Nomination of Bishops in Kingston, Vancouver and New Westminster

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His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI today announced three Episcopal appointments and the resignation of two Bishops who are retiring as required by Canon Law, having reached the age of 75 years.

Most Reverend Brendan M. O'Brien, Archbishop of St. John's, Newfoundland, has been named Archbishop of Kingston, Ontario.  The Kingston see has been vacant since the death of Most Reverend Anthony Meagher in January 2007.

Father Kenneth Nowakowski, rector of Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Ottawa has been named Ukrainian Eparchial Bishop of New Westminster in British Columbia.  Father Nowakowski succeeds Most Reverend Severian S. Yakymyshyn, O.S.B.M. whose resignation was accepted by the Holy Father.  Most Reverend Yakymyshyn served the Eparchy, the equivalent to a Diocese for the Oriental Catholic Church, since 1995.

Most Reverend Michael Miller, C.S.B., Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome, has been named Coadjutor Archbishop of Vancouver.  He will succeed Most Reverend Raymond Roussin, S.M., the current Archbishop of Vancouver. When a bishop is close to retirement, a coadjutor bishop (from the Latin adjuvare, to help) is often named to assist him and to assure a smooth transition upon retirement, in accordance with Canon 403 of the Code of Canon Law.

The Holy Father has also accepted the resignation of Most Reverend Matthew F. Ustrzycki, Auxiliary Bishop of Hamilton, who is retiring after serving the Diocese for the past 22 years at the side of the present Bishop, Most Reverend Anthony F. Tonnos.


bm_obrienArchbishop O'Brien was born in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1943, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1968 for the Archdiocese of Ottawa and became a bishop in 1987. He first served as auxiliary bishop of Ottawa before being appointed by Pope John Paul II as Bishop of Pembroke, Ontario, in 1993 and Archbishop of St. John's, Newfoundland-Labrador, in 2000.

Archbishop O'Brien holds a doctorate in moral theology from Lateran University's Academia Alfonsiana in Rome after having studied at Saint Paul University and the University of Ottawa.   He was President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) from 2003 to 2005.

The Archdiocese of Kingston is served by 89 diocesan and religious priests, 183 religious Brothers and Sisters, 18 permanent deacons serving a population of approximately 117,000 Catholics in 71 parishes and missions.

New Westminster

nowakowskiFr. Kenneth Nowakowski was born 16 May 1958, in North Battleford in Saskatchewan.  He was ordained to the priesthood on 19 August 1989 for the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon after graduating from St. Michael's College, University of Toronto having earned a Bachelor of Religious Studies and Philosophy.  He received his Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome.

At the time of his nomination, he was Rector of the Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Ottawa and Chancellor of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Saskatoon.  During the visit of His Holiness John Paul II to the Ukraine in June 2001, he was the Director of the Press Office of the Catholic Churches in Ukraine.  He is a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Adult Catecheses.

The population of the Eparchy of New Westminster is approximately 8,000 Catholics and comprises 15 parishes and missions, served by 14 diocesan and religious priests, two permanent deacons and two Sisters.

Canada has eleven Eparchies, five of which are of the Ukrainian rite.


millerCoadjutor Archbishop-elect Miller was born in Ottawa, Ontario, on July 9, 1946, and was a member of the Congregation of St. Basil (C.S.B.) since 1965 when ordained to the priesthood by Pope Paul VI on June 29, 1975.

In 2003, Pope John Paul II named him as Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, at the same time making him Archbishop.  The Congregation for Catholic Education oversees norms for seminaries, Catholic universities and colleges, and Catholic schools.

In 1974 he received a bachelor's degree in theology from St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto. In 1976 he was granted a licentiate "summa cum laude" in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was awarded the doctoral degree "summa cum laude" from the Gregorian University in 1979.

From 1979 to 1992, he was professor of dogmatic theology at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Houston, Texas.  From 1992 to 1997, he worked in the Vatican Secretariat of State before becoming President of the University of St. Thomas in Houston in 2003.

The Archdiocese of Vancouver is served by 189 diocesan and religious priests, 143 religious Brothers and Sisters, one permanent deacon serving a population of approximately 402,310 Catholics in 90 parishes and missions.

Last Updated on Tuesday, October 20 2009  
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According to Statistics Canada the number of Catholics is close to 13 Million or 44 per cent of the country’s total population.