Pope Francis has named Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of New Westminster, B.C to be the new bishop of the Eparchy of the Holy Family of London, England.
The Vatican announced Bishop Nowakowski’s appointment Jan. 15. Edmonton Bishop David Motiuk has been appointed apostolic administrator of the New Westminister Eparchy until Bishop Nowakowski’s successor is named.
In a letter to the faithful, Bishop Nowakowski thanked them for their support over his 12 ½ years as bishop.
“In this time, I have come to know most of the faithful of the Eparchy and have had the wonderful opportunity of journeying in faith together with you ‑ our clergy, religious and the lay-faithful. The years have truly gone by very quickly for me,” said Bishop Nowakowski, who was born in North Battleford and served as chancellor of the Eparchy of Saskatoon.
“Although I am a prairie boy, I have come to love the ocean, the mountains and the cities and towns where our parishes are located,” said. “The direction that we have taken over the last decade has been to ensure that we are an ever-vibrant Eparchy, with vibrant parishes, dedicated clergy and active lay-faithful.”
Bishop Nowakowski, 61, had led the B.C. diocese since 2007. He ordained to the priesthood in the Eparchy of Saskatoon on Aug. 19, 1989. Nowakowski obtained degrees from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto and a degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.
Nowakowski is a former rector of Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Seminary. At a national level, he is also chairman of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Standing Committee for Development and Peace/Caritas Canada.
In his letter Bishop Nowakowski asked for prayers as he makes the move to London.
“Over the next few weeks I will need to address many challenges related to my move from New Westminster to Westminster proper in the city of London. On my part, I assure you of my continued prayers for you. And if in your travels you find yourself in London, please let me know so that I can welcome you!
Also on Jan. 15, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of 76-year-old Bishop Peter Stasiuk, who had led the Eparchy of Sts. Peter and Paul of Melbourne since early 1993.
To succeed Bishop Stasiuk, the pope named Redemptorist Father Mykola Bychok, who will celebrate his 40th birthday Feb. 13.
Bishop-designate Bychok, who was born in Ternopil, Ukraine, was serving at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic parish in Newark, New Jersey, at the time of his appointment. He entered the Redemptorist order in 1997 and was ordained to the priesthood in 2005.
-With files from Grandin Media