Fr. Burke was born December 17, 1966 and raised in Joliet, IL, the youngest of three sons to Tod and Janet Masters. He was not raised Catholic but attended Providence Catholic High School in order to move closer to his dream of becoming a Major League baseball player. It was at Providence that Fr. Burke fell in love with the Eucharist and the Catholic Church. He became Catholic his senior year in high school.
He went on to play baseball at Mississippi State University, where he played in the College World Series. He was nominated as one of the top student-athletes in the history of Mississippi State University as the SEC celebrated its 75th anniversary. For a commercial narrated by John Grisham about Fr. Burke click here.
His major league dream did not materialize, so after working as an actuary, and then ticket manager for the Kane County Cougars, Fr. Burke felt the call to become a priest.
He attended Mundelein Seminary from 1997-2002 and was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Joliet in June of 2002. He served for four years as associate pastor at St. Mary’s Parish in West Chicago, IL.
In June of 2006 he became the Vocation Director for the Diocese of Joliet and began his work traveling around the diocese to encourage young men and women to lay down their lives for the sake of Jesus Christ. In August of 2018, Fr. Burke was named the Director of Lay Formation and Secretary of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Joliet.
Fr. Burke has been serving as the Catholic Chaplain for the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs since 2013.