B.C. eparch appointed bishop in London, UK

Bishop Ken Nowakowski of the Ukrainian Diocese of New Westminster has been appointed bishop of the Eparchy of the Holy Family in London, England. (Caritas Ukraine -CCN)

By B.C. Catholic Staff, Canadian Catholic News

With files from Grandin Media

[Vancouver – CCN] – Bishop Ken Nowakowski, who has shepherded the Ukrainian Eparchy of New Westminster since 2007, has been appointed bishop of the Eparchy of the Holy Family in London, England.

The appointment by Pope Francis was announced Jan. 15. The Holy Father appointed Bishop David Motiuk of the Eparchy of Edmonton as apostolic administrator of the New Westminster eparchy.

In a letter to the faithful, Bishop Nowakowski offered his thanks for their support over his 12 years as bishop.

“In this time, I have come to know most of the faithful of the Eparchy and have had the wonderful opportunity of journeying in faith together with you — our clergy, religious and the lay-faithful. The years have truly gone by very quickly for me,” said Bishop Nowakowski, who was born in North Battleford and served as chancellor of the Eparchy of Saskatoon.

“Although I am a prairie boy, I have come to love the ocean, the mountains and the cities and towns where our parishes are located,” said. “The direction that we have taken over the last decade has been to ensure that we are an ever-vibrant Eparchy, with vibrant parishes, dedicated clergy and active lay-faithful.”

He also expressed thanks for “the support and kindness that our Eparchy and I personally received from my neighbours and brothers in faith, the Roman Catholic Bishops of British Columbia and Yukon.”

Bishop Nowakowski, 61, was ordained to the priesthood in the Eparchy of Saskatoon on Aug. 19, 1989. He obtained degrees from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto and a degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.

Nowakowski is a former rector of Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Seminary. At a national level, he is also chairman of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Standing Committee for Development and Peace/Caritas Canada.

In his letter, Nowakowski asked for prayers as he makes the move to London.

“Over the next few weeks I will need to address many challenges related to my move from New Westminster to Westminster proper in the city of London. On my part, I assure you of my continued prayers for you. And if in your travels you find yourself in London, please let me know so that I can welcome you!”

News is bittersweet for Ukrainian Catholic Bishop

Bishop Ken Nowakowski says the news that he would be leaving Canada for England came as “bittersweet,” especially after shepherding 7,800 Ukrainian Catholics of the Eparchy of New Westminster for more than a decade.

“I have been here for 12 and a half years and I have come to love and appreciate the faithful of the Eparchy of New Westminster and the clergy,” he said in an interview with The B.C. Catholic.

The joyful part, he said, is “I am very much looking forward to the challenges and blessings of being the bishop” for Ukrainian Catholics in the United Kingdom.

While he has been a frequent visitor to his new assignment, he admits there will much for him to learn as he looks after Ukrainian Catholics in Great Britain, Scotland, Wales, England, and Northern Ireland.

The scales are certainly different. It may be a smaller territory, but it has many more parishes, including a cathedral parish where large sections of street have to be blocked off for the thousands of people who attend Easter services, he said.

Bishop David Motiuk of the Eparchy of Edmonton has been named apostolic administrator of the New Westminster eparchy but will continue to work from Edmonton, Bishop Nowakowski said, adding Bishop Motiuk is very familiar with New Westminster, which historically was part of the Edmonton eparchy until 1974.

The next meeting of the Bishops of the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church is in September, where Bishop Nowakowski expects there will be discussion of possible candidates to succeed him. Names will be submitted to the Pope, but Bishop Nowakowski says he’d be surprised if a decision were made in under a year.

He expects to relocate to London by March, with an installation date following soon after.