When he got the call about his transfer to the Diocese of Arlington, Bishop Burbidge wanted his response to be simple.
“Yes” was the first word he said to the monsignor from the apostolic nuncio’s office, which represents the Holy Father.
After the “yes,” Bishop Burbidge took a breath.
“Having said that,” he continued. “I think you know what I am going to say next. We are at the finish line for this historic project that has been going on for five years. We are at the finish line, but we haven’t crossed it yet.”
The monsignor was prepared.
“He said, ‘But you have done your work. God and the good people will bring it to fruition,’” Bishop Burbidge said as he recounted the conversation to reporters Oct. 6 during a press conference in Raleigh.
Bishop Burbidge added:
“In all honesty, all the major decisions are completed. You have to choose the architect … style … name, statues, colors and liturgical furnishings. And now it’s just finishing. I feel so very privileged to have been the bishop chosen to initiate this project supported by so many people. You can be assured that I will be there on July the 26th … so happy for the Diocese of Raleigh.
I have to be honest … I am human. I am a Churchman, and I want to give my whole life to the Church. And, so, doing this brings me peace because I know it’s the right thing to do. It’s what I promised. But there is the human side saying, ‘Wow it would have been nice … to be the bishop when [the cathedral] was done,’ but that’s not in God’s plan. So there’s a human side. But, what is the bigger reality? What is this really about? That’s what brings me the peace. This was the timing and I respectfully accepted.
I’m going to be there when we cross the finish line. It’s going to be a great day. I will be present, and no one will be prouder.”
Progress continues at Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral: The copper roof was installed, in large part, in October. The construction team expected to install bells and clerestory windows by the end of November. Visit holynamecathedralnc.org for videos and photographs.