Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, newly appointed bishop of the
Arlington Diocese, spent two days touring the diocese Oct. 4-5.
He celebrated a private Mass with Bishop Paul S. Loverde Oct. 4
prior to a press conference announcing his appointment. Pope Francis accepted
the resignation of Bishop Loverde, who turned 76 last month.
At the press conference, Bishop Burbidge said he is grateful to
the pope for assigning him to a “faithful and vibrant” diocese.
In his letter of acceptance to the pope, he said he promised to
“work tirelessly to build upon the strong foundations that have been provided
by Bishop (Thomas) Welsh, Bishop (John) Keating and Bishop Loverde.”
Afterward, Bishop Burbidge toured the chancery offices to greet
the staff of nearly 250. He made a visit to the chancery’s Sacred Heart Chapel.
In the afternoon he visited Christ House, an Alexandria men’s
shelter run by Catholic Charities, and had lunch with the residents.
He visited the cloistered Poor Clare sisters at the Mary, Mother
of the Church Monastery in the Groveton section of Alexandria.
Later in the afternoon, Bishop Burbidge visited the St. Rose of
Lima Priests Retirement Villa in Annandale where several diocesan priests
reside. Bishop Loverde will move there after Bishop Burbidge’s installation.
Bishop Burbidge had dinner with Bishop Loverde and some diocesan
priests at the St. Thomas More Center.
The following day he visited one of the four diocesan high
schools, Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington. He stopped by nearby St.
James Church and School in Falls Church, where he met with parish and school
staff as well as students. He concluded his visit by reciting a decade of the
rosary with the Spanish Legion of Mary at St. James.
Prior to concelebrating the noon Mass at the Cathedral of St.
Thomas More in Arlington with Bishop Loverde, he stopped in at the Cathedral