By Chris Pidwerbeski, Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon Communications
[Catholic Saskatoon News] – His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Bryan Bayda CSsR, as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada while remaining Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy Saskatoon.
The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the eparchy of Toronto of the Ukrainians, presented by Bishop Stephen Victor Chmilar D.D.
The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada has 55 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 23,700 served by 62 diocesan priests, three priests and 18 Sisters who are members of institutes of consecrated life, as well as 16 permanent deacons.
The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy Saskatoon has 69 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 5,800 served by 19 diocesan priests, seven priests and 15 Sisters who are members of institutes of consecrated life, as well as three permanent deacons.
In a letter to the clergy, religious and faithful of the Eparchy of Saskatoon Nov. 10, 2019, Bishop Bayda wrote:
“As you have already come to know, I have been given responsibilities in addition to being the Eparch of Saskatoon. I spent many hours on the phone yesterday responding to emails and prayers of support as I accepted the appointment from the Holy Father as Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada. I am humbled by this appointment and ask for everyone’s prayerful support for both Eparchies as some transitions take place, adjusting to serving the faithful, religious and clergy of both jurisdictions.
“Much has to be learned, one from the other, and I trust your patience and understanding will make this transition more sustainable in the future months.
“I certainly remain the Eparch of Saskatoon and will keep my residence and contact information here in Saskatoon, as well as other centres in Saskatchewan. However, as I learn of the needs in the Eparchy of Toronto, I will make decisions about how to address those needs which will place demands on my time and attention, likely spending significant periods of time in the east with a temporary residence as well as the west at St. Volodymyr’s Villa my primary residence. I hope to begin evaluating those needs as soon as this week with Emeritus of Toronto Bishop Stephen Chmilar and other clergy and staff in the Eparchy of Toronto.
“Thank you for your patience and understanding. Let us look with anticipation how both eparchies are a gift to each other from God.”