On Thursday evening, August 1, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge joined the seminarians of the Diocese for Mass and a reception at St. Luke the Evangelist Church in Raleigh. Twenty-one priests of the Diocese concelebrated.
During the Mass, James McGee was admitted to Candidacy for Holy Orders. James, whose home parish is Holy Family Church in Elizabeth City, will be entering 1st Year Theology at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia.
The Rite of Admission to Candidacy is celebrated when it has been established that the intention of those aspiring to Holy Orders is supported by the necessary qualifications and has achieved sufficient maturity. During the rite, the intention of receiving Holy Orders is to be expressed publicly by the aspirant. The Bishop publicly accepts the aspirant’s intention.
In the Rite, the Bishop states, “Beloved son, the pastors and teachers in charge of your formation, and others who know you, have given a favorable account of you, and we have full confidence in their testimony. Do you resolve to prepare yourself in mind and spirit to give faithful service to Christ the Lord and His Body, the Church?
The aspirant replies: “I do.”
The Bishop concludes: “The Church accepts your resolve with joy. May God who has begun the good work in you bring it to fulfillment.”
Joy was one of the themes in Bishop Burbidge’s homily. He noted how, in two talks to seminarians this year, Pope Francis mentioned repeatedly one word that must be reflected in their lives, and the word was joy. “The Holy Father explained its source,” the Bishop said. “Joy is not in earthly treasures, but in the encounter with the risen Lord; in knowing of His profound love for us; in responding to His call and in bearing witness to His Gospel in service to the Church.”
Bishop Burbidge cited a quote from Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, whose feast day the Church celebrates on August 1: "All holiness and perfection lies in our love for Jesus Christ, who is our Redeemer and supreme good." The Bishop said, "This growing in your love for Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, must always be your highest priority!"
Read Bishop Burbidge’s homily
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge bestowing the Rite of Admission to Candidacy for Holy Orders to Mr.James McGee during Mass at Saint Luke the Evangelist Church Raleigh. Click photo to view larger.