Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the Fr. Gregory Bittman as Auxiliary Bishop of Edmonton. He will assist Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith, who is also President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“This is a great blessing for our entire Archdiocesan family, and we thank Bishop-Elect Bittman for his generous response to this call from the Holy Father. Please join with me in praying for His Excellency's episcopal ministry, which I know will bear great fruit not only for us but also for the Church in Canada.”, Smith stated in an archdiocesan press release.
The Bishop-Elect was born on March 5, 1961, in Edmonton. In 1991, he obtained a Master’s of Divinity Degree from Christ the King Seminary in Mission BC, and in 2009, he obtained a JCL Degree in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America. He was ordained to the priesthood on August 15, 1996 at St. Joseph’s Basilica by Archbishop Joseph MacNeil.
Bittman began his career as Associate Pastor of Holy Family Parish in St. Albert and Administrator of Sacred Heart Parish, Gibbons, then was appointed Pastor of Our Lady of the Prairies Parish in Daysland, Christ-King Parish in Stettler, and the parishes of St. Agnes and St. Anthony, Edmonton.
He was appointed Chancellor of the Archdiocese in 2000 and named as Judicial Vicar in 2009. He is an Ex-Officio member of the College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council, the Clergy Personnel Committee, the Project Review Board and the Finance Committee in the Archdiocese of Edmonton. He has been serving as the Spiritual Director to seminarians over the past few years.
Bittman will be ordained to the episcopate on Monday, September 3, 7 p.m. at St. Joseph's Basilica.
The Archdiocese of Edmonton has 126 parishes, with a Catholic population of 378,545, served by 178 priests, 24 permanent deacons, 271 religious Sisters and Brothers, and 42 lay pastoral worker