Raleigh bishop gives heart-felt goodbye as he heads to Virginia

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The spiritual leader of the Raleigh Catholic community gave a heart-felt goodbye Thursday morning.

Bishop Michael Burbidge was been appointed by the pope to lead the Diocese of Arlington.

In just one month, Burbidge will move to Virginia to take on his new role.

RELATED: Pope appoints Raleigh’s Bishop Burbidge to Virginia Diocese

Burbidge said he feels the same way now as he did 10 years ago when he first moved to Raleigh.

“Everything is now different. It’s radically changed, my life has changed,” he said.

But he said his wonderful experiences here give him hope for his new role in Arlington.

Burbidge said it all happened in one quick and unexpected phone call more than a week ago.

That call from the Apostolic Nuncio’s office saying Burbidge had been appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington.

“It’s young and it is vibrant, and there is lots of energy and it is a growing diocese,” he said.

The bishop said the first thing that came to mind was the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral still under construction near downtown Raleigh.

Burbidge spent the last five years working on the $41 million project.

“There’s a human side saying, ‘Wow, it would have been nice to be part of that – to be the bishop when that was done.’ But that’s not in God’s plan.”

Burbidge said he believes church leaders did consider the new cathedral in its decision, and even addressed his concerns of leaving the Raleigh Catholic community before the church opens next year.

“You have done your work. You’ve done your work and God and the good people will bring it to fruition,” he said.

Burbidge is telling parishioners is the same advice he’s giving himself: Continue to be men and women of faith and trust in God’s plan.

He will be installed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington on December 6.

An administrator will be elected then to oversee church operations in Raleigh.

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