Installation ceremony held for 10th Bishop of Antigonish

    On Monday afternoon, St. Ninian Cathedral in Antigonish hosted the installation of the 10th Bishop of Antigonish, Most Rev. Wayne Joseph Kirkpatrick.

    ANTIGONISH: The Diocese of Antigonish has officially ordained its new chief shepherd.

    Most Reverend Wayne Joseph Kirkpatrick was installed as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish during an installation ceremony Monday at St. Ninian Cathedral.

    “I guess being the 10th means I’ll be able to pose that I have an X-Ring,” the newly ordained Bishop joked.

    Pope Francis appointed Bishop Kirkpatrick to the historic Diocese of Antigonish on December 18, 2019, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year.

    Photos by Drake Lowthers
    Antigonish Bishop Wayne Joseph Kirkpatrick (right) shakes StFX interim president Kevin Wamsley’s hand during his installation ceremony Monday at St. Ninian Cathedral.

    Addressing his communion, Bishop Kirkpatrick indicated installation day is a day of great joy and great celebrations.

    “The installation of a new Bishop begins a new chapter in the history of the diocese,” he said. “Today, we begin Chapter 10 in the ongoing and ever-unfolding 175-year history of the Diocese of Antigonish.”

    Bishops representing other diocese participate in hymns during Bishop Kirkpatrick’s ordination ceremony.

    Born in St. Catharines, Bishop Kirkpatrick has served the Archdiocese of Toronto faithfully since his appointment as an auxiliary bishop in 2012.

    “We will miss Bishop Kirkpatrick in the Archdiocese of Toronto where he served with joy and faithfulness,” Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto said. “I invite our entire faith community to join me in offering our prayers as he prepares for his new mission entrusted to him by the Holy Father.”

    A priest displays the official letter from Pope Francis appointing Bishop Kirkpatrick on December 18, 2019 to the Diocese of Antigonish.

    Bishop Kirkpatrick provided pastoral leadership for the Northern Region of the Archdiocese of Toronto. He was also the Episcopal Vicar for Religious Institutes of Men and Women and the Francophone community of the archdiocese.

    Since 2014, Bishop Kirkpatrick has been President of St. Augustine Seminary — he is also an honorary trustee of the York Catholic District School Board.

    Priests watch as Most Rev. Wayne Joseph Kirkpatrick is ordained as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish on Monday.

    Before coming to the Archdiocese of Toronto, Bishop Kirkpatrick served in the Diocese of St. Catharines — his hometown — for more than 20-years. He entered the priesthood in 1984 after studying at University of Waterloo’s St. Jerome’s College and St. Augustine’s Seminary. In 1990, he received a Licentiate (Masters) in Canon Law from Saint Paul University in Ottawa.

    Bishop Kirkpatrick succeeds Bishop Brian Dunn, who has been appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth, who he first met in September of 1988.

    “I first met Archbishop Dunn in Ottawa, we were both studying canon law, and I remember very clearly during a break from class, he offered to buy me a cup of coffee,” he recalled. “Much has happened since our first meeting.”

    A priest is seen praying during the ordaination of Bishop Kirkpatrick on Monday.

    Bishop Dunn couldn’t have been happier after a 10-year leadership with the Diocese of Antigonish to pass the duty on to a life-long friend like Bishop Kirkpatick.

    “I’m filled with joy that you were chosen and sent by Holy Father Pope Francis,” Dunn said. “We’ve known each other for the past 30-years, and I look forward to supporting you in your new role.”

    In the ceremonial installation, a priest parades the Book of Gospels prior to Bishop Kirkpatrick reading from it.

    Prior to becoming bishop, Kirkpatrick served as: prison chaplain; vice chancellor; associate judicial vicar of the regional tribunal of Toronto; parish priest; chancellor; diocesan bursar; diocesan consultor; president of the presbyteral council; moderator of the Curia; consultor of the executive board of the English-speaking association of canon law; member of the executive board of insurance of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Ontario; and president of the Clergy Aid Society.

    “So may God bless all,” Bishop Kirkpatrick said. “Especially those who are trusting me with ministry services to the people of God in this great and glorious Diocese of Antigonish.”

    For more on former Antigonish Bishop Brian Dunn, check out:

    On Monday afternoon, St. Ninian Cathedral in Antigonish hosted the installation of the 10th Bishop of Antigonish, Most Rev. Wayne Joseph Kirkpatrick.