Henry Patrick Burke

Carpathia First Cabin Passenger

Henry Patrick Burke

Henry Patrick Burke was born in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, USA on 30 May 1869. He was the youngest child of Patrick Burke, a mine watchman, and the former Catherine Duggan, both migrants from Co Mayo, Ireland. One of six children, his four eldest siblings had been born in Ireland, whilst he and another brother William had been born in the USA. 

Raised in Dunmore, after high school Burke entered St Bonaventure’s Seminary in Allegany, New York and was ordained as a priest on 6 May 1896. His first assignment was as an assistant pastor at St Gabriel’s Church in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. He went on to hold similar posts at St Mary’s Church in Wilkes-Barre and St Rose’s Church in Carbondale; in 1910 he was appointed the pastor of St Philomena’s Church in Hawley, Pennsylvania.

Reverend Burke boarded Carpathia as a first cabin passenger; he was travelling to Europe—which included a stop in Rome—and the Holy Lands with Reverend Daniel McCarthy. Following the retrieval of survivors from the Titanic’s lifeboats, the two clergymen provided care and assistance and gave up their stateroom to some unfortunate survivors; both men made their beds on the floor of one of the saloons. 

Rev. Henry Burke
Reverend Burke in 1924

Burke remained a seasoned traveller, going for study and pilgrimage across North America, Europe and the Caribbean. In 1922 he relocated to St Mary’s Church in Avoca, Pennsylvania where he spent the next eighteen years, during which time he established a new convent in 1923 and built a new rectory in 1936.

In failing health for a number of years as a result of chronic heart failure, Reverend Henry Burke died in Avoca, Pennsylvania on 20 July 1940. He was buried in St Mary’s Cemetery in West Avoca four days later. 


Research Articles

Günter Bäbler Titanica! (2019) Carpathia Passenger List

Newspaper Articles

New York Times (19 April 1912) RMS Carpathia: First Class Passenger List including place of living or booking
(24 July 1940) Bishop Reads Funeral Rites Father Burke

Documents and Certificates

RMS Carpathia: First Class Passenger List printed on board
Search archive online


Gavin Bell, UK
Günter Bäbler, Switzerland

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2021) Henry Patrick Burke (ref: #2799, last updated: 8th June 2021, accessed 3rd August 2021 16:55:51 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/carpathia-passengers/henry-patrick-burke.html

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