Michael F. Burbidge, the fourth Bishop of Arlington
The Diocese of Arlington - our history

1785: Jefferson's Act Establishing Religious Freedom permitted Catholics to worship openly in the Old Dominion.
1795: Alexandria became the first permanent site for Catholic worship in Virginia.
1820: Pope Pius VII decreed that the state of Virginia would be contained in the new Diocese of Richmond.
1972: The priests of the Alexandria and Arlington Deaneries requested the Most Reverend John J. Russell, Richmond 's 10th Bishop, to initiate a process to establish a new diocese in their area of Virginia.
August 13, 1974: Bishop Thomas J. Welsh, auxiliary of Philadelphia and rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pennsylvania, was installed in St. Thomas More Church as the first Bishop of Arlington. St. Thomas More Church became the new diocesan cathedral. The newly created Diocese of Arlington encompassed 21 counties of the State. At its creation, it was home to about 136,000 Catholics in 49 parishes and 7 missions served by 60 diocesan priests and 33 religious priests.
1974-1983: Bishop Welsh opened 4 elementary schools, 1 high school, 6 parishes and dedicated 11 new churches. He was also instrumental in the founding of Christendom College in Front Royal, the then Notre Dame Institute in Alexandria, and Catholic Distance University.
1983-1998: Bishop John R. Keating was named Arlington's second Bishop, and served until his death on March 22, 1998. He is best remembered for his encouragement of vocations during the continued rapid growth of the diocese. He ordained 84 men and dedicated more than 20 new churches and 7 schools.
1999: Approximately 336,000 Catholics in the diocese welcomed Bishop Paul S. Loverde to Arlington. His four primary goals for our Diocese are: evangelization, unity, reconciliation and service.
2016: More than 458,000 Catholics throughout the diocese will welcome Bishop Michael F.Burbidge at his installation as Bishop of the Arlington Diocese in the Cathedral of Saint Thomas More on December 6,2016
2017: Arlington Diocese has grown to more than 458,000 Registered Catholics in the 21 counties (total population of over 2.8 million persons).
(Registered Catholics In the Richmond Diocese: 233,000 Total Catholics registered in Virginia: 687,000. (2012 numbers))
In our Diocese during 2015,there were 8421 Baptisims and Professions of Faith, 7800 First Communions, 6199 Confirmations 1365 Marriages and 1504 adults joined the Catholic Church through RICRA programs.

today in our diocese there are

Parishes:69 Missions: 5(including Saint Bridget's) Priests: 258

Brothers: 8, Sisters: 132, Permanent deacons: 82 Seminarians 40