Philadelphia looses one Auxiliary Bishop gains another

.- The Holy Father today appointed a new Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and appointed a current Auxiliary as Bishop of his own Diocese.

Pope Benedict XVI announced that Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, who was appointed as Auxiliary in Philadelphia in June of 2002, will be the new Bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina.   

Bishop Burbidge, who turns 49 next week, was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1984 after completing studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.  

Following his ordination Burbidge completed a Master of Arts Degree in Administration and Education at Villanova University and in 1999 received his Doctorate of Education from Immaculata College.  

Bishop Burbidge served in numerous capacities around the Archdiocese, serving at parishes, catholic schools, and at the archdiocesan seminary, where he was appointed Rector in 1999.  

Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, said today that, “Bishop Burbidge is a skillful leader who will shepherd the people of Raleigh with great care and concern for their spiritual well-being. They will come to know Bishop Burbidge as we do; as a compassionate, wise and faith-filled priest and Bishop. He exhibits deep joy in carrying out his priestly duties and serving in Jesus' name; it is a gift to witness his zeal for his ministry.”

The Holy Father also appointed Monsignor Daniel Thomas as a new Auxiliary for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Bishop-elect Thomas, who will be 47 on Sunday, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1985.  Thomas completed his seminary studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.  He was an assistant at St. Joseph’s Parish in Aston for two years, prior to departing for Rome where he completed his Licentiate in Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1989.  For the last 15 years Bishop-elect Thomas has resided in Rome where he worked for the Congregation for Bishops as well as serving as a spiritual director to seminarians at the Pontifical North American College.  

Cardinal Rigali said of Thomas, “He is an exemplary priest with a great love for the Church. Bishop-elect Thomas demonstrates a pastoral care for the faithful which I know will only grow as he assists me in ministering to the entire Archdiocese of Philadelphia. His experience in Rome and in the Archdiocese will be of great benefit to him as he begins his episcopal ministry.”

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