Episcopal Appointment for the Diocese of Charlottetown

Sunday, April 2, 2023

2 April 2023 – Ottawa – Today, His Holiness Pope Francis named the Most Reverend Joseph Dabrowski, C.S.M.A., as the fourteenth Bishop of Charlottetown. At the time of his appointment, Bishop Dabrowski was serving as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of London. He succeeds the Most Reverend Richard Grecco, who exercised pastoral responsibility for the Diocese of Charlottetown from 2009 until 2021.

Following Bishop Grecco’s retirement, the Rev. Brian MacDougall served as Diocesan Administrator of Charlottetown. He had been Vicar General and serves a number of parishes in Morell, P.E.I.

Bishop Joseph Dabrowski was born in 1964, the second of five children. The son of Czesława and Ludwik, he grew up in Wysoka Strzyżowska, a small village in the south of Poland. After graduating from a high school run by the Michaelite Fathers, he entered the Michaelite religious order. After completing the Novitiate, he made his first profession in 1982. After a year of internship in Poland, he was selected to study in Italy at the Institute of Philosophy and Theology of Saint Peter in Viterbo. He graduated from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome, obtaining a Master of Divinity degree.

He was ordained to the priesthood on 4 May 1991 at the Pontifical Sanctuary of Santa Maria ad Rupes, Italy. Four days later, he was assigned to join the Michaelite Fathers’ community in London, Ontario. He served as Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Czestochowa in London from 1992-1993; St. Michael in Leamington from 1993-1996; St. Pius X (now Holy Family) in London from 1996-1997; and St. Mary in the Diocese of London from 1997-1998.

In 1998, he was named Pastor of St. Mary’s Parish, where he served until he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of London. His episcopal ordination took place on 14 April 2015 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter in London. The Most Reverend Ronald Peter Fabbro, C.S.B., Bishop of London, presided. The then Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, the Most Reverend Luigi Bonazzi, was present.

In the Michaelite community, Bishop Joseph has served as Vice Superior, Vice Provincial, and Provincial of the North American Vice Province.

At the Diocesan level, Bishop Dabrowski has served on the Council of Priests, the Ministry to Priests Team, the advisory board for St. Peter’s Cemetery, and the Ethnic Communities Committee, as well as acting as Spiritual Director for St. Peter’s Seminary.

As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Dabrowski was appointed as Catholic Co-Chair to the Roman Catholic / Evangelical Church Dialogue (Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity), and as a member of the Episcopal Commission for Evangelization and Catechesis. As a member of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario, he was appointed to serve on the Social Affairs Commission, and act as Bishop Liaison to the Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education (OAPCE).

He speaks English, Polish, Italian, Spanish, and has previously studied French, Russian, and Latin.

Bishop Richard Grecco was installed as the thirteenth Bishop of Charlottetown on 21 September 2009 in St. Dunstan’s Basilica in the presence of the Most Rev. Anthony Mancini, then Archbishop of Halifax. He served the Diocese until 4 March 2021, when Pope Francis accepted his resignation since he had reached the usual retirement age of 75.

Born in 1946, Bishop Grecco lived his early years in Holy Rosary Parish, Thorold, Ontario. Ordained to the priesthood in 1973 for service in the Diocese of St. Catharines, he served in a wide range of ministries, both within his own diocese and beyond. From 1981-1988, he was a lecturer in Theology at St. Augustine’s Seminary, Scarborough, Ontario. From 1988 to 1992, he was a lecturer in Christian Ethics at the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto. Bishop Grecco taught Moral Theology at St. Joseph’s College, University of Alberta, 1992-1994. Among other pastoral assignments, from 1994-1998, he was pastor of St. Alfred’s Parish, St. Catharines. He was Vicar General of the Diocese from 1995 to 1998.

Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of London in 1997, he was ordained to the episcopate on 2 February 1998 at St. Catharines by Bishop Thomas B. Fulton. He served as Auxiliary Bishop of London until 2001, when he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Toronto, where he served until 2009.

Bishop Grecco was vice-president of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario from 2004-2008.

He served on a number of Commissions and Committees of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, including, among others, the National Council for Development and Peace, the Episcopal Commission for Evangelization of Peoples, the Episcopal Commission for Christian Education, and the National Advisory Committee on Adult Education.

The Catholic population of the Diocese of Charlottetown is 65,000. There are 47 parishes, served by 36 priests and a great number of dedicated lay women and men.

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