Pope Francis appoints bishop for Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon

Fr. Michael Smolinski, CSsR was appointed Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon on Nov. 30, 2023. (Photo from Eparchy of Saskatoon Facebook page)

Vatican announces appointment of Bishop-elect Fr. Michael Smolinski, CSsR

By Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops communications office

Pope Francis has appointed Fr. Michael Smolinski, CSsR, as the new bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon. Bishop-elect Smolinski is presently serving as provincial superior of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Province of Canada.

Smolinski was born Sept. 10, 1972 and completed primary and secondary education at Greater Saskatoon Catholic schools (Bishop Pocock Elementary and Holy Cross High School) graduating in 1990. He obtained a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1994.

Smolinski obtained a Master of Divinity degree in 2002 from the University of St. Michael’s College through the Faculty of Theology. He was ordained a priest on July 5, 2003.

He continued studies to earn a Certificate in Eastern Christian Studies in 2023 at the University of St. Paul/Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies.

He worked  as Youth Ministry Coordinator for the Edmonton Eparchy (1994-1996). A few years later, he served as the assistant pastor at St. Joseph Ukrainian Church in Winnipeg (2003-2005).  He worked as director at The Welcome Home (Redemptorist Inner-City Mission) in Winnipeg from 2015 to 2019.

Smolinski was pastor at Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Saskatoon from 2015 to 2019. He also served as the Extraordinary Provincial Council Member and Ordinary Provincial Council Member in the former Redemptorist Province of Yorkton and as Consultor in the Eparchy of Saskatoon (2015-2019).

He worked as coordinator of the Yorkton region (Province of Canada) and assistant pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Saskatoon from 2019 to 2022.

Smolinski was elected provincial superior of the Redemptorist Province of Canada on 9 November 2022.

The date of his enthronement as bishop of the Saskatoon Eparchy will be announced at a later date.

Bishop-Elect Smolinski will replace the current apostolic administrator, Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak, OSBM, Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of Canada. Huculak has served as apostolic administrator since previous Eparchial Bishop of Saskatoon Most Rev. Bryan Bayda was appointed bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada in April 2022.

The Eparchy of Saskatoon is the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the province of Saskatchewan. The Eparchy is made up of about 90 parishes, 15 eparchial priests, eight priests serving from monastic communities or religious orders, three deacons, 18 religious sisters, and some 3,100 Catholic lay people. There is also one Catholic school with a Ukrainian bilingual program, one nursing home run by the Sisters of St. Joseph, and three senior citizens’ residences.