“I love being a priest...”
Today the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge marked the fifth anniversary of his installation as Bishop of Raleigh with a Mass of Thanksgiving at Sacred Heart Cathedral. It was August 4, 2006, when Bishop Burbidge officially and publicly accepted the See of Raleigh in a solemn ceremony in front of more than 1,700 invited guests and dignitaries at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh.
Twenty-four priests of the Diocese concelebrated the Mass, which was attended by members of the Diocesan staff and the faithful. In his homily, as he did in the homily at his installation, the Bishop noted that August 4 is the feast of Saint John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests, and a reminder of what a priest’s priorities should be. “St. John Vianney,” the Bishop said, “helps us to understand the basics.
“While I am sure he would understand the need for mission statements, parish plans and programs, he reminded all priests never to forget that we are most effective in being instruments of the Lord as we deepen our own relationship with Him and stay close to His Blessed Mother, as we joyfully and reverently celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass; as we forgive sins in the Sacrament of Penance; as we preach the Truth in all its beauty and as we reach out in service, especially to the weakest in our midst.
“Saint John Vianney tells us that our basic duty is to pray and to love.”
Describing his fifth anniversary as “a time of reflection for me,” the Bishop expressed his gratitude for “the great support that surrounds me each day in the prayers of Bishop Gossman, in the special gifts of my brother priests, our deacons, consecrated religious and lay faithful, including my colleagues in ministry at our Catholic Center. I also give thanks at this Mass for the gift of my family and the constant support they extend to me.”
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge celebrating Mass marking the fifth anniversary of his installation as Bishop of Raleigh. Among the concelebrants were Msgr. John Wall, Msgr. Gerald L. Lewis and Msgr. Tim O’Connor.
Below: Bishop Burbidge greeting faithful following Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral.