By Deborah Gyapong
Canadian Catholic News
The Holy Father may have moved to his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, but that has not stopped announcements of new episcopal appointments as the Catholic Church in Canada enjoys the dog days of summer.
On July 14, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Father Gregory Bittman as auxiliary bishop of the Edmonton archdiocese, where he has been serving as judicial vicar and chancellor. Born in March 1961 in Edmonton, Bishop Bittman was ordained to the priesthood in 1996. He has a Master’s of Divinity from Christ the King Seminary in Mission, B.C. and a JCL Degree in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America.
As chancellor and vicar general, he was Ex-Officio member of the College of Consultors, the Council of Priests, the Priests’ Personnel Committee, the Project Review Board and the Finance Council in the archdiocese.
Bishop Bittman also brings experience as a spiritual director to seminarians. He will serve with Archbishop Richard Smith who is also president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
On June 28, the pope appointed Father Marcel Damphousse as Bishop of Alexandria- Cornwall. Since, 2008, Bishop Damphousse had been rector of the cathedral in the Archdiocese of Saint - Boniface, Manitoba where he was also a member of the diocesan finance committee and commission for liturgy.
Born in 1963 in Saint-Joseph, Manitoba, Bishop Damphousse was ordained a priest in 1991 for the Saint-Boniface archdiocese. He has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University College of Saint Boniface and studied theology at Saint Paul University, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in 1989. He went on to obtain a licentiate in spiritual theology from the Teresianum in Rome.
Bishop Damphousse taught at the Manitoba Catholic School of Evangelization for a number of years, served as chaplain at St. Boniface Diocesan High school for five years, and as vocations director for more than 12 years.
He will fill the vacancy left by Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher who left Alexandria-Cornwall when he was appointed Archbishop of Gatineau, Quebec.
On July 16, the Pope also accepted the resignation due to health reasons of Keewatin—Le Pas Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie and appointed the archdiocese’s vicar general and Chancellor Father William Stang as Apostolic Administrator.
There remaining vacancies in the Timmons diocese in Ontario and auxiliary bishop positions in Quebec and Montreal.