Bishop Appointed for the Diocese of Sault Ste-MarieThursday, October 22 2020
Today, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed the Most Reverend Thomas Dowd Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste-Marie. At the time of his appointment, Bishop Dowd was serving as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Montréal. Bishop Dowd will assume the pastoral governance of the Diocese currently under the care of Monsignor Jean-Paul É. Jolicoeur, H.P., who has been its Diocesan Administrator following the appointment of the Most Reverend Marcel Damphousse as Coadjutor Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall on 6 May 2020.
Bishop Dowd was born in Montréal on 11 September 1970. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Concordia University prior to entering the Grand Séminaire de Montréal to pursue his theological studies and was ordained to the priesthood on 7 December 2001. Following his ordination, he served in pastoral ministry for the Archdiocese of Montréal in various parishes from 2001 to 2005. In this same period, Bishop Dowd furthered his studies, obtaining a Master’s of Divinity from the Grand Séminaire de Montréal (2002), a Licentiate in Theology from the University of Montréal (2002) and later a licentiate in canon law from the Institut de droit canonique at the Université de Strasbourg (2014). He likewise served as a course lecturer in various subject areas at Concordia University, the Grand Séminaire de Montréal and McGill University. From 2006 to 2011, he served as the Associate Director of the Office of Pastoral Personnel for the Archdiocese. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Montréal on 11 July 2011 and ordained Bishop at Montréal on 10 September 2011. As Auxiliary Bishop, he served as the Episcopal Vicar for the English-speaking faithful and the Director of the Office for English Pastoral Services.
As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Bishop Dowd serves as a member of the Orthodox-Catholic Bishops’ Dialogue, as the Bishop Promoter for the Maritime Ministry, formerly known as the Apostleship of the Sea Canada (Stella Maris) and also as a member of the CCCB Ad hoc Committee on Maritime Ministry. He was appointed as a member of the Standing Committee on Canon Law in 2017, and since 2019 has served as its Chairman. He was previously a member of the then Standing Committee for Communications (2014-2016). In October 2018, Bishop Dowd was an English Sector Delegate for the CCCB to the 15th Ordinary Synod of Bishops on “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment”.
The Diocese of Sault Ste-Marie has 92 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 129,266 served by 67 diocesan priests, 21 priests and 108 Sisters who are members of institutes of consecrated life, as well as 56 permanent deacons.