Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Edmonton Auxiliary Gregory Bittman named Bishop of Nelson Mgr Bittman Evêque de Nelson


It was announced today in Rome that Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Gregory Bittman, currently Auxiliary Bishop of Edmonton (Alberta), as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Nelson (British Columbia),

*****



Aujourd'hui on a annoncé que Sa Sainteté le pape François a nommé Mgr Gregory Bittman, actuellement évêque auxiliaire d’Edmonton (Alberta) comme nouvel évêque du diocèse de Nelson.(Colombie-Brittanique). 

*****

From the Edmonton archdiocesan website:

Gregory J. Bittman was born on March 5, 1961, in Edmonton, the eldest of three boys. He attended St. Edmund School and St. Joseph High School before earning a diploma in nursing from the Misericordia Hospital School of Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Alberta. He worked as a nurse for several years before entering the seminary to study for the priesthood.

In 1991, he obtained a Master’s of Divinity Degree from Christ the King Seminary in Mission, B.C., and in 2009, he obtained a Licentiate 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.

He began his priestly ministry as Associate Pastor of Holy Family Parish in St. Albert and Administrator of Sacred Heart Parish, Gibbons (1996-97), then was appointed Pastor of Our Lady of the Prairies Parish in Daysland (1997-99), Christ-King Parish in Stettler (1999-2000), and the parishes of St. Agnes and St. Anthony, Edmonton (2000-01).

Father Bittman is a pianist, amateur organist and avid runner. He holds a black belt in karate and enjoys scuba diving. He is known for his work as an apprentice home renovator as well as being a doting uncle to 10 nieces and nephews.

Father Bittman was appointed Chancellor of the Archdiocese in 2000 and was 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 also served as Spiritual Director to seminarians over the last few years.

Father Bittman was appointed the first Auxiliary Bishop of Edmonton by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on July 14, 2012. He was ordained to the episcopate on September 2012, the Feast of St. Gregory the Great, at St. Joseph's Basilica.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Reverend Reginal MacNeil dies at 95, in this his 70th year as a priest


Father Reginald Mac Neil died on January 31, 2018 at the age of 95 years.  Born in Glace Bay, N.S., on March 24, 1922, he was the son of late Michael J. Mac Neil and Mary Margaret O'Keefe.

Surviving is his sister, Mrs. Patricia Maria Gallant (David). He is also survived by Colette Lemoine, who cared for him during his retirement years. Two brothers, Rev Bernard J. Mac Neil of Sydney, N.S. and James O'Keefe Mac Neil of Dorval, Qc predeceased him. Also surviving are eight nieces and nephews, twelve grandnieces and nephews and four great- grandnephews.

A graduate of St Ann's High School, Glace Bay High School and St. Francis Xavier University, after studies at the Holy Heart Seminary in Halifax he was ordained as a Catholic priest on May 23, 1948.

The first nine years of his ministry were in Nova-Scotia at Holy Redeemer Parish in Sydney, followed by short terms at Boisdale, New Glasgow and West Bay.

In 1957, Father MacNeil enlisted as a Catholic Chaplain in the Royal Canadian Airforce and served in Goose Bay, Labrador; Comox, B.C.; Uplands, Ottawa; Winnipeg, Manitoba, as well as Zweibreüken and Lahr in Germany. He completed his military service at National Defense Headquarters in Ottawa and retired in 1980 with the rank of Colonel. In 1984 he was inducted into the St. Francis Xavier University Sports Hall of Fame.

Remaining in Ottawa after retirement from the military Father Reg served as Spiritual Director of the Ottawa Cursillo Movement for 25 years, assisted at Holy Cross Parish, was Chaplain at St Joseph's Junior High School and served at the Army Cadet Camp in Vernon, B.C. He also assisted at Our Lady of Fatima for 20 years and during his last years of ministry he served the seniors at The Westwood Living in Ottawa. He also continued studies at St. Paul University in Scripture and Theology, wrote a religion column for the Ottawa Citizen for eight years and also wrote for Novalis publications: Living with Christ, Homiletic Service as well as for the Cursillo NewsLetter during the same period.


The Mass of Christian Funeral took place this morning, Saturday February 10, at Our Lady of Fatima Church with Archbishop Prendergast presiding, many priests concelebrating and deacons, religious sisters and many lay people assisting. Father Harold MacNeil, who is also from Glace Bay gave the homily and Most Reverend Brian Dunn, Bishop of Antigonish presided at the burial at Hope Cemetery this afternoon.

Memorial donations to the Ottawa Cursillo Movement or to the Shepherds of Good Hope would be appreciated.

Requiescat in pace.