Archbishop Marcel Damphousse inside Ottawa’s Notre Dame Cathedral. Photo courtesy Archdiocese of Ottawa

Pope makes it official in Ottawa-Cornwall

By 
  • December 9, 2020

OTTAWA -- The official changing of the guard in Ottawa-Cornwall is now complete.

Pope Francis officially elevated Marcel Damphousse to lead the archdiocese Dec. 4, the day after Archbishop Terrence Prendergast oversaw his final Mass as the spiritual leader.

The new archbishop comes into his new role after spending the past few months as the “archbishop-in-waiting,” a situation that has helped Damphousse settle into his new position slowly as Prendergast waited for Pope Francis to accept his retirement.

Damphousse was appointed Coadjutor Archbishop May 6 when Pope Francis established the new archdiocese.

Damphousse, 57, has a long-standing connection to the Ottawa-Cornwall archdiocese. He attended Ottawa’s St. Paul University and also served as Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall from 2012 to 2015 before being appointed Bishop of Sault Ste. Marie in 2015.

Damphousse’s background fits in well with the bilingual nature of the archdiocese. Born in Saint Joseph, Man., Damphousse was ordained a priest in 1991 and has served in several French and English parishes in Ontario and Manitoba.

Damphousse said it is “a joy and a privilege to be called to serve as the second Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall,” and celebrated his first Mass as archbishop Dec. 8.

Prendergast has been very supportive of his successor.

“I believe the Lord has chosen him for this role because of his commitment to the New Evangelization and his other gifts. In the daily Masses in the chapel of the Archbishop’s Residence he presents rich reflections on the Scriptures of the day and our life in this age and these circumstances,” Prendergast said.

“He is a team man, organized and determined. I am convinced his leadership will be a real blessing to all.”

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