocesan Consulters and the Irremovable Rectors, for the purpose of nominating a successor to the deceased prelate. As the result of the ballots taken during this meeting, the names of the Rev. Thomas M. A. Burke, the Rev. John F. Reilly, and the Very Rev. James McDermott, were announced as the choice of the priests. These names were subsequently presented to the bishops of the province, whose duty was to consider the merits of the respective nominees. The bishops had authority also to send to the Sovereign Pontiff other names approved by themselves. On May 11th, 1894, Father Burke received from a friend in Rome a cablegram with these two words, "Salve Episcope." It was only, however, on May 18th, that in public consistory, the Holy Father announced the elevation of Rev. Thomas M. A. Burke to the Episcopal See of Albany. As soon as the nomination was made known through the Associated Press, cablegrams from Europe and telegrams from archbishops, bishops, priests and laity from every part of the United States, poured in, offering him their warmest congratulations. These congratulations were by no means confined to Catholics, but what was particularly gratifying, many were also received from non-Catholics of all religious denominations. On the first of July, 1894, Bishop-elect Burke was consecrated the fourth Bishop of Albany, with all the splendor and ceremonial of the Catholic church. The day was exceedingly hot, nevertheless the streets were filled with people, and joy seemed to pervade all hearts. The ceremonies, the music and the glorious spectacle presented in the Cathedral, were most beautifully described in the morning and evening journals.

The aim of Bishop Burke was to keep up and perfect the good work of his predecessors - Bishop McClosky, Bishop Conroy, and Bishop McNeirney. He began at once to make the visitation of the diocese, which had been interrupted by the death of Bishop McNeirney. Since his consecration he has made six visitations of the diocese. In these visitations he has carefully examined into the spiritual and material condition of each congregation, and has administered the sacrament of confirmation to over fifty thousand children and adults.

One of Bishop Burke's first objects was to have all the churches in the diocese incorporated under the special state law for the incorporation of Catholic churches. In this work he was most efficiently aided by his chancellor, Rev. C. J. Shea. There are at present one hundred and twenty-one churches with resident rectors, and fifty-two mission churches. The Bishop is the ex officio president of all these churches. As he must preside at all important meetings of all these corporations, it can be easily conceived how much labor this duty alone necessitates.

Under Bishop McNeirney the new sanctuary had been added to the Cathedral, which had been blessed but not consecrated. A church cannot be consecrated until it is free from debt. The Rev. Father McGuire, the rector of the Cathedral, undertook to collect a sufficient sum to cancel the debt. He was ably assisted by his zealous assistants, Rev. M. L. Walsh and Rev. John J. Lynch. After an appeal to the congregation, a domiciliary visit was made, and members of the congregation responded so generously that within a comparatively brief period the whole debt was liquidated.

During the youth of Bishop Burke, a collection was taken up in St. John's Church, Utica, for the south transept window in the Cathedral. Some one had given him a present of a sum of money. This money young Burke contributed towards the purchasing of the window. Shortly after his consecration, Bishop Burke gave an order to Messrs. Hardman & Company, of London and Birmingham, to replace the original window with the present magnificent one. When the late Father Purbrick, S. J., saw the window, he declared that it was one of the most beautiful of modern times. The Bishop also donated to the Cathedral the present Stations of the Cross and the Sanctuary lamp. All the original windows of the Cathedral, which were quite plain, were afterwards, through the generosity of various societies and individuals, replaced by most beautiful stained glass pictorial windows manufactured by the celebrated firm of Hardman & Company. The exterior of the Cathedral was also newly faced; the interior was newly frescoed; so that on the day of the consecration the building was practically a new edifice.

There are many larger churches, there are, many more costly, there are many more elaborately decorated, but, in the judgment of many, there is not in America a single ecclesiastical structure which more forcibly excites the idea of beauty in the mind. The Cathedral had been blessed and opened on November 21st, 1852. The ceremony of the solemn dedication and consecration took place on November 16th, 1902. The memory of the consecration will never be forgotten by those who enjoyed the privilege of being present at the ceremony. "On Sunday, the sixteenth," said the Argus, on the following morning, "with beauty of ceremonial that left nothing to be desired, and a wealth of melody that soothed and delighted, and a distinguished array of prelates and clergy of the church, supplemented with an immense congregation representing Albany and the state, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was made God's own, by the unction and prayer of consecration, and the Golden jubilee celebrated."

In the year 1871 Bishop Burke made his first visit to Rome. He enjoyed the privilege of seeing and conversing with Pius IX, the then reigning Pontiff. On his way to Rome he revisited Paris, which had just passed through the siege by the Germans, and the awful, but fortunately short reign of the Commune. When the Bishop arrived at the station in Paris he was obliged to wait an hour to find a conveyance to take him to the hotel. All the horses had been eaten during the siege, and there was scarcely a cab in Paris. The most beautiful buildings and monuments were in ruins, and the loneliness and the silence of death seemed to pervade the boulevards and the streets. When the Bishop returned to Paris in 1889, he found everything changed. The streets were again crowded, the damage caused by the war and the Commune was in a great measure repaired, and the city had once more assumed its wonted life and gaiety which make it the most beautiful and interesting city in the world.

Besides making a tour through Italy and France, the Bishop visited Switzerland, Germany, England, Ireland and Scotland. Again in the year 1889, he went to Rome, and had the pleasure of meeting for the first time, one of the most remarkable Pontiffs that have adorned the history of the Church, Leo XIII. He had the pleasure of assisting at the Pope's Mass, and afterward enjoyed a very pleasing conversation with his Holiness. Leaving Rome, he proceeded to Egypt. In Alexandria he saw the ruins caused by the bombardment by the English and the French a few years previously. He found Cairo a most interesting city, for there for the first time he came in contact with Eastern civilization. Leaving Cairo he crossed the Lybian desert to Ismalia, and visited the residence which de Lesseps built for himself after he had completed the Suez canal. From Ismalia he sailed through the Suez canal to Port Said, and from there he sailed on a Russian steamer to Jaffa, whence he went by carriage to Jerusalem. The railroad at present running from Jaffa to Jerusalem had not yet been constructed. The road passes through the plains of Sharon, rendered famous by the feats of Samson, and also through the plain of Ajalon, where the sun stood still at the prayer of Josue. After passing over the brook from which David took the limped stone with which he slew Goliath, and by the ruins of the castle of the brave and patriotic Maccabees, the travelers arrived in sight of the Holy City. All alighted, and all with uncovered heads saluted that city which Christ had so often sanctified by His presence and consecrated by His death upon the cross.

It is proper that a few words should be said here of the Bishop's fellow-travelers. When he left Albany he was just recovering from a long and severe attack of illness. He took no companion with him when he sailed from New York on the good ship "Etruria." When a few days out he became acquainted with a Mr. Sprague, a mill owner from Rhode Island, who in turn introduced him to a gentleman, a Mr. John S. Thompson, from Illinois, who, with his wife, Mrs. Clara Thompson, was about to visit Palestine. The Bishop and Mr. and Mrs. Thompson agreed to travel together. At Brindisi they met a Mr. Crossman from Jamestown, Michigan, whom they took into their party. At Ismalia they met a Mr. and Mrs. Sturrock who had just arrived from Melbourne, and whom they invited to join them in their tour through the Holy Land. During the short sojourn of the party in Palestine they met with several adventures. Leaving Jerusalem on a Monday morning, our travelers set out for the Dead Sea and the River Jordan. At that time there was no road between Jerusalem and Jerico. At the present time there is a fine road, which the Sultan constructed on the occasion of the visit of the German emperor. Between the village of Bethany and Jerico there is a cave in the side of a hill, called the robbers' cave. According to tradition this is the exact spot in which the traveler mentioned in the parable of the Good Samaritan, fell among thieves, who beat him and left him half dead. As the bishop and his companions passed by the cave it was full of robbers. The party was under the protection of Tribal Sheik, and it was moreover during the hours of Ramadan, during which the Bedouins will not slay or rob. After a dip in the Dead Sea and a copious draft of the sanctified water of the Jordan, our travelers arrived late at night at the Hotel Jordan. During the night a great wailing and weeping arose in the neighborhood of the hotel. It appears that a party of ten Arabs with fifty donkeys carrying sacks of wheat passed by the robbers' cave after the hours of Ramadan; the robbers rushed out upon them, killed three, wounded others, and drove the donkeys with the corn across the Jordan. Two of the murdered Arabs were recognized by their friends who carried them to Jerico. The third was a stranger. When, early the next morning, the Bishop passed the robbers' cave, he beheld a number of Bedouins in front of it surrounding the body of the dead stranger. Had the unfortunate man been grievously wounded and not killed outright, the parable of the Good Samaritan would, to a certain extent, have been literally re-enacted. This scripture parable is indelibly impressed upon the mind of the bishop and his fellow-travelers.

In the year 1895 the bishop again visited Rome. On the occasion of this visit he was then bishop, and he enjoyed the privilege of having a long private interview with the Holy Father, Leo XIII. He also made at that time his visit ad limina Apostolorum.

In 1900 the bishop, accompanied by the Very Rev. Dean McDermott and the Rev. Joseph A. Mangan, again visited Rome. It was the year of the great jubilee. Rome at the time was full of strangers. A congress of all the Catholic societies of Italy was being held, under the presidency of the cardinal vicar. A vast number of priests, and many princes, nobles and other distinguished men of Italy, France and Spain, took part in the proceedings. Bishop Burke was invited to address the congress. He accordingly made an address in Latin which was received with great applause. The substance of the address was cabled by the Associated Press to the United States and the address itself was incorporated in the minutes of the proceedings. During this visit to Rome, the bishop had his last audience with Leo XIII, who received him with the utmost kindness and real affection. As both realized that they would not in all probability meet again in this world, the parting was mingled with sincere sorrow.

The Bishop's next visit to Rome was in 1904. The Delegate Apostolic, Archbishop Falconio, for whom the bishop entertains the highest esteem and a warm friendship, was then in Rome. The Bishop realized that the presence of the Delegate in the Eternal City would greatly add to the pleasure of a visit at that particular time. Shortly after his arrival in Rome he had the happiness of meeting for the first time the present reigning Pontiff, Pope Pius X. Nothing could surpass the cordiality with which the Pope received the Bishop. His Holiness had evidently been well informed by His Excellency, the Delegate Apostolic, about the Bishop and his diocese. The Pope on that occasion, at the request of the Bishop, created the vicar-general, the Very Rev. John J. Swift, Protonotary Apostolic, and the Rev. John L. Reilly, the Rev. C. J. Shea, the Very Rev. Dean Duffy and the Rev. John Walsh, domestic prelates, with the title of Rt. Rev. The Bishop had the pleasure of dining with his Eminence, Cardinal Martinelli, the Sunday after his arrival in Rome. He spent the Fourth of July under the Stars and Stripes at the American College.

The following year, 1905, the Bishop made a tour through Norway, Sweden and Denmark. He also visited the International Exposition at Liege, Belgium.

The Bishop made his latest visit to Rome in 1908. This time he was accompanied by his secretary, Rev. Joseph A. Delaney. His reception by the Pope was most warm. His Holiness, at the request of the Bishop, made Father Delaney a monsignore, and the Rev. James P. O'Connor, rector of the cathedral, a domestic prelate. From Cardinal Merry del Val the Bishop received the utmost kindness and courtesy. When the present secretary of state to His Holiness, Cardinal Merry del Val, was on his way to Rome from Canada, he and Cardinal Martinelli met at the Bishop's residence. His stay in Albany was quite short. He had just time to take a drive through our beautiful park, and to pay a hurried visit to the Capitol. The Bishop visited California twice. He traveled through almost every state in the Union. He made a tour to Mexico, to Cuba, through the northwest provinces of Canada, through Manitoba and British Columbia.

Although most uncompromising in his Catholicity and ardently devoted to the Holy See, Bishop Burke has always respected the honest belief of those who differ from him in religious matters. Hence, upon his election as Bishop of Albany, he received a large number of warm congratulations from his fellow-citizens of every religious profession.

The Bishop as a rule does not mingle much in public matters. He did not, however, hesitate to take action when the good of the city required his services. Thus, in July, 1902, the bishop was hastening to take the fast mail train for Chicago, when he was halted by two reporters, who informed him that he had been selected by the United Traction Company as an arbitrator to settle a strike threatened by the employes of the company. The whole trouble was about the retaining in the employment of the company two men, who had rendered themselves odious to the members of the Union. These men had been suspended by the company, which seemed inclined to restore them to their positions, against the protests of their fellow-employes. The Bishop was the arbitrator for the Company. The two men in question had been accused by the Union of some acts of injustice. After examining the matter carefully, the question of justice was left to be decided in the courts. The two men accused were not worthy of special consideration. The Bishop, however, demanded of the members of the union, a guarantee, that the union would not in any manner interfere with the discharged men, and that no opposition would be made to their procuring employment in any other company. The decision given was that these two men should remain permanently suspended. Thus a strike that threatened most disastrous results and the utmost inconvenience to the citizens of Albany was within twenty-four hours averted. The latest act of the Bishop for the interests of Albany was the giving to the city of a tract of land in the western section, of twenty-five hundred feet in length by three hundred feet in width. Through the center of this tract runs a creek, which will be turned into a great culvert, receiving the drainage of a great part of the western section of the city. The sides of the gully will be planted with trees, shrubs and flowers. On each side of this sunken garden, two fine streets will be constructed, thus not only beautifying the western part of the city, but also giving a breathing spot to our citizens in general.

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