New merged diocese to be named Ottawa-Cornwall
Roman Catholics in the area were recently advised that their new diocese will be called the Archdiocese of Ottawa Cornwall when the Alexandria-Cornwall and Ottawa districts are formally amalgamated.
The name was chosen in consultation with clergy of both dioceses, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast writes in a message to parishioners.
“The process of amalgamation under canon and civil law is both lengthy and complex. It will require different levels of consultations. Our aim is to report periodically to the faithful of the Diocese and the Archdiocese as to our progress and the key decisions that have been reached,” he says.
The union has been in the works for more than three years.
Following the departure of Bishop Marcel Damphousse for the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, Archbishop Prendergast was appointed in January of 2016 as the Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall. During the next two and a half years, Archbishop Prendergast consulted with various parties in the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall to determine whether the Diocese would be best served with a new bishop or by amalgamation with the Archdiocese of Ottawa.
In 2018, Pope Francis appointed Msgr. Prendergast, who was the head of the Ottawa diocese, archbishop of Alexandria-Cornwall.
Since late 2018, Auxiliary Bishop Guy Desrochers has been working with Msgr. Prendergast on the merger.
“To facilitate and ensure as smooth a transition as possible, the two Dioceses recently put together their respective teams to help with the progress toward a unified dioceses,” the archbishop’s communiqué reads.
Founded in 1890, AlexandriaCornwall includes 27 parishes and missions, with 29 priests serving 60,000 people.