New Bishop appointed for local Roman Catholic Diocese

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Nelson, which encompasses the East Kootenay, has been appointed a new bishop.

In February, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend John Corriveau, and appointed the Most Reverend Gregory Bittman to take over the position as Bishop of the Diocese of Nelson.

At the time of his appointment, Bishop Bittman was Auxiliary Bishop of Edmonton.

Bishop Corriveau was Bishop of the Diocese of Nelson for the past ten years. He had submitted his resignation to the Pope upon reaching the age of 75, as required by the Code of Canon Law.

Bishop Gregory Bittman was born on 5 March 1961, in Edmonton. Before his seminary studies, he had earned a diploma in nursing and a bachelor of science in nursing. In 1991 he obtained a Master’s of Divinity from Christ the King Seminary, Mission, B.C., and in 2009 a licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

He was ordained to the priesthood on 15 August 1996 for the Archdiocese of Edmonton.

He has been an ex-officio member of the College of Consultors, the Council of Priests, the Priests’ Personnel Committee, the Project Review Board and the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Edmonton. He has also served as spiritual director to seminarians.

As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishop (CCCB), Bishop Bittman has served on the Standing Committee on Canon Law as member (2014-2017) and as Chairman since 2017.

According to the CCCB’s 2018 Directory, the Diocese of Nelson has 54 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 78,000 served by 28 diocesan priests, four priests who are members of institutes of consecrated life, four religious Sisters who are members of religious institutes, as well as three lay pastoral workers.

This diocese covers two time zones — with the East Kootenay and Columbia Valley on Mountain Time and the rest on Pacific time — and supports seven Catholic schools, including St. Mary’s Catholic Independent School in Cranbrook.

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