Arlington, Va., Oct 7, 2016 / 04:43 am America/Denver (CNA).
The new Bishop of Arlington, Virginia says he wants to accompany his flock as much as possible, teaching and administering the sacraments.
“And that would be my highest priority, to teach the truth in love, and to give them the sacraments which will sustain them. And so with God’s word and with the sacraments, that’s how we grow in holiness,” Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, the new Bishop of Arlington, told CNA Tuesday at a press conference announcing his appointment.
Bishop Burbidge was tapped by Pope Francis to become the new Bishop of Arlington, Va., the Vatican announced on Tuesday morning. He will replace Bishop Paul Loverde, 76, who is retiring after 17 years as bishop there. Bishops must submit a letter of resignation to the Pope at age 75, according to Canon Law. Bishop Burbidge will be installed as Arlington’s bishop at a Dec. 6 Mass.
Bishop Burbidge comes from Raleigh after spending 10 years there. Before that time he was an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia and the rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary there, after serving as an Honorary Prelate to Pope St. John Paul II.
He saw a 40 percent growth in the number of Catholics in Raleigh in the last decade, as well as the construction of a new diocesan Cathedral of the Holy Name of Jesus, which will be dedicated in 2017. Bishop Burbidge recently wrote a pastoral letter to Catholics in the diocese encouraging devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, and told CNA that he plans to continue to encourage this devotion in Arlington.