Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge celebrated his 25th anniversary of Priesthood surrounded by family, friends, ordained clergy, faithful in the Diocese of Raleigh and five dignitaries from the Atlanta Province. Present were Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory, Archbishop of Atlanta; Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, Bishop of Charlotte; Most Reverend J. Kevin Boland, Bishop of Savannah; Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone, Bishop of Charleston; Most Reverend Joseph F. Gossman, Bishop Emeritus of Raleigh; and Right Reverend Placid Solari, OSB, Abbot of Belmont Abbey. The Anniversary Mass was celebrated at Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Cary, Thursday evening, September 10.
Addressing those gathered, Bishop Burbidge spoke of the strong foundation he received from his parents “who planted and nurtured the seeds of faith in me and supported and encouraged my priestly vocation.” He added their 57 years of marriage provided an “incredible example.” He also thanked his brother and other family members and those who were instrumental in his education, formation and in his ministry throughout the years.
“One of the concerns I had about departing my home Archdiocese to become the Bishop of Raleigh was leaving the strong priestly fraternity I enjoyed,” the Bishop said.” “I could never have imagined that I would immediately be welcomed, encouraged and uplifted by Bishop Gossman and my brother priests here in this great Diocese. For the gift of a priestly vocation and for all the special people God has placed in my life, I offer profound thanks.”
Bishop Burbidge noted that his anniversary occurs during the Year for Priests, a time when Pope Benedict XVI expresses hope and prayers “that this year will help all people to understand ever more clearly the vocation of priest.” The Bishop added that today’s world demands holy priests, who can respond to the call provided by Jesus in the day’s Gospel: “Remain in My love.”
At the conclusion of Mass, Archbishop Gregory read a letter of congratulations from Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Vatican Nuncio to the United States.
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge being greeted by his mother, Mrs. Shirley Burbidge, during the entrance procession of his 25th anniversary Mass.
Below: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge following his anniversary Mass. From left to right: Bishop Peter J. Jugis, Bishop J. Kevin Boland, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, Bishop Burbidge, Bishop Emeritus F. Joseph Gossman, Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone and Abbot Placid Solari.