By Most Rev. Richard W. Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

"Bishop Greg"

That's how he is referred to around here.

Today it was announced that the Holy Father Pope Francis has named the Most Reverend Gregory Bittman as Bishop of Nelson, in the province of British Columbia. In the nearly six years that he has served as the Auxiliary Bishop of Edmonton, he has been for us "Bishop Greg." That says a lot about the love that the people of this Archdiocese have long had for this good man of God.

There is no doubt that the Archdiocese of Edmonton will miss his presence and ministry. Whether in the capacity of Pastor, Chancellor or Auxiliary Bishop, Bishop Greg has served God's people with devotion, warmth and joy. For me personally, he has been my most trusted advisor, and I have relied heavily and confidently upon his counsel. For these reasons, it is difficult for us to see him move on to another place.

At the same time those same reasons lead us to rejoice for the people of the Diocese of Nelson. They are about to receive an excellent Bishop to serve as their spiritual Father and Shepherd. This appointment to Nelson constitutes, I would say, a continuity of excellence, since he is succeeding Bishop John Corriveau, whose capacity for clear and effective leadership has long been held in high esteem by his brother Bishops.

A few tips for the people of Bishop Greg's new Diocese: look for him not only in Church or the office, but also on whatever jogging trails you have; make sure the office is well stocked with coffee and food, especially sweets; do not make any jokes about cats; and if he hasn't yet shown up for an event one minute before it starts, don't worry - he'll be there, and on time.

Bishop Greg, thank you for your exemplary service to the people of the Archdiocese of Edmonton. It is clear to us that you are a man who loves the Lord, loves the Church and loves God's people. We wish you God's abundant blessings. Know that you undertake your new episcopal responsibilities surrounded by our prayers, gratitude and support.


Praying together at the Red Mass in 2017