“I recognize the importance of communications and evangelization, the use of all tools possible to get out the Good News.” —Bishop Burbidge In his threefold role of teaching, sanctifying and governing, Bishop Burbidge is committed to articulating the Good News through all available media. He posts a daily meditation on Twitter (@BishopBurbidge), many of his homilies are available on YouTube, and he enjoys giving video reflections for important events, key Church campaigns, and significant liturgical days. Bishop Burbidge also gives a weekly WTOP radio reflection on faith, family, culture and more – all available online.
One of the great American traditions at this time of year is setting aside a few hours each week to watch our favorite college and pro sports football teams. It is a good time for family bonding, to take a rest from the stresses of daily life, and simply to unwind from a hectic work week. The proliferation and ease of sports wagering, however, encourages many to bet on the games. Unfortunately, young and old alike, may wager money they can ill afford to lose. It is estimated that a staggering 125 billion dollars has been wagered by U.S. citizens in the last four years. By all means, enjoy the games and the food and the friendship, but while the allure of a quick profit may be enticing, don't bet on it.
Early on most of us learn the Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. To children the lesson may be as simple as sharing toys, being gracious to friends and parents, and to say “please” and “thank you”. As we grow older, the message should be no less important—it should help form our character. Ask yourself: Why criticize when we can offer a compliment? Why insult when we can praise? Why hurt when we can help? May the respect, compassion, and forgiveness we desire to receive be the same gifts we extend to others with whom we live and work, and to all persons, without exception. For if we live by God's Golden Rule, we will be at peace with ourselves and with one another.
On this week's episode, Bishop Burbidge shares: His reflections on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and her legacy Some takeaways from the Mass Honoring Military and First Responders at St. Leo's in Fairfax this past Sunday, September 11 His experience celebrating the Mass of the Holy Spirit at the Catholic University of America earlier this month, using a 15th century Irish chalice Thoughts on Catholic responsibility to care for our common home, in the midst of this Season of Creation; register here for the September 17 Conference: Why Should I Care for Our Common Home? Bishop Burbidge also answers the following question from the faithful: Why is Communion not given to a politician in one diocese, but that same person can receive Communion in another diocese?
This past weekend marked the 21st anniversary of the horrific attacks of 9/11. In this time of remembrance, we stand together as a country to mourn all who were killed or injured in these attacks, and for their families whose lives were changed forever. We also remember and honor the bravery and service of all the first responders, medical personnel, and so-called ordinary people who risked their lives to assist in any way they could. May we be united in prayer, especially this week, for all those who died in the attacks of 9/11 and for all those who served that day and ever since. We commend them to God's infinite love and ask that he look after all those who protect our nation today and bless us with his peace.
This week we celebrate Labor Day, a holiday to honor the hard work and determination of those who built, and continue to build, our country. There is goodness, value, and dignity in work: from the contributions of those who toiled during the infancy of our nation to the men and women of today who add to our comfort and quality of life. May no one be without employment, may all be paid fairly, and may each person receive respect in their workplace. As Pope Francis says: “work is more than a mere doing; it is, above all, a mission. Jesus invites us to follow in his footsteps through work.” May we always value the dignity of work and never forget its ultimate purpose: to praise God and to serve one another!
Our normal day is likely consumed by heavy schedules, ringing cell phones, errands, meetings, work, and a seemingly never-ending task list. Even with all that we have going on, and as the day flies by, there could be two things missing: listening and silence! Jesus warns that we can be “anxious and worried about many things.” Such concern, especially over the events out of our control, serves no useful purpose. Which is why we must sit daily at the feet of Jesus and listen to him, in silence, if even for a few minutes. Instead of just “doing” things, running from one place to another and without regard for our own well-being, try to give more time to “being” with the Lord. Jesus will ease our anxiety and increase our serenity!
On this week's episode, Bishop Burbidge offers his: Reaction to the recent article from The Atlantic connecting the rosary to fringe political efforts “The Rosary of the Virgin Mary…is a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness.” - Saint John Paul II Comments on the one-year anniversary of evacuation of Afghanistan; how Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services re-settled 1,300 Afghan men, women and children Save the date! National Migration Week is Sept. 20-25 Reflection on his 20th Anniversary of episcopacy, including a Q&A: His overall experience of being a bishop Who called to let him know the Holy Father chose him to be an auxiliary bishop in Philadelphia; his reaction to being chosen by the Holy Father to serve as a bishop Why he chose “to walk humbly with your God” as his motto His fondest memories as a Bishop of Arlington
Jesus says: “As you enter a house, wish it peace.” Despite our best intentions, our homes at times can become places of tension between family members and relatives. It could be a conflict between siblings or a gentle disagreement between parents and children over something inconsequential. Hopefully the issue is short-lived. Just as parents are the first teachers of their children, the home is a snapshot of our culture. We can choose to inspire others in our family by respecting and treating them with kindness, or we can cause dissension by being selfish, petty and unforgiving. Society will benefit greatly from homes when loved ones encourage and lift up each other in faith and live together in harmony. So do your part to make for a peaceful home.
We often appreciate invitations: to family gatherings, concerts, ball games and events that give us joy and fun memories. During his ministry, Jesus offered people an invitation to follow him. Many were willing to follow Our Lord, at least until they learned it included the path to Jerusalem, where Christ would suffer ridicule, hostility, and even death on a cross for our salvation. If Jesus invites you to accept a share in his sufferings, see this as a privileged moment to be united even more deeply to him and an opportunity to grow in holiness. At the same time, take courage! He will also give you the strength and grace you need to carry your cross and, in doing so, you will be walking with him on the path that leads to heaven.
On this week's episode, Bishop Burbidge offers his: Hope for students, parents and families as they prepare for another school year Thoughts on the announcement of his local instruction in implementation of Pope Francis' motu proprio, Traditionis Custodes, and his Responsa ad Dubia Reaction to Nicaraguan police raiding Catholic radio stations and placing bishop and priests on house arrest Bishop Burbidge also answers the following questions from the faithful: Did you see any good movies this summer? Have you ever gone on pilgrimages, and, if so, what were the highlights?
Throughout Sacred Scripture and in the lives of the saints, we see many individuals who at some point in their lives turned far away from God and his ways, even for many years. Yet, with his grace, their hearts were transformed and they experienced a radical conversion. Then, the Lord entrusted them with leadership; significant work; and the task of preaching his Gospel. How important it is for us to remember that, with God's help, it is never too late for us to change! The Lord will never give up on us and, once we accept his invitation to return to him with all our hearts, he will embrace us in his love and mercy and use us as his powerful instruments to touch the lives of others.
In Sacred Scripture the followers of Jesus saw over five thousand people who were hungry and the disciples were overwhelmed as to how to feed them. Jesus told them to give him what they had---fives loaves and two fish. Then he miraculously multiplied what was offered and there was more than enough food for everyone. When we see so much need in our midst, the Evil One wants us to be deceived into thinking there is nothing we can do. Jesus says the exact opposite: just give me what you have: your time, efforts, sacrifices, resources and simply watch how I will use them in miraculous way to satisfy the hunger and thirst of my people. There is nothing to small we can give to the Lord---he just asks for our very best.
We often have a tendency to worry—especially in these challenging times! It is natural to experience a sense of anxiety over work, family, home, and the countless issues we are facing throughout our nation. We may panic and pace and invite distress and unease to dominate our day. But why?Jesus tells us not “to worry” about our life or about tomorrow. And he conveys why: his Father will never abandon us; his love is stronger than any force in this world; and, in our time of need, He grants us strength and holds us in his loving embrace. So, relax in the Lord's presence. Enjoy the gift of this new day…and every day…and do not worry!
On this week's episode, Bishop Burbidge offers: Unity with the Holy Father on the Vatican warning to Germany's "Synodal Way" Congratulations to Ann Augherton, managing editor of the Arlington Catholic Herald, for winning the 2022 St. Francis de Sales Award from the Catholic Media Association Perspective on why we should celebrate the annual World Day of Grandparents and the Elderly with the universal Church this weekend Context the two vocations summer camps for teens — Quo Vadisand FIAT— held at Mount Saint Mary's Seminary this month Commentary on the new apostolic letter from Pope Francis: “On the Liturgical Formation of the People of God” Preview of the upcoming Eucharistic Symposium with Archbishop Charles Chaput held at the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More this fall Thoughts on pro-life efforts since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, along with pregnancy resources despite the current status of abortion access in Virginia A recap of his A Catechesis on the Human Personamong transgender ideology in the news Bishop Burbidge also answers the following question from the faithful: What is your guidance to the Catholics in the diocese regarding whether or not we should be giving our patronage to companies publicly declaring their support for abortion rights? Do you have any suggestions for my first year of teaching CCD and religious education? In the aftermath of the Roe v. Wade overturning, what is the strategy of the bishops' conference and of our diocese as the pro-life effort continues in the States? What can be done to harden the target of every school and homeschool co-op throughout the diocese to keep children and teachers safe from harm?
This Sunday we celebrate the second World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly with the theme: “In Old Age They Will Still Bear Fruit” to emphasize how grandparents and the elderly are a precious gift to their families and all of society. Pope Francis reminds us that Sacred Scripture refers to the elderly as “filled with days” and have wisdom to offer us. May we consider two things this weekend: first, remember your grandparents, with a visit, if living, and with prayers if deceased; and second, seek out those elderly persons who feel alone. While youth and energy are good things, some wisdom only matures in time. May our grandparents and elderly friends know how much we love them and may they continue to bear abundant fruit in our midst.
We can often feel that we exist in a silo, that our lives lack impact, that what we do on a daily basis is unimportant. We convince ourselves that miracles and unforeseen events happen to others, not us. Not true! With the power of God, St. Paul healed a man who was crippled at birth. Which reminds us that miracles take place in God's time, not ours. With faith in the Lord, it is never too late for us and those for whom we pray to be healed, changed and transformed. In addition, remember that, like St. Paul, the Lord will use you and your compassion, kindness and generosity to work miracles in the lives of others, so they can walk in the newness of life of our Risen Lord, the new life he offers us each day.
This week marking the Fourth of July is traditionally celebrated with family events, picnics and fireworks. After a two-year hiatus in which these events were either canceled or curtailed due to COVID, we realized that for too long we took for granted the celebration of Independence Day—and the reason it exists. This week, reflect on why we have the freedoms that are at the heart of our nation and be thankful for them. We enjoy these rights because, nearly 250 years ago, citizens stood arm-in-arm, united in their desire to forge their own destiny as One Nation Under God. The journey has been imperfect, but we continue still, with God's grace, on the road to a fairer, more just country. The Founding Fathers' message still resonates: Let Freedom Ring! May God bless you, and God bless America!
Did you ever say to yourself, “If I could just have one more thing, I would be satisfied and fulfilled”? It could have been something small you wanted, like another helping at dinner—or it could have been something larger: a better job or a bigger house that you thought would do the trick. But after you received that one thing you wanted, you discovered you were not satisfied after all. Something was still missing. That yearning for something more may be a sign of your spiritual hunger and thirst—a yearning that can only be met by Jesus, the One alone who satisfies our spiritual hunger and thirst. Today, open yourself up to the One who understands the deepest longings of your heart: Jesus, who knows you by name and whose love for you is without end!
This week we celebrate Religious Freedom Week, when we thank God for our great country and its protections for people of all faiths to worship and follow their consciences without fear. The theme for the week is “Life and Dignity for All”. Religious freedom grants us the ability to live our faith in public, especially in service of all people—ensuring that their lives and dignity as children of God are upheld. When we love the Lord, we are inspired to help the poor and protect the most vulnerable. So, when threats to religious freedom arise, the ability of people of faith and of countless religious charities to serve people in need is threatened. Therefore, may we pray and act to safeguard our first freedom and the greatest of liberties: religious freedom.
On this week's episode, Bishop Burbidge: Interviews young Work Camp 2022 participants about their experience, what made them attend, and why they encourage other young people to volunteer in the future Provides a status update on the upcoming synopsis document for the Synod of Bishops Shares a summary of the recent United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Spring Meeting Highlights this week's World Meeting of Families in Rome and the Loudoun County couple who are providing a keynote address Assures the faithful of his prayers as he and others take a pilgrimage to Philadelphia this weekend (Similar parish pilgrimages are forthcoming!) Bishop also answers questions from the faithful: What does Bishop Burbidge do during his free time? What is the most difficult part about being a bishop? Has he ever witnessed a miracle? What was his faith journey like as a teenager? and several more!
Many people know the account in Scripture of the Apostle Peter denying Jesus three times. Yet, our risen Lord gave Peter three opportunities to profess his love for Jesus and Peter responded: “Yes, Lord, I do believe you are the Son of the living God.” In his infinite mercy, Jesus did not “give up” on Peter. In the same way, the Lord never “gives up” on us—even if we have denied or betrayed him, wandered from him or grew lukewarm in our faith…so, please never give up on yourself! This week, find an opportunity to renew your faith in God, to express sorrow, if necessary, to thank him for his goodness and to seek his divine mercy. As he did with Peter, Jesus will always welcome you back with love.
We are nearing the finish of graduation season at our schools and colleges. This means diplomas are proudly displayed, photos are taken and graduation caps are thrown skyward in celebration. What a momentous time for the graduates and their families as a significant chapter in the book of life has closed. Yet the next chapter waits to be written. How will it read? Hopefully, it will say that our young men and women, grounded in faith, will always strive to do what is morally and ethically honorable. Whatever God leads them to do, like you, I hope they remain rooted in a desire to do the right thing, help the vulnerable and care for those in need. No matter where the path may take them, we pray that they allow Jesus to be their guide.
This week marks the unofficial start of summer, when the smell of backyard barbeques and vacations dominate our attention. But before we take rest from these past months, we should, and must, offer prayerful reflection on Memorial Day. Without those men and women who bravely surrendered their very lives in military service throughout our history, including present times, our safe country, our free country, would be less safe and less free. Despite any division within our nation, we know that those who died for us did so out of sacrifice for the common good. Our thanks should be the starting point of Memorial Day as we honor the fallen who have gone to their eternal rest, and who ensured that we remain one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
On this week's episode of The Walk Humbly Podcast, Bishop Burbidge offers: Entrustment to God's care of those lives lost in the horrific shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde Perspective on Archbishop Cordileone not admitting Speaker Pelosi to Holy Communion A glimpse into the lives of the soon-to-be ordained to the priesthood on June 4; subscribe to the livestream on YouTube to receive a reminder What he's looking forward to at the Diocesan Family Festivalon Saturday, June 11 from 4-8:30 p.m. Bishop Burbidge also answers the following question from the faithful: What protocol do you follow for making clergy assignments? *** Be sure to send your questions for Bishop Burbidge by calling 703-831-7013 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In our prayer lives, it is easy to give thanks for our families, our loved ones and the people who have had such a positive influence on us. It is natural that we want them to be safe, enjoy good health, and wish that they will be in our lives forever. In short, we pray for those we love. The difficult part comes when we must go into the depths of our heart and seek reconciliation and extend forgiveness to those from whom we are estranged. For Jesus tells us to add others to our list: those who have offended us—and even those who have persecuted us. This is a tall order but it is the mandate the Lord has given to us, and the one that will lead us to peace—peace with God, ourselves, and with one another.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is approached by people who, in faith, ask for healing. In fact, he once healed a man who was ill for 38 years. Another was blind from birth, but Our Savior gave him sight. Surely both of these men may have had doubt originally, yet once they encountered Jesus, they believed. The addictions, vices or habits that have a grip on us are never stronger than the Lord's power to break the chains that hold us back. Avoid being deceived into thinking there are just some things that cannot change about ourselves. Miracles occur in God's time, not ours—so we must be patient and do the hard work of converting our will to God's. Never give up. In faith, ask God for healing and transformation.
On this week's episode of The Walk Humbly Podcast, Bishop Burbidge offers: His reaction to the leaked draft of Supreme Court opinion indicating the overturning of Roe v. Wade; how diocesan parishes were prepared for the subsequent threat of protests at parishes by abortion advocates An invitation to fast and pray the rosary on Friday, May 13(Feast of Our Lady of Fatima) for intentions including the integrity of our judicial system and the conversion of the hearts & minds of those who advocate for abortion Advice for how we should pray for our president and his stance on abortion Some words of wisdom for upcoming high school graduates Details on upcoming events he's looking forward to: Ordination to the Priesthood| 11 a.m., Saturday, June 4 Diocesan Family Festival| 4 p.m., Saturday, June 11 Bishop Burbidge also answers the following questions from the faithful: Do bishops wear only one pectoral cross throughout their episcopacy? Why do bishops tend to put the cross in the pocket of their shirts and not wear them down? Do you have any insights from the Synodal process? Has it been easier or harder than you expected? Be sure to send your questions for Bishop Burbidge by calling 703-831-7013 or by email@example.com.
As we continue to celebrate the Easter season we are reminded that in addition to giving thanks for the triumph of Our Risen Lord, we are provided with the great gift of his mercy. It is a gift that cannot be acquired through purchase or one we have to earn. Rather, the Lord's mercy is given to us freely, without cost or commitment. It is there for us, if only we ask. In fact, we have three invitations: to be the recipient of his mercy; to seek the Lord's forgiveness; and to be an instrument of his mercy by forgiving those who have offended us. As we continue to celebrate the Resurrection and with renewed faith, let us remember the words of St. Faustina and welcome the opportunity to say repeatedly, “Jesus, I trust in you!”
This Sunday we have the great privilege of celebrating Mother's Day. Many of us will be planning a surprise delivery, family dinners, or maybe a visit home. It is the one day each year we set aside for our mothers, but really, every daycould be Mother's Day because their sacrifice, their love, and their commitment know no bounds—and their impact has no ceiling. Our Blessed Mother is the perfect role model, placing God's will above her own. By her acceptance she learned to embrace challenges and difficulties. As we seek to grow as disciples of Jesus, may we follow the example of Mary and our mothers in being people of prayer, committed to doing the will of God, and accepting challenges along the way. With love and gratitude, we pray for all of our mothers, living and deceased, on this, their special day.
On this week's episode of The Walk Humbly Podcast, Bishop Burbidge talks about: The eight men ordained to the transitional diaconate on April 23 along with another eight men to be ordained to the priesthood on June 4 The news of Elon Musk buying Twitter and the significance it has for the Church His thoughts on the recent Supreme Court case regarding private speech rights of assistant football coach praying after games What the Special Religious Education Development (SPRED) initiative is and why it is an essential arm of our Catholic school system Upcoming events he's looking forward to: Catholic Family Campout| Friday, May 6–Sunday, May 8 EXALT Evening of Worship| Tuesday, May 12 Ordination to the Priesthood| Saturday, June 4 Diocesan Family Festival|Saturday, June 11 Bishop Burbidge also answers the following questions from the faithful: What is the difference between a “transitionaldeacon” and a “permanentdeacon”? If a priest who has been previously credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor is contrite and has been forgiven by God, why can he not be reassigned to a ministry that does not involve children? Can you share more about the work of the women religious in our diocese?
It has been two weeks since we celebrated the glory and the triumph of the Resurrection of Christ. It is undeniable that Easter brings a newness to our lives, a renewal, and a vitality that may have been lacking as we continue to struggle with so many challenges. But now is the test. We must allow the momentum and the joy of the Easter season to continue and help us grow as people of faith. Be on guard against any temptations or distractions that could take us off course. Instead, may we go forward with the confidence that Jesus is alive and with us, assured in the firm belief that we share in his victory over sin, suffering and death. And know, without hesitation or doubt, that in him alone we find the peace for which we long.
Few things bring more joy than hearing the carefree laughter of children. While many of us have memories of good times and innocent days gone past, sadly, there are many who have had the joy of childhood delights stolen from them. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Child abuse statistics are staggering and, in most cases of abuse, children are harmed by someone the family trusts. Dear friends it is incumbent that leaders in the Church and society unite with all people in protecting the health and well-being of the young; that we realize the lives of children are sacred; and that we understand there is an inherent dignity that belongs to every child of God. This month, and always, I invite all people of good will to be united in prayer for the safety and eradication of child abuse for all of God's children.
Good Friday encompasses the emotions of sadness and suffering, a day of somber silence, then leads to the greatest story ever told, for we know that with Christ's Cross comes the greatest victory of all. Now is the time to embrace whatever crosses you are asked to endure, knowing that they too, united to the Lord's, will lead to glory. On Easter Sunday, good news of great joy is proclaimed to us: “Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who took up his Cross and died for our salvation, has been raised from the dead and is alive and with us!” Rise to newness of life in him, the one who transformed darkness to light; suffering to glory; and yes, even death to life. May God bless you and your loved ones this Easter, and always.
On this week's episode of The Walk Humbly Podcast, Bishop Burbidge talks about: One of his favorite liturgies of the year – the Chrism Mass – taking place on Holy Thursday, April 14 The ramifications of Oregon's decision to remove its residency requirement for assisted suicide The U.S. House of Representatives vote to federally decriminalize marijuana; what the risks are of legalized marijuana to health and teen suicide Child Abuse Prevention Month: what the Diocese is doing to remain vigilant against all forms of abuse through the Office of Child Protection and Victim Assistance Bishop Burbidge also answers the following questions from the faithful: Are there protocols churches must follow before they commission stained-glass windows? For instance, is there an approval process or guidelines? I have an adult friend being received into the Church during the Easter Vigil. Any recommendations on what I can do to help support my friend in the first few weeks or months after he is received into the Church? Be sure to send your questions for Bishop Burbidge by calling 703-831-7013 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Sunday we will commemorate Palm Sunday. The readings begin with the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem; they end with the Passion of Our Lord. In the proclamation of this passage we are asked to be the voice of the crowd and respond: "Crucify him.” It is unimaginable that for the One who affirmed the love of God the Father, embraced the sinner, and sought out the lost, we could repeat these words. Yet, it continues today, not through words but with actions that wound Jesus and fracture the Body of Christ. Dear friends, pray this week that we may have a permanent conversion of heart, that as we begin the holiest of weeks, we make sure our actions do not say, “Crucify him” but rather: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord…Hosanna in the Highest.”
Spring is here, and along with it many feel energized, invigorated, ready to embrace a fresh, new season. But as Spring begins we also near the end of our Lenten journey. Sacred scripture tells us that “whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away, behold, new things have come.” We are reminded that God gave us the ministry of reconciliation, and he assures us that no sin is greater than his love. Now is the perfect time to examine our conscience, to prepare ourselves and our hearts for the glory that awaits us in just a few weeks. Spending time with the Lord allows us to unburden ourselves of anything that weighs us down. Just as Spring begins a new season, may we become a new creation as well!
Most of us have attended weddings where we hear the familiar reading about the enduring power of love. The bride and groom listen with intensity while attendees nod with approval. Married life has many wonderful moments. Yet we would be naïve to believe that marriage, or any relationship, would be free of challenges or the occasional struggle. Relationships take work. During those times when you experience discord in relationships with family members or friends, remember those words of St. Paul: “Love never fails!” He says true love is patient and kind; it is neither jealous nor quick tempered. To enjoy love, we must emulate the author of love: Jesus Christ, who offered his very life for us. Practice this kind of love in all your relationships, and you too will realize, it never fails!
On this week's episode of The Walk Humbly Podcast, Bishop Burbidge shares: His thoughts on the Church's response to consecrate Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25 Details about the upcoming Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate on April 23 and Ordination to the Priesthood on June 4 Common threads from recent Synod listening sessions at the recent Men's and Women's Conferences Status of the Traditional Latin Mass Bishop also answers the following questions from the faithful: For a young adult transitioning from college to independence/beginning of work career, how can we avoid losing touch with our faith during that time? I saw on Facebook that you celebrated the Rite of Election. Can you explain what that is?
This week, the Irish—and those who are Irish for a day—observe St. Patrick's Day in honor of the 5thcentury saint who brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle. It is a day many of us hold dear, circled on our calendars as we look forward to celebrating in friendship. This week also marks the second week of Lent. But do we have the 40 days of Lent circled and prioritized in our spiritual lives? As we celebrate St. Patrick, remember what made him truly great: his faith and devotion to God. So let this week be the week we focus on our Lenten experience. Just as St. Patrick travelled the wide expanses of lush, green fields on his journey to share the Gospel, let us embrace the blessed walk we take with Christ each day of Lent.
March is Women's History Month, a time when we celebrate the achievements of women, including those as widely known such as St. Teresa of Calcutta, as well as those transforming hearts and lives every day. From St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first U.S. saint and co-patroness of our diocese, to Rosa Parks, who showed us the true face of courage, to the countless women who strive to make our homes, our communities, and our country a better place. As we honor those women who had a significant role in our rich history, and those publicly memorialized, we also remember those who make history through selfless devotion and humble sacrifice. They make all of our lives better simply by how they live theirs, in imitation of Jesus and his Blessed Mother. May they continue to make history!
On this week's episode of the Walk Humbly Podcast: Responding to the ongoing violence in Ukraine, and prayers for peace The failure of the “Women's Health Protection Act” in Congress underscores the importance of staying engaged and informed politically Reflections on Lent in advance of Ash Wednesday Congratulations to St. Paul VI Catholic High School's boys basketball team on winning the WCAC Championship Bishop Burbidge also answers the following questions from the faithful: What is the difference between the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick and “last rites”? Is the Diocese planning to assist Ukrainian refugees in a similar manner to how we assisted refugees from Afghanistan?
This week we have the great privilege to begin our Lenten journey, a 40-day season of prayer, fasting and almsgiving in preparation for the Resurrection of the Lord at Easter. And it is indeed a privilege to be called to a conversion of heart as we seek to follow the will of Christ more faithfully. Our prayer should include silence, to let the Lord speak to us. Fasting reminds us that the things of this world can never satisfy our spiritual hunger and thirst. Almsgiving allows us to share selflessly our resources with those in need. Pope Francis says: “Let us not allow this season of grace to pass in vain! Let us ask God to help us set out on a path of true conversion.” Stay focused. Pray. Fast. Be generous, and have a blessed Lenten season.
One of the great attributes about our country is our ability to come together in times of disaster, emergency and crisis. In the last year alone we have witnessed wildfires, floods, tornadoes, and a persistent pandemic, all of which have had unimaginable effects, cost lives and livelihoods, and wrought devastation and disaster. But we should ask ourselves: why does it often take a crisis for Americans to be unified? It is my prayer that we, as a nation, can commit to making empathy and concern for our neighbors and brothers and sisters a part of our daily lives. A crisis should simply strengthen our resolve and unity; not create it. Let us pray that we can develop a proactive instinct and live in greater harmony.
Another Pro Football Championship has been decided. While one city rejoices and celebrates an incredible win, another city deals with the disappointment of what could have been. Success and failure; victory and defeat. During our lifetime we too face these realities. There will be triumph and tragedy, joy and sorrow. And depending on which we encounter, we accept the good with gratitude and appreciation for God's blessing; and accept our burdens with humility and with trust that God will lead us through them. Remember, Jesus Christ embraced the suffering of the Cross. It was through his suffering and death that he triumphed in the Resurrection, leading him, and us, to the ultimate victory. He wants us to join his team—to follow him—and enjoy a victory like no other in heaven.
On this week's episode of The Walk Humbly Podcast: In commemoration of the diocesan Golden Jubilee in 2024, the Cathedral of St. Thomas More will undergo a major renovation Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin recently signed into law a bill making masks in schools a parent's decision Two vital pro-life bills are currently before the Virginia Senate. How to make your voice heard with your senators Bishop Burbidge shares updates on the Traditional Latin Mass, after consulting with priest advisors in the Diocese Common threads from recent Synod listening sessions Bishop Burbidge also answers the following questions from the faithful: As a mom of four kids under 8, I don't feel welcome at Mass or adoration because it is hard for my kids to stay still and quiet. Is there anything parents like me can do to feel more connected, because Mass is so difficult for all of us? I understand St. Katharine Drexel Church in Haymarket is breaking ground on a new building soon. What is the process for a Catholic community to request and receive a new church?
February 8theach year marks the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking. The U.S. State Department estimates that nearly 25 million persons worldwide could be victims of human trafficking. Examples of human trafficking include forced labor, domestic servitude, and various forms of abuse. It is beyond comprehension that anyone can be subjected to such evil; such horror. But it happens every day around the world. It is reported that human trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise, trailing only the illegal drug trade. The average age of trafficked individuals is between 14 and 16, and less than one percent of victims are ever identified. United in prayer, may we work together for the eradication of human trafficking.
On this week's episode of the Walk Humbly Podcast: Last week Bishop Burbidge visited the diocesan mission in Bánica, Dominican Republic. He shares his reflections on the trip. How the Diocese is celebrating Catholic Schools Week. An opportunity to continue the pro-life momentum in Virginia at Defending Life Day in Richmond Feb. 9. Updates on the diocesan synodal process Bishop Burbidge also answers the following questions from the faithful: What are your Super Bowl predictions: Bengals or Rams? Fellowship is a strong part of my college's Catholic Campus Ministry, but I feel my prayer life is weak. How do we balance fellowship and personal prayer?
This week is Catholic Schools Week, and it offers an opportunity to recognize alleducators who are so important in the lives of children and young adults. We know that in these times, teaching encompasses more than just delivering content. As parent partners, teachers assume the responsibility of a child's emotional, social, and academic progress while children are in their care. In addition, they respond with agility and creativity to factors such as ever evolving technology, social emotional challenges and cultural strife that impact student learning. If COVID has taught us anything, it is that our educators are heroes. Whether in-person or virtual, pre-school, elementary, high school or beyond, teachers educate their students with dedication and resolve. We are ever grateful for their vocation and pray that God grants them the grace to teach with enthusiasm, compassion, and clarity.
One of the confounding puzzles of life is our impatience. Whether it is our need to be first in line, frustration while waiting for a stop light that takes too long, or agonizing delays on the tarmac, we are a nation that simply does not want to wait. We may get angry, upset, or even resentful. Our spiritual lives can have the same tendency—to expect God to work in our lives faster and on our terms. But the pace is not ours to decide. Our earthly journey is set to God's time. Jesus once cured a woman who was incapable of standing for 18 years. We can never lose hope in the Lord's power to heal us and transform our lives…but in his time, not ours. Therefore, pray for the grace to persevere and alwaysto be patient in faith.
On this week's episode of The Walk Humbly Podcast: Bishop Burbidge reflects on the deadly apartment fires in New York and Philadelphia. The Vatican has issued clarifications on recent directives regarding the Traditional Latin Mass. Bishop Burbidge explains what that will mean in our diocese. Pope Francis made headlines for saying the choice to have pets instead of children is “selfish.” Bishop Burbidge offers his reaction. At this year's March for Life, Bishop Burbidge will have a view from the front, joining a group from Christendom College that has been chosen to lead the annual event. Updates on the diocesan Advisory Council on Racism as we approach the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Bishop Burbidge answers the following question from the faithful: I hear we are ordaining several priests this June. What is their final semester in seminary typically like as they approach ordination?
The sudden end of holiday activity can be a let-down. For most, the lows we may experience have few long-term effects. However, depression—which affects many—is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. Symptoms include prolonged periods of sadness, loss of interest in once-loved activities, and low self-worth. However, depression is very treatable. God has blessed our country with outstanding mental health professionals who offer treatment that, when in harmony with the grace we receive in faith and through prayer, can lead to recovery. The stigma once attributed to mental health issues is rightly fading. If you or a loved one struggles with depression, be unafraid to reach out for help. With faith in God and strengthened by grace, supported by sound mental health counseling, any person can have a brighter tomorrow.