A MEMORIAL Mass will be said at St Mary's Catholic Church, North Rockhampton, at 5.30pm on Friday, February 8, to honour the life of Marist Brother and great campaigner for the sacredness of human life, Father John Burns.
Fr John, St Mary's Parish Priest for 13 years, died in Sydney early Tuesday morning after a short illness, aged 83.
He had been diagnosed with cancer in late December.
His illness progressed rapidly and he returned to the Marist Community at Hunters Hill, Sydney, in early January and then went into palliative care.
Fr John's funeral will be held at Marist community head quarters, Hunters Hill, Sydney, at 1.30pm on Monday, February 5.
Rockhampton Catholic Bishop Brian Heenan and Marist Brothers from throughout the region will travel to Sydney for the funeral, floods permitting.
Bishop Heenan said Fr John had a great commitment to the Christian faith and a great desire to pass that belief on to others.
He also had a great devotion for his parish and its country parishioners living as far north as Marlborough and Clarke Creek.
"He grew up in Lismore in a large family and he had a great devotion for the country and the country way of life," Bishop Heenan said.
"Once a month Fr John drove to Marlborough and Clarke Creek to celebrate the Eucharist."
He also regularly took time out to visit the sick and elderly at Norman Road Nursing Home and older residents across his parish.
Fr John had a fierce belief in the sacredness of life from inception through to the grave and was a great campaigner against abortion.
A qualified teacher with a great knowledge of science, he taught in Tasmania and NSW and he served as a missionary in Pakistan.
Fr John was a man of many talents and in his leisure he perfected the art of brewing beer and whiskey.
An obituary for Fr John will be published in The Bulletin at a later date.