Local News

Michael Burbidge Installed As Bishop Of Raleigh Diocese

Posted August 4, 2006 7:33 a.m. EDT

— On Friday, there was a changing of the guard in the local Catholic community.

  • Slideshow:

    Bishop Burbidge's Installation Ceremony

    Michael Burbidge was introduced as the new bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh during a special mass. The 49-year-old from Philadelphia is taking over for retiring Bishop Joseph Gossman.

    "I resolve to serve faithfully the spiritual needs of this local church," said Burbidge during the ceremony.

    In July, a crowd of supporters greeted Burbidge at The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Raleigh.

    Burbidge served as auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which has 1.4 million Catholics, which is more than the population here in the Triangle. By contrast, the Raleigh Diocese has 200,000 registered Catholics in 54 counties.

    Burbidge is the fifth bishop in the history of the Diocese of Raleigh, and the first new bishop for the diocese in 31 years.

    "He made it very clear to us last night that he has no intentions of coming in and making major changes," said Monsignor Tim O'Connor of St. Michael's Catholic Church in Cary.

    The new bishop has a motto: to walk humbly with God.

    "He has a great saying that he said to us when he came," said Father David Brockman. "He said, 'You know, I emphasize walk.' And he said, 'It's not just me walking -- it's the fact that we all need to walk together.'"