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September 5, 2002


Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, ordained the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge as a Bishop in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia today. Bishop Burbidge, age 45, is the second youngest Bishop in the United States and will serve as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In his homily, Cardinal Bevilacqua told Bishop Burbidge, "As you begin this new ministry as one of Christ's spiritual shepherds, a ministry of service and sacrifice, of joy and mystery, know that you will always be accompanied by our affection, our support and our prayers."

In addition to Cardinal Bevilacqua, three other Cardinals attended the Ordination: James Cardinal Hickey, Former Archbishop of Washington, William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington. 32 Bishops and 400 priests also attended along with 1400 invited guests. During his remarks at the conclusion of Mass, Bishop Burbidge said, "Our Holy Father has called us to be a holier priesthood, a holier episcopate and a holier Church. May today's celebration help us to respond faithfully to that call as we celebrate the many graces and blessings God has bestowed upon us as we find our strength in His promise that we never walk alone."

The last ordination of a Bishop in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia took place in March 1996 when Cardinal Bevilacqua ordained The Most Reverend Robert P. Maginnis and The Most Reverend Joseph F. Martino. Both are Auxiliary Bishops. There are also two retired Auxiliary Bishops, The Most Reverend Martin N. Lohmuller and The Most Reverend Louis A. DeSimone. All of the Auxiliary Bishops participated in the Ordination Mass.

Cardinal Bevilacqua announced the papal appointment of the new Bishop at a news conference on June 21, 2002. The Bishop is Rector of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, a post he will continue to hold. Bishop Burbidge is only the third Auxiliary Bishop in a diocese to also be Rector of a Seminary.

Michael F. Burbidge was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Mr. and Mrs. Francis and Shirley Burbidge, who currently reside in Broomall, Pennsylvania. Father Burbidge graduated from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and was ordained in 1984. He served as Parochial Vicar at Saint Bernard Parish in Philadelphia from 1984 to 1986 and taught at Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield, Delaware County from 1986 to 1990. During 1990-91, Father Burbidge served on the faculty of Archbishop Wood High School and became Dean of Students at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in 1991. Father Burbidge served as Administrative Secretary to Cardinal Bevilacqua from 1992 to 1999. In 1998, he was named Honorary Prelate (Monsignor). Monsignor Burbidge was named Rector of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania in 1999.


Donna Farrell
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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