Assignment Record – Rev. Edward Thomas Burke, s.j.

Summary of Case: A California Province Jesuit ordained in 1956, Burke taught high school in Phoenix AZ, Los Angeles CA and San Jose CA until his placement at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos CA in 1978. In 2000 Burke admitted to a superior that he had engaged in "sexual misconduct" with a mentally disabled adult male who worked as a dishwasher at the Jesuit Center. The Jesuits had been notified of sexual misconduct at the Center in 1995, but did nothing. Police launched an investigation in 1997 when a local shopkeeper, who had befriended this Burke victim and another mentally disabled adult male Sacred Heart worker, reported that the two men told her they had been abused there by priests. The men were too afraid to speak, so the investigation was closed. Due to the persistence of the shopkeeper, the investigation was re-opened in 2000, and the two men disclosed the abuse. The sexual abuse by Burke occurred over at least a five year period, and included sodomy. In 2002 Burke pleaded guilty to committing a lewd act on a dependent adult, and was sentenced to two years in state prison. He died at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center February 27, 2009.

: 1956
Died: Feb. 27, 2009


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


San Francisco archbishop wa John Joseph Mitty (1935-1961).

1957 Alma College Los Gatos CA theologian  


Seattle archbishop was Thomas Arthur Connolly (1950-1975).

1958 Manresa Hall Port Townsend WA tertianship  


Tucson bishop was Daniel James Gercke (1923-1960), followed by Francis Joseph Green (1960-1981).

1966 Brophy College Prep. Phoenix AZ   Brophy Prep. had 391-594 students, all male.


Los Angeles archbishop was James Francis Aloysius McIntyre (1948-1970).

1967 Loyola High School Los Angeles CA   Loyola High had 973 students, all male.


San Francisco archbishop was Joseph Thomas McGucken (1962-1977).

1969 Sacred Heart Novitiate Los Gatos CA    
1969 1970 Bellarmine College Prep. High School San Jose CA   Bellarmine had 1,059 students, all male (resident and non-resident).


Phoenix bishop was Edward Anthony McCarthy (1969-1976). He was succeeded by Thomas Joseph O'Brien (1981-2003).

1977 Brophy College Prep. Phoenix AZ   Brophy Prep. had 616-731 students, all male.


Los Angeles archbishop was Timothy Manning (1970-1985).

1978 Loyola High School Los Angeles CA   Loyola High had 1,000 students, all male.


The San Jose diocese was established in 1981. Bishop was Roland Pierre DuMaine (1981-1999).

2000 Sacred Heart Jesuit Center

Los Gatos

Burke admitted to his superior in 2000 to sexual misconduct with a mentally disabled man who worked as a dishwasher at Sacred Heart. The "misconduct" occurred for at least five years and, per Burke's victim, included sodomy. The Jesuits did not notify authorities or the victim's family. The victim named six Jesuits who he said molested him during his years at the Jesuit Center.

CA   The Jesuits were alerted in 1995 to sexual misconduct at Sacred Heart. They did not notify law enforcement. In 1997 a local shopkeeper who had befriended the the man and another mentally disabled Sacred Heart Jesuit Center worker reported to police that the two men had disclosed sexual abuse by priests at the Center. The two victims denied the abuse to investigators, years later explaining they were afraid. Their shopkeeper friend continued to advocate for the men and in 2000 police arranged for an undercover female officer to interview the victims at their friend's shop. The men then disclosed the sexual abuse.
2000 2002 Santa Clara University Santa Clara CA    
2002 2009 Sacred Heart Jesuit Center Los Gatos CA librarian

Per news reports, Burke was moved to an "undisclosed location" in 2002. The Directories index him as at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center from 2002 until his death. A May 10, 2002 article placed him at a San Jose nursing facility. Burke pleaded guilty to committing a lewd act on a dependent adult and was sentenced to two years in state prison.

Burke died at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center Feb. 27, 2009.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1957-2010)

Cloak of Silence Covered Abuse at Jesuit Retreat, Religious order admits two retarded men were victimized. Talks are underway to settle $10-million suit. By Glenn F. Bunting, Los Angeles Times, March 24, 2002
Center Was Picked to House Offenders
Los Gatos Jesuit Home Used in Attempt to Shield Public, By Brandon Bailey and Kate Folmar, San Jose Mercury News, March 30, 2002
A Crusader for Justice, Los Gatos Shopkeeper Brought Abuse of Two Retarded Friends to Light, By Michelle Guido and Rodney Foo, San Jose Mercury News, April 1, 2002
Suit Alleging Abuse by Priest Prompts Criminal Investigation, Santa Clara County: The D.A. may file charges in sex case involving a mentally disabled man, By Glenn F. Bunting, Los Angeles Times, April 3, 2002
Priest, 80, Accused of Sex Abuse, Crime: Jesuit is charged in a case involving a mentally retarded kitchen worker, By Glenn F. Bunting, Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2002
Priest Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse, Crime: Jesuit, 80, Admits to Molesting a Mentally Disabled Worker at a Church Facility in the, 1990s, Sentencing Is Set for June 28, By Glenn F. Bunting, Los Angeles Times, May 24, 2002
Priest Gets 2 Years for Sex Abuse of Man, By Glenn F. Bunting, Los Angeles Times, June 29, 2002
Jesuits Settle Case with Abused Men, Courts: Society of Jesus will pay two mentally retarded victims, who worked at a Bay Area retreat center, a total of $7.5 million, By Glenn F. Bunting, Los Angeles Times, September 5, 2002
Requiescat in Pace: Edward T. Burke, S.J., JSP, March 2, 2009
Jesuit Leader's Roommate Molests Disabled Boy, By Tom McGregor, Dallas Blog, March 21, 2012

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Burke'scareer history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on May 31, 2013