Official canonical amalgamation of the Archdiocese of Ottawa and the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall

FROM Archbishop Prendergast
DATE: May 6, 2020

Today, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, announced the official canonical amalgamation of the Archdiocese of Ottawa and the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall into one ecclesiastical circumscription, creating the new Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall. The decree takes effect on May 6, 2020.

The Holy Father also announced that I will become the first Archbishop of the newly created archdiocese.

His Excellency the Most Rev. Marcel Damphousse, currently Bishop of Sault Ste. Marie, has been appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall.

His Excellency the Most Rev. Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R., currently auxiliary bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall, has been named Bishop for the Diocese of Pembroke.

A new logo has been created for the new Archdiocese (visit the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall to see the new logo).

History of this Amalgamation

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., who at the time was the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ottawa, was named the Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall on January 16, 2016. At that time, he was tasked with making a recommendation about the possible amalgamation of the two dioceses.

Over the following years, a series of consultations was held in the two dioceses and a recommendation was sent to the Vatican in June 2017.

On April 27, 2018, it was announced that Pope Francis had united the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall to the Archdiocese of Ottawa “in the person of the bishop.” Thus Archbishop Prendergast became the ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall.

On December 12, 2018, Father Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R. was named the auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall.

In early 2019, a Transition Committee was struck consisting of key representatives of both dioceses. Over the past year, they have been meeting to discuss and work out the various aspects of uniting the two dioceses into the new Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall.

Although the canonical amalgamation has now been announced, the civil amalgamation will take place several months from now following an Act of Parliament.

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Visit the Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall for more information about the diocesan amalgamation.

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