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Christian Riesbeck, an SPU alumnus, will be ordained a bishop on Wednesday!

Bishop-elect Christian Riesbeck, CC, a priest of the Companions of the Cross in the Archdiocese of Ottawa, will be ordained a bishop on Wednesday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica – 385 Sussex Drive, Ottawa. All are welcome to attend.


The ordination ceremony will begin with a procession, the greeting and the Liturgy of the Word – which includes a homily by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, the principal consecrator. Co-consecrators are Marcel Gervais, Archbishop Emeritus of Ottawa, and Paul-André Durocher, Archbishop of Gatineau. Forty Canadian bishops will be present, and the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, the Pope’s Representative in Canada, will also attend the celebration.

The Ordination Rite begins with an official presentation of the candidate. The sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred by the imposition of hands by all the bishops in attendance and by the solemn prayer of consecration. The new bishop is then anointed on the head with oil and receives the symbols of his office: the Book of the Gospels which he is to preach always; the ring – symbol of his marriage to the Church; the mitre – the headpiece symbolizing teaching authority; and the shepherd’s staff – the crosier – symbol of his role as a shepherd of the flock of Christ, the Good Shepherd.


After the Liturgy of the Eucharist and Communion, Archbishop Prendergast will lead the newly ordained bishop through the Cathedral so he can bless the congregation. The Papal Nuncio will bring greetings from Pope Francis and the ceremony concludes with an allocution by the new bishop and the Final Blessing. Music will be provided by the Diocesan Choir and the Cathedral Brass, under the direction of Michel Guimont. A public reception, in the National Art Gallery, will follow the celebration.


Bishop-elect Riesbeck was born in Montreal on February 7, 1970 to Heribert Riesbeck, a native of Germany and Colette Levesque, originally from Grand Falls, New Brunswick. His elementary schooling took place in Aylmer, Quebec and in Nepean, Ontario and his secondary schooling at St. Pius X High School in Nepean. He has earned a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in political science from the University of Ottawa, a Master of Divinity degree from St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto and a Master’s degree and Licentiate in Canon Law from St. Paul’s University in Ottawa.


Bishop-elect Riesbeck will be available for interviews as well as for photos demonstrating the symbols of his office on Tuesday, March 18, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica. To book an interview time, please contact Sarah Du Broy, Communications Officer for the Archdiocese of Ottawa by email: sdubroy@archottawa.ca, or by phone: 613-738-5025, ext. 238. Time slots are allocated on a “first come first served” basis. If the requested time slot is not available, a suitable alternative will be offered.


In his new role, Bishop-elect Riesbeck will assist Archbishop Prendergast in shepherding some 400,000 Catholics in 110 parishes in Canada’s capital and Eastern Ontario.

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