Amalgamation of Archdiocese of Ottawa and Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall into new Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall and Announcement of Episcopal Appointments

Wednesday, May 06 2020

Ottawa – Today, His Holiness Pope Francis announced the amalgamation of the Archdiocese of Ottawa and the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall into one ecclesiastical circumscription, creating the new Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall. At the same time, the Holy Father announced the episcopal appointments for the new Archdiocese. The Most Reverend Terrence J. Prendergast, S.J. currently Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ottawa and Bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall, was appointed Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall, and the Most Reverend Marcel Damphousse, currently Bishop of Sault Ste- Marie, was named as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall. As Coadjutor Archbishop, he will assist the Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall and succeed Archbishop Prendergast when his resignation is accepted by the Holy Father.

The creation of the new Archdiocese follows years of study, reflection and consultation to consider the possibility of amalgamation of the two former dioceses. At the time of his appointment as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall in January 2016, Archbishop Prendergast was given the mandate of making a recommendation as to the possibility of a merger of the two dioceses. In April 2018, Pope Francis united the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall with the Archdiocese of Ottawa “in persona episcopi” (that is, in the person of the Bishop) and named Archbishop Prendergast also as Bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall.

Appointed in 2007, Archbishop Prendergast has served the Archdiocese of Ottawa for the past 13 years. Prior to his appointment to Ottawa, he served as Archbishop of Halifax from 1998 to 2007 and as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Yarmouth from 2002 to 2007. He was ordained to the episcopate in April 1995 after being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto where he served until 1998.

Bishop Damphousse has served the Diocese of Sault Ste-Marie since 2015 and previously served as Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall from 2012 to 2015, following his appointment and ordination to the episcopate in September 2012.

The newly created Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall has a combined total of 132 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 454,515 served by 144 diocesan priests, 105 priests who are members of institutes of consecrated life, 94 permanent deacons, as well as 12 Brothers and 467 Sisters who are members of institutes of consecrated life, in addition to 12 lay pastoral assistants.