WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A bishop from Raleigh helped a local church celebrate a historic honor Sunday. Last month, St. Mary's Church in Wilmington was deemed a basilica by the Pope. Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh helped the church celebrate the honor with a special mass Sunday. "What we celebrate today is the past, the present and a future," said Burbidge. "We live in a community and a diocese and a Catholic church that is growing." At the mass, Burbidge also took time to address immigration reform- an issue he feels strongly about.
"Let's do something. We know that this immigration system is broken," said Burbidge. "It's not working and everyone acknowledges that so let's do something even if it's not perfect."
The church is the only the second one in the state to be recognized as a basilica. It is now officially known as The Basilica Shrine of St. Mary.
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