At the same time, the Holy Father appointed Archbishop Gervais as the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Ottawa until the new Archbishop takes canonical possession of his episcopal see. Most Reverend Marcel Gervais, who has been Archbishop of Ottawa since 1989, will retire once his successor officially begins, on a date yet to be determined. Archbishop Gervais had offered his letter of resignation to the Holy Father in September 2006, as required by the Code of Canon Law when Bishops reach 75 years of age.
Archbishop Prendergast was born in Montreal in 1944. A member of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) since 1961, he was ordained priest on 10 June 1972. In 1995, Pope John Paul II named him Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto. Four years later, he was appointed Archbishop of Halifax, and in 2002 also became Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Yarmouth.
Archbishop Prendergast holds a BA from Fordham University, New York, a master's degree as well as a licentiate in theology, and also a doctorate in Scripture, from Regis College, Toronto, where he taught and was also dean. He has served as visiting professor of Scripture in various institutions, including the renowned École biblique et archéologique of Jerusalem.
As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Archbishop Prendergast has served on a number of organizations, committees and commissions. He is currently a member of the Commission for Theology.
The Archdiocese of Ottawa has 142 diocesan priests, 175 priests who are members of religious communities, 70 permanent deacons, 879 religious Brothers and Sisters, and 18 lay pastoral workers, serving some 400,000 Catholics in 111 parishes and missions.