Christendom College is pleased to welcome new Bishop Michael F. Burbidge to the college’s home diocese of Arlington, Va. Bishop Burbidge, who was previously the Bishop of Raleigh, NC., was announced as the fourth Bishop of Arlington yesterday by Pope Francis.
“I was delighted to hear of the appointment of Bishop Michael Burbidge to the Diocese of Arlington. He will be an outstanding successor to Bishop Paul Loverde who has done so much for our diocese. I welcome Bishop Burbidge with joy and am thankful to Pope Francis for sending to us another outstanding shepherd who is truly ‘a priest after His Own Heart,’” says college president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell.
Christendom College and the Diocese of Arlington have had a long history, beginning with Bishop Thomas Welsh, who was the founding Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, continuing with Bishop John Keating, and up through Bishop Paul Loverde. Over Christendom’s 39 years, it has helped foster many religious vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Thirteen former Christendom students are now serving as priests in the Arlington Diocese and 18% of the men currently studying for the priesthood for the diocese are Christendom alumni.
Additionally, there are over 100 alumni currently working in various educational institutions in the diocese. There are alumni working at Seton School, Pope St. John Paul the Great High School, Oakcrest School, Bishop O’Connell High School, Holy Family Academy, and many more. A number of alumni serve as religious education directors and youth ministers, while hundreds more are working in the secular world, bearing witness to Christ’s Truth by working to restore all things in Christ, the college’s mission.
Bishop Burbidge is a native of Philadelphia, and earned his B.A. and M.A. from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, as well as an M.A. from Villanova University and a doctorate in education from Immaculata College. In 2002, then-Monsignor Burbidge was ordained as an Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, choosing as his episcopal motto the words “walk humbly with God.” In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Burbidge the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh, where he led the Diocese during a period of rapid growth.
While in Raleigh, Bishop Burbidge’s pastoral priorities included: promotion of the life and dignity of the human person; promotion of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life; implementation the national pastoral initiative on marriage; and construction of a new cathedral, the dedication of which is planned for July 2017.
Bishop Burbidge currently serves as Chair of the USCCB Committee for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, and is also a member of the Administrative and Communications Committees. Since 2008, Bishop Burbidge has been an advisor for the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors. Bishop Burbidge is also a current member of the Board of Trustees for The Catholic University of America and also served on the Board of Trustees for St. Charles Borromeo Seminary from 2007-2015. His service to the Catholic Church nationwide and globally reflects his long-standing experience in promoting Catholic education, vocations, catechesis, among many other areas of Church life.
Bishop Burbidge succeeds Bishop Paul S. Loverde, who faithfully led the Diocese of Arlington since 1999. Bishop Loverde has long been a friend of Christendom College, celebrating the Convocation Mass to start off the academic year annually, and serving as one of the college’s 2015 commencement speakers where he was awarded an honorary doctorate.