The Corner


Faces of Coronavirus: Dan and Stephanie Burke

A medical worker wearing a protective mask and suit and a patient suffering from COVID-19 coronavirus in an intensive care unit at the Oglio Po Hospital in Cremona, Italy, March 19, 2020. (Flavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters)

Increasingly, we know people who have contracted COVID-19. I know that’s certainly the case for me.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you probably will have seen by now that I’ve asked for prayers for Dan and Stephanie Burke and all of those who work with them at the Avila Institute who have contracted the coronavirus. Dan has weak lungs and is on a ventilator, and he is fighting for his life, as Stephanie put it in an email last night. She is begging for prayers. She and many other people believe they have much more work to do yet. Dan has worked at Focus on the Family — including with my friend Kelly Rosati on orphan-care work — at EWTN, and the National Catholic Register, as well as in the secular world — which gave him experience that I think was invaluable at the other places. He recently left EWTN to devote himself more fully to the Avila work, which is a ministry focused on prayer and spirituality and spiritual direction. He most recently wrote a book on spiritual warfare that I was hoping to interview him about, but didn’t act quickly enough. I pray we still get the opportunity.

If you pray, thanks for adding him to your prayer. And his wife, for whom having to be in isolation from him has got to be excruciating. And to all those in similar situations whose names we don’t know.

Over the years, I have interviewed Dan now and again. Here and here are some examples, in case you are looking for some spiritual enrichment at these times, or just so you know a little bit more about these people for whom you’re praying. Thanks.


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