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Bishop Burbidge Celebrates Feast of Immaculate Conception

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On December 8, the universal Catholic Church celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The Feast Day, which is uniquely Catholic, is a Holy Day of Obligation. It marks Mary’s Conception, without sin, dogma established in 1854 by Pope Pius IX in his Papal Bull Ineffabilis Dei.

The teaching holds that Grace intervened at the very instant in which our Holy Mother’s life began, preventing sin from touching her in any way, and so making her holy and immaculate from the moment of her conception.

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge addressed the doctrine in his homily at the Feast Day Mass celebrated at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Raleigh. “Mary’s sinlessness is not something she achieved by her own power,” the Bishop said. “It was a privilege granted to her by Almighty God. Mary was prepared for her unique role in salvation history, and she cooperated fully with His amazing grace."

Noting how Pope Benedict XVI has entrusted this special Year of Faith to the Blessed Virgin, Bishop Burbidge said, “We pray for the grace to repeat daily the words she spoke upon hearing the message of the angel announcing that she would be the Mother of the Savior of the world: ‘Let it be done to me according to your Word.’”

Following the homily, five members of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary renewed their vows to religious life. The five are Sr. Rose Adams, IHM; Sr. Laura Downing, IHM; Sr. Marie Renee Murphy, IHM; Sr. Mary Agnes Ryan, IHM; and Sr. Maureen Anne Donati, IHM.

Read Bishop Burbidge’s homily

Watch Bishop Burbidge’s homily