Catholics in Tennessee, Virginia pray as their bishops face surgery

Catholics in Tennessee, Virginia pray as their bishops face surgery

Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, VA. Credit: CNA
Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, VA. Credit: CNA

.- Catholics in the Dioceses of Arlington, Virginia, and Knoxville, Tennessee, are praying for their bishops as they face serious health challenges.

 

Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, VA, is recovering after a scheduled surgery for prostate cancer on Nov. 27. Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville announced in a press release Monday that he will be undergoing a heart catheterization procedure “sometime in December” that will require him to spend at least one night in the hospital.

 

Burbidge was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the fall, the diocese told CNA.

 

“Those entrusted with his medical care expect a full recovery,” diocesan communications manager Angela Pellerano told CNA, who added that the surgery went “well.” This recovery will include two weeks of no activity, followed by another four to six weeks of limited activity.

 

Burbidge’s last public appearance prior to his surgery was celebrating Mass on Thanksgiving. On Sunday, news of his surgery was announced throughout the diocese, and the faithful were asked to keep their bishop in their prayers.

 

Bishop Burbidge became the fourth bishop of the Arlington diocese in 2016. Previously, he was the head of the Diocese of Raleigh.

 

Bishop Stika’s heart issue was discovered during a routine checkup, the Knoxville diocese said in a statement. After the procedure in December, doctors will then decide what further treatment may be required, but they are “hopeful” that the stent will solve the problem.

 

“It is best that we found this issue now, rather than later,” Bishop Stika said.

 

“It’s good to know that my guardian angels are always working out with me.”

 

In 2004, Stika underwent a multiple bypass surgery. Five years later, in 2009, he suffered a minor heart attack and, though briefly hospitalized, made a full recovery.

 

Stika said that he intends to be back on the altar before Christmas and that he expects his recovery to be very quick. In the meantime, he has requested prayers for himself and his doctors leading up to his procedure, which will likely happen around Dec. 13.

Tags: Diocese of Knoxville, Diocese of Arlington, Bishop Richard Stika, Bishop Michael Burbidge