SAN BERNARDINO—Father Howard Lincoln and Father Tom Burdick, two longtime pastors who have also been active in diocesan leadership, were conferred by Pope Francis with the Pontifical Honor of Chaplain to His Holiness, earning them the title of “Monsignor.”
The joyous announcement was made by the Diocese on May 17 and Monsignor Lincoln and Monsignor Burdick received the public recognition of the honor from Bishop Gerald Barnes the following day at the Diocesan Awards Ceremony.
Bishop Barnes made the formal request to the Holy Father to grant conferral of this honor on January 31 of this year. He said both Lincoln and Burdick had shown great dedication and pastoral sensitivity to the people in the parishes they have led while also answering the call to serve on important priest advisory bodies like the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors. Both have also served as Vicars Forane, representatives of the Bishop in their respective Vicariate.
“Their ministries have helped parishes other than their own,” Bishop Barnes noted. “And they have been very supportive of their brother priests.”
Msgr. Burdick is the founding pastor of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Winchester. He has also served as Pastor of Blessed Sacrament in 29 Palms, St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish in Riverside and the former Sacred Heart Parish in Redlands. Msgr. Lincoln has been the Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Palm Desert for the past 14 years. He held the same position at St. Catherine of Siena in Rialto prior to that. The two ministered together at St. Catherine’s in Riverside when Fr. Burdick was pastor there.
Both offered humble sentiments upon receiving the honor.
“I consider this honor an expression of gratitude by Bishop Barnes and the local church toward my 34 years of ministry alongside countless co-ministers who made all good things possible,” Msgr. Burdick said.
Said Msgr. Lincoln, “The honor and privilege of receiving this title also belongs to the wonderful parishioners that I serve, and to my extraordinary staff who support me. They make me look good!
“All of us are messengers of hope: all of us are instruments of God.”