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Bishop Burbidge will be installed Dec. 6

The installation of Bishop Michael F. Burbidge as Arlington’s fourth bishop will take place Tuesday, Dec. 6, the feast of St. Nicolas of Myra. Bishop Burbidge will be the celebrant and homilist at the Mass that begins at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More.

Archbishop William E. Lori, as metropolitan of the Baltimore Province, will be the installing prelate. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, will read the apostolic letter from Pope Francis.

Mark Herrmann, diocesan chancellor, will show the apostolic letter to the College of Consultors and then to the congregation. Archbishops Lori and Pierre then will escort Bishop Burbidge to the cathedra (chair), where he will receive his crozier and be seated as Arlington’s new bishop.

Assisting deacons at the installation Mass will be Stephen M. Vaccaro, a diocesan seminarian, and Atanacio Sandoval from St. John Neumann Church in Reston. The masters of ceremony will be Fathers Brendan W. Bartlett, Paul F. deLadurantaye, Noah C. Morey, Robert J. Wagner and Jamie R. Workman.

Diocesan, ecumenical and interfaith representatives will greet Bishop Burbidge as a sign of welcome. The prayers of the faithful will be read in Spanish, Vietnamese, Ghanian, Korean, Tagalog and English.

An estimated 1,200 people are expected to be at the historic event, but attendance at the installation Mass is by ticket only. It is not open to the general public. However, the Mass will be live streamed at catholicherald.com and arlingtondiocese.org and will be televised later in the day by the Eternal Word Television Network.

Parking at the cathedral will be restricted as well. Satellite parking will be available at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Falls Church and St. Agnes Church in Arlington. Shuttle buses will be available to the cathedral.

Catholics in the Arlington Diocese will get a chance to meet Bishop Burbidge in January as he is expected to celebrate Masses in each of the seven deaneries in the diocese. The dates and locations of those events will be announced later.

Bishop Burbidge was born June 16, 1957, in Philadelphia, Pa., the second son of Francis and Shirley Burbidge and brother of Francis Burbidge Jr. He attended Catholic grade schools and graduated from Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield, Pa., in 1975. From high school he went to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by Cardinal John Krol in 1984.

He was appointed rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in 1999. In 2002, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia, where he oversaw the Office of the Vicar for Clergy and the Communications Office.

Pope Benedict XVI named him the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh June 8, 2006. He was appointed the fourth bishop of Arlington by Pope Francis Oct. 4, 2016.

His episcopal motto is “Walk Humbly with Your God.”

The Diocese of Arlington was established Aug. 13, 1974, by Pope Paul VI. It has a total Catholic population of 457,874. There are 69 parishes and five missions covering 21 counties and 6,500 square miles. Bishops Thomas J. Welsh and John R. Keating were Arlington’s first two bishops.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2016