b'Although his workload as pastor has multiplied, Burns enjoyshave eased his comfort level at the altar. I know how to be present interacting with all age groups and life stages, fulfilling spiritual needsin front of a large group of people, Burns said. I think every priest from baptisms to anointing of the sick and everything in between. Theshould take some acting, he joked. youngest parishioners have a special place in his heart. I really love theAll in all, I think Im doing what I have been called to do.elementary school, he said. The children have such great energy and enthusiasm. Last year, he answered a call of a different kind, still with service as Their zest is matched by their pastora necessity with his very fullits premise, when he began a three-year term on Heidelbergs Alumni schedule of planning Masses, staff meetings, various appointmentsCouncil. This seemed like an excellent way to give something back to with parishioners, spending time at the school and writing hismy alma mater which gave so much to me. I have long wanted to get weekly sermons. St. Michael the Archangel is currently celebrating itsback on campus more often, he said. centennial anniversary, so there are events to plan and attend, too.Burns brings enthusiasm, a knowledge of higher education, a He wouldnt have it any other way. Within a couple of years, Burns willwillingness to be engaged and to engage other alumni, and the gift of become pastor of a second parish of 500 families and a second school.friendship to the council. His Heidelberg education was life changing, Although a retired priest currently assists with parish duties, Burns isand he wants that same experience for future generations.hoping to add an associate pastor. The gift of the education that I got at Heidelberg was so much more Although hes figured out the routine, Burns is continually challengedthan just a degree, he said.by meeting the spiritual needs of such a large parish. We have peopleLife has a way of bringing people full circle, back to their roots. all over the spectrumwhite collar and blue collar, all in a differentWhen Burns walked into College Hall (now University Hall) for his place with their faith, he said. Im just trying to be a good pastorcampus visit more than 25 years ago, he thought to himself, Oh, I to everyone. really like this place. It was a feeling that told him Heidelberg was Doubt creeps in now and then, but thats normala sign that hesthe place he should bemuch like that intuitive feeling that Sister only human. Frequently, hes drawn from his experience as a BergMargaret had all those years ago about the student who would one undergrad. Liberal arts-focused skills such as giving a speech, self- day become a priest.expression through the written and spoken word, even acting, She was right all along.The gift of the education that I got at Heidelberg was so much more than just a degree. Ed Burns, 95Summer 2019|11'