Basilian Father Robert Kasun, seen here on June 10, has been appointed the newest auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto. Photo/Courtesy of the Archdiocese of Toronto, Facebook

Pope appoints Fr. Kasun new auxiliary bishop for Toronto

  • June 17, 2016

TORONTO – A Basilian priest who is no stranger to the city of Toronto will be joining the archdiocese as its new auxiliary bishop.

Basilian Father Robert Kasun was appointed today by Pope Francis as the fourth auxiliary bishop for Canada’s largest diocese. Bishop-designate Kasun comes to the archdiocese where he did much of his post-secondary studies and joins Bishops John Boissonneau, Vincent Nguyen and Wayne Kirkpatrick as auxiliaries to the archbishop, Cardinal Thomas Collins.

Kasun said he was surprised and humbled to learn that Pope Francis had requested his service as a spiritual shepherd to the people of the Archdiocese of Toronto.

"I have found my new appointment very difficult to understand and accept, but I will do my best, with the help of God's grace, to serve the people in the Archdiocese of Toronto,” he said.

The cardinal welcomed the announcement.

“We are grateful to the Holy Father for the appointment of Bishop-designate Kasun,” said Collins. “I am excited to welcome him to the Archdiocese of Toronto and know that he will make a profound impact in our efforts to evangelize, inspire and care for God’s people. I invite our entire faith community to join me in offering our prayers and best wishes as he prepares to join us soon.”

Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith was also delighted by the appointment.

“In the service of his people Fr. Kasun has demonstrated a true pastor's heart, especially for the needy and neglected,” said Smith. “The Archdiocese of Toronto is blessed to receive the many gifts that he will bring to the exercise of his episcopal ministry.”

The 64-year-old Kasun comes to Toronto from the Edmonton archdiocese where he was pastor of St. Alphonsus-St. Clare parish, two inner city parishes that have been twinned.

Born in Cudworth, Sask., Kasun joined the Basilians out of university. Following his novitiate, he continued his studies, earning a Master’s of Divinity from the University of St. Michael’s College, and from there earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in education from the University of Toronto.

He was ordained in 1978 and began his teaching ministry in schools operated by the Basilians, including schools in Sudbury, Ont., and Toronto’s St. Michael’s College School.

Kasun has served on the General Council of the Basilian Fathers and as regional representative for western Canada, as well as vice-president of the then Western Region of the Canadian Religious Conference. He has also been a member of the executive committee of the Board of Governors for St. Mary’s University College in Calgary and a member of the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Calgary.

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