Fourth Sunday of Easter

April 20, 2024 Column Father De Celles News

Welcome Bishop Michael F. Burbidge! We are honored to have our Bishop visit our Parish today to offer the 11am Mass for us. All are invited to join us at Mass and at the reception immediately following.

Most Reverend Michael F. 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 high school in Springfield, PA. After graduating from high school in 1975 he attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by John Cardinal Krol in 1984.

Bishop Burbidge holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s in theology from St. Charles Borromeo, a master’s in education administration from Villanova University, and a doctorate in education from Immaculata College.

His first priestly assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Bernard Church in Philadelphia, where he served for two years. From 1986-1992 he was on the faculties, successively, of Cardinal O’Hara High School, Archbishop Wood High School and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, where he also served as Dean of Students.

In 1992 Fr. Burbidge was named administrative secretary to Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia. In 1998 he was made a Monsignor, and in 1999 he was appointed Rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

In 2002 he was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia. As auxiliary bishop, he oversaw the Office of the Vicar for Clergy and the Office of Communications.

On June 8, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Burbidge the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh, and on October 4, 2016, Pope Francis named him the fourth Bishop of Arlington.

Bishop Burbidge has served as USCCB chairman for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (2013 to 2016) and was the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Communications (2018 to 2021). He was also a member of the USCCB Administrative Committee (2018 to 2021) and a member of the USCCB Religious Liberty Committee (2018 to 2021). Additionally, he serves as a member of The Catholic University of America’s Board of Trustees, its Executive Committee and its Seminary Committee (2009 to present). He is a member of the Mount Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees (2019 to present) and its Seminary Development Committee (2021 to present). He is also a current member of the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (2017 to present) and the current chair of its Finance Committee (2020 to present). He is a member of the Episcopal Advisory Board of Catholic Athletes for Christ (2007 to present), the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors Episcopal Advisory Board (2008 to present), the Virginia Catholic Conference Management Committee (2017 to present), the Catholic Distance University Board of Trustees (2018 to present), and member of the Board of Trustees of the Commissariat of the Holy Land (2019 to present). Bishop Burbidge currently serves as chairman of the USCCB Pro-Life Committee (2022 to present).

Bishop Burbidge has published pastoral letters titled, “In Tongues All Can Hear: Communicating the Hope of Christ in Times of Trial” and “A Catechesis on the Human Person and Gender Ideology.” As you may know, I am very happy to be the Chaplain for Catholic Vote. CV, as their website says, “is a community of patriotic Americans who believe that the timeless truths of the Catholic faith are good for America,” and so make their mission to inspire every Catholic in America to live out the truths of our faith in public life. It is not affiliated with or funded by the Catholic Bishops, but is a layperson-led effort of Americans who fully support the teachings of the Catholic Church, and strives for a fruitful relationship with the shepherds of the Church. 100% of CV funding comes from its members. I am the only cleric “on staff,” and my job is just to support them spiritually and sacramentally.

CV is not “owned” by any party or movement, in order to be better able to pursue the common good than a partisan organization could be. But it does “take sides” if one candidate or policy position is decidedly against the principles we hold dear.

It is managed by a core full-time staff that works in collaboration with a select group of allies, media and web agencies, and volunteers.

You may be familiar with some of CV’s features, including various commercials, newsclips, videos, the Catholic Accountability Project, EDIFY Podcasts, and especially The Loop, its daily newsletter. If you are not receiving The Loop, I encourage you to sign up for free:

“Bill Maher says the quiet part out loud.” Did you see this story last week (quoting here from the Washington Times)?

“Liberal comedian Bill Maher stoked the abortion battle by declaring the procedure is pretty much murder, but that he’s ‘OK with that.’

“The TV host took a jab at former President Donald Trump for his stance in favor of leaving abortion policy to the states, saying, ‘You mean killing babies is OK in some states?’

“‘I can respect the absolutist position. I really can,’ he said on HBO’s ‘Real Time With Bill Maher.’ ‘I scold the left when they say, ‘Oh, you know what? They just hate women, people who aren’t pro-choice.’’

“Mr. Maher said that pro-lifers ‘don’t hate women’ and that the opposition ‘just made that up.’

“Anti-abortion people ‘think it’s murder, and it kind of is,’ he said on the Friday show. ‘I’m just OK with that. I am. I mean, there’s 8 billion people in the world. I’m sorry, we won’t miss you. That’s my position on it.’

“Pro-life advocates were horrified by the callousness of his statement — and gratified to hear a major pro-choice media figure declare that abortion is more than the discarding of an insignificant clump of cells.

“‘Bill Maher says the quiet part out loud,’ said March for Life on X.

“Christopher Reid, a radio host in Huntsville, Alabama, wrote on X that Mr. Maher’s comment is ‘the only honest pro-choice argument I have ever heard in my entire life!’

“He added, ‘It’s remarkable that he is admitting what everyone who supports abortion realizes deep down, but so few will ever say it.’

“Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement, ‘Maher‘s sincerity is appreciated, if not his promotion of violence. He knows, as every honest person who agrees with science knows, that abortion is the taking of innocent human life.’

“….Mr. Maher’s comment was met initially with silence, and then guest Piers Morgan responded, ‘That’s kind of harsh, Bill.’

“Mr. Maher shot back: ‘Is that not your position if you’re pro-choice?’”

Priest Assignments. Please pray for the Bishop and priests of the Diocese in the coming weeks as decisions are made about assignments and transfers that will be effective in July.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles