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Bishop Burbidge Celebrates Year for Priests Closing Mass

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The Diocesan Year for Priests celebration concluded today with the Closing Mass celebrated by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge. Priests from throughout the Diocese were joined by the faithful in a Mass at Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Southern Pines.

The year-long celebration, which began June 19, 2009, was proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI as a year of spiritual renewal for priests so they could grow in holiness and deepen their relationship with the Lord.

Bishop Burbidge expressed his gratitude to all in the Diocese for their response and prayerful support of the Priests during this special year. He noted several of the features and events that took place, including the essay, art and poetry contests, which allowed the youth of the Diocese to express how a priest greatly influenced their lives. The Bishop said a particular highlight for him was the opportunity to spend Days of Prayer with the priests of the Diocese. “It was incredible to see how God has miraculously used our priests as His instruments in so many corners of the Diocese, the country and even the world,” the Bishop said.

Commenting that with God’s grace, the Year for Priests has been what the Holy Father intended:
“A great outpouring of prayers; a powerful demonstration of the love for the Priesthood of Jesus Christ; and a humbling expression of gratitude for priestly service and a time of abundant blessings and spiritual graces for all those we serve.”

Above: Year for Priests Closing Mass celebrated by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge at Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Southern Pines.

Below: Several of the Priests in attendance at the closing Mass on June 29, 2010.