Monday, August 17, 2020

Amber Roseboom
Director of Media Relations
Catholic Diocese of Arlington

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, to Host “Racism: Understanding, Conversion, and Action" Forum, In-Person and Virtual Event, Sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington and the Diocesan Peace and Justice Commission   

Bishop Burbidge Announced Creation of Advisory Council to Assist Efforts to Address and Root Out the Evil of Racism 

ARLINGTON, Va. - On August 25, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, will host a live and virtual forum “Responding to Racism: Understanding, Conversion, and Action.” Reverend Scott Woods, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, will serve as the keynote speaker and discuss the current state of race relations in the country and ways in which we must work to root out the evil of racism from our communities and beyond. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington and the Catholic Diocese of Arlington's Peace and Justice Commission and Office of Multicultural Ministries are sponsoring the event. 

“As we come face to face with the evil of racism, we cannot despair. We are a people of faith who have confident hope in the transforming power of Christ and his Gospel of Life. The Gospel of Life proclaims that God has created all of us in his image and likeness. We are members of his Holy Family,” said Bishop Burbidge. “We will see the justice for which we long when these truths penetrate our hearts and the hearts of others. This is a key message in the U.S. Bishops 2018 pastoral letter against racism, that urges 'what is needed and what we are calling for is a genuine conversion that will compel change and the reform of our institutions and society.' We must find the courage to not be silent and to carry the light of Christ, peacefully and boldly, to others.”

Event Details

Responding to Racism: Understanding, Conversion and Action

Tuesday, August 25
7-8:30 p.m.

The Church of the Nativity
6400 Nativity Lane
Burke, VA 22015

The event will also be live streamed on the Catholic Diocese of Arlington's YouTube channel.

Fr. Woods is pastor of two southern Maryland parishes: St. Cecilia Catholic Church in St. Mary's City and St. Peter Claver in St. Inigoes. He is associate director of vocations for the Archdiocese of Washington, and also chaplain and founder of the spiritual direction program at St. Mary's Ryken Catholic School in Leonardtown, Md.

To Register:
RSVP is strongly encouraged by August 21 to or 703-841-3830. In-person attendance is limited to 100 individuals to allow for social distancing.

Masks or face coverings are required for attendees 10 years old and older, unless an individual has a health issue that prevents him/her from safely wearing a mask. Hand sanitizer will be available upon arrival and departure.

The racism forum is the latest in a series of actions Bishop Burbidge has undertaken to address the evil of racism in recent months.

On August 1, Bishop Burbidge announced he will be calling on black leaders throughout the Diocese to serve on an Advisory Council and help develop a strategic plan to address racism within the Diocese.

That same day he led a prayer service, “Requiem for the Black Children of God,” at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More, which was also available online. The event was hosted by the diocesan Black Catholic Ministry and the Office of Multicultural Ministries. In June, Bishop Burbidge celebrated a Mass, then led an evening Rosary, both for the Preservation of Peace and Justice, which was available via livestream and conference call, respectively. In May 2019, Bishop Burbidge held a listening session on racism at the Cathedral's parish hall, which attracted 300 participants.

Interested media, please contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or



The Catholic Diocese of Arlington was established on August 13, 1974, and is home to 71 parishes and more than 460,000 Catholics. There are currently 276 priests serving in the Diocese and 45 seminarians discerning a priestly vocation. The Diocese has 37 parish (K-8) schools, four diocesan high schools, four independent Catholic schools and five free-standing (not connected with a parish school) pre-schools, serving more than 17,000 students. 

The Diocese includes the seven cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester and the 21 counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, King George, Lancaster, Loudoun, Madison, Northumberland, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Richmond, Shenandoah, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren and Westmoreland.