Pope approves merger of Cornwall, Ottawa diocese

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – The merger of the Alexandria-Cornwall Catholic Diocese and the Ottawa Archdiocese is complete.

Pope Francis made it official today (May 6) with the canonical amalgamation.

The new Ottawa-Cornwall Archdiocese will cover Eastern Ontario from Stittsville to Ingleside and east to the Quebec border.

Bishop Terrence Prendergast will become the first archbishop of the new entity.

Rev. Marcel Damphousse, currently a bishop in Sault Ste. Marie, will be coadjutor archbishop of the Ottawa-Cornwall Archdiocese. Damphousse was the previous bishop of the Alexandria-Cornwall Catholic Diocese before he left for the Sault in 2016.

The diocese merger has been in the making for four years.

The Alexandria-Cornwall Catholic Diocese has 27 parishes and missions, home to 60,000 Catholics. The Ottawa Archdiocese has 106 parishes and missions and around 400,000 Catholics.