Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary to Award Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa During 2024 Concursus Ceremony

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2023

Kenneth A. Gavin
Chief Communications Officer
215-587-3747 (office) 


Bishop Burbidge will deliver the Concursus keynote address to seminary graduates

Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (SCBS) will award a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, to Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington and a former Rector of SCBS, on May 15, 2024 at its annual Concursus ceremony. 

Bishop Burbidge will also deliver the keynote address to the graduates. The degree will be awarded by Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Chair of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees.  This Concursus ceremony will be the last held on the Overbrook campus before the Seminary moves to its new home in Lower Gwynedd in August 2024.

Bishop-elect Keith J. Chylinski, the Seminary’s Rector, said, “It will be a tremendous privilege to honor a native son of the region, a distinguished alumnus and former rector of Saint Charles at our annual Concursus ceremony. Bishop Burbidge’s professional accomplishments and courageous witness to the Faith will certainly serve as an inspiration to our graduates and to all who attend.”

Bishop Burbidge will join a prominent list of honorary degree recipients from the seminary, including Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Dr. Jacqueline C. Rivers, Professor Helen Alvaré, Professor Andreas Widmer, Justice Samuel Alito, Saint  Teresa of Calcutta, and former Pennsylvania Chief Justice Robert N. C. Nix. 

Biographical Information Regarding Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge

Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge was born June 16, 1957 in Philadelphia, the second son of Francis and Shirley Burbidge and brother of Francis Burbidge, Jr. He attended Catholic grade schools and graduated from Cardinal O’Hara High School, Springfield, Pa. in 1975. After high school he went to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by John Cardinal Krol in 1984.

Bishop Burbidge holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s in theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, a master’s in education administration from Villanova University, and a doctorate in education from Immaculata College.

Fr. Michael Burbidge’s first priestly assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Bernard Church in Philadelphia, where he served for two years. From 1986-1992 he was on the faculties, successively, of Cardinal O’Hara High School, Archbishop Wood High School and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, where he also served as Dean of Students.

In 1992 Fr. Burbidge was named administrative secretary to Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, and served in that capacity until 1999. In 1998 he was made Honorary Prelate to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor.

Monsignor Burbidge was appointed Rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in 1999. In 2002 he was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia. As auxiliary bishop, he oversaw the Office of the Vicar for Clergy and the Office of Communications.

On June 8, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Burbidge the fifth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh; Bishop Burbidge was installed in Raleigh on August 4, 2006. On October 4, 2016, he was announced by Pope Francis as the fourth Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington; he was installed on December 6, 2016 at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More.

Bishop Burbidge has served as USCCB chairman for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (2013 to 2016) and was the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Communications (2018 to 2021). He was also a member of the USCCB Administrative Committee (2018 to 2021) and a member of the USCCB Religious Liberty Committee (2018 to 2021). Additionally, he serves as a member of The Catholic University of America’s Board of Trustees, its Executive Committee and its Seminary Committee (2009 to present). He is a member of the Mount Saint Mary’s Board of Trustees (2019 to present) and its Seminary Development Committee (2021 to present). He is also a current member of the Board of Trustees of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (2017 to present) and the current chair of its Finance Committee (2020 to present). He is a member of the Episcopal Advisory Board of Catholic Athletes for Christ (2007 to present), the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors Episcopal Advisory Board (2008 to present), the Virginia Catholic Conference Management Committee (2017 to present), the Catholic Distance University Board of Trustees (2018 to present), and member of the Board of Trustees of the Commissariat of the Holy Land (2019 to present). Recently, Bishop Burbidge was elected as chairman of the USCCB Pro-Life Committee (2022 to present).

In recent years, Bishop Burbidge has published pastoral letters titled, “In Tongues All Can Hear: Communicating the Hope of Christ in Times of Trial” and “A Catechesis on the Human Person and Gender Ideology.



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