Most Rev. Wayne Kirkpatrick was appointed Bishop of Antigonish on December 18th, 2019 by His Holiness Pope Francis, and installed as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish on February 3rd, 2020. He was previously Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto, Ontario where Bishop Kirkpatrick has overseen the care of the pastoral needs of the Northern Pastoral Region.
Bishop Kirkpatrick was born on June 5th, 1957 in St. Catharines, Ontario, the fourth of five children. He studied at the University of Waterloo, St. Jerome’s College, earning a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy), before entering St. Augustine’s Seminary in 1980. He completed a Masters of Divinity and was ordained to the priesthood on September 1st, 1984. He received a Licentiate (Masters) in Canon Law in June 1990 from St. Paul University, Ottawa. He has also served as Episcopal Vicar for Religious institutes of men and women in the Archdiocese and Episcopal Vicar for the Francophone community. Since 2014, he has been the President of St. Augustine’s Seminary as well as a Member of the Toronto School of Theology Board of Trustees.
168 Hawthorne St.
PO Box 1330
Antigonish, NS B2G 2L7
Office: (902) 863-3335
Residence: (902) 863-1557
About the Coat of Arms for Bishop Kirkpatrick:
The external heraldic symbols of dignity for a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church are those assigned by the Special Instruction of Pope Paul VI on March 31st, 1969. These are a simple gold-colored processional cross (placed behind the shield) and above it the bishop’s green ecclesiastical hat with cords and twelve tassels, six per side, arranged in three rows also all coloured green.
The Celtic cross above and behind the shield calls to mind Bishop Kirkpatrick’s Irish heritage with his mother’s maiden name being Phelan and his surname Kirkpatrick, meaning Church of Patrick.
The main colours are red and blue from the shield of the Diocese of Saint Catharines in Ontario, red being the colour associated with divine love, compassion and sacrifice and blue the colour associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. The blue also calls to mind the waters of baptism. Both the Celtic cross and the triangular shape symbolize a church with a steeple. The blue triangle is also reminiscent of Niagara Falls, the most notable geographical feature of the Diocese of St. Catharines where he has lived and exercised his priestly ministry.
Bishop Kirkpatrick is a canon lawyer and the upper part of the shield bears a traditional depiction of the Tablets of the Law or Ten Commandments. Grape vines are also a feature of the upper part of the shield and along with the wheat stalks in the lower part of the shield give us the elements of the Eucharist, bread and wine, a symbol of Jesus Christ who is the bread of life. Vineyards are also a notable feature of the Niagara area. The vines are a reference to John 15: 4-5, the source of the Bishop’s motto: “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches.”
Given that one of Bishop Kirkpatrick’s baptismal names is Joseph the lower part of the shield bears a carpenter’s square, an emblem of St. Joseph the Worker. It is inscribed with the letters “J, M, J” signifying Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, but here also a reference to his parents, James and Margaret as well as his own middle name Joseph. His Episcopal ordination date is July 25th, the Feast of St. James the Apostle. Saint Mary of the Assumption, his home parish in St. Catharines from birth to ordination is symbolized by the lily, emblematic of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and here placed within the protective arms of St. Joseph’s carpenter’s square. Centrally placed is the broken wheel of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, the patroness of the diocese and cathedral that bear her name, places where the Bishop has lived and ministered. The wheel can also be seen as a reference to Bishop Kirkpatrick’s first baptismal name, Wayne, as a wainwright is a tradesperson who is skilled in the making and repairing of wagons, one who may also fix damaged wheels; a fitting emblem for pastoral ministry. The placing of the charges on the shield creates the effect or shape of a heart and to quote the Bishop, “The law of love is supreme”.
Bishops of the Diocese:
Right Rev. William Fraser, D.D., consecrated Bishop of Tanes and Vicar-Apostolic of Nova Scotia in 1827; appointed first Bishop of Arichat
September 21, 1844; died October 4, 1851
Right Rev. Colin Francis MacKinnon, D.D., consecrated February 27, 1852; resigned and appointed Titular-Archbishop of Amida July 17, 1877; died September 26, 1879
Right Rev. John Cameron, D.D., consecrated Bishop of Titopolis and Coadjutor-Bishop of Arichat May 22, 1870 and succeeded as Bishop of Arichat, July 17, 1877. The Episcopal See was transferred to Antigonish August 23, 1886 and thus Bishop Cameron became the Bishop of Antigonish; died April 6, 1910
Most Rev. James Morrison, D.D., consecrated Bishop of Antigonish September 4, 1912; appointed Archbishop February 26, 1944; died April 13, 1950
Most Rev. John R. MacDonald, D.D., appointed Titular Bishop of Ancusa and Coadjutor-Bishop of Antigonish with right of succession March 3, 1945; succeeded to the See April 13, 1950; died
December 18, 1959
Most Rev. William Edward Power, D.D., appointed Bishop of Antigonish May 12, 1960; consecrated July 20, 1960; installed August 10, 1960; resigned December 12, 1986; died November 29, 2003
Most Rev. Colin Campbell, D.D., appointed Bishop of Antigonish December 12, 1986; ordained March 19, 1987; resigned October 26, 2002; died January 2012
Most Rev. Raymond John Lahey, D.D., appointed Bishop of Antigonish, June 12, 2003; resigned Sept. 26, 2009; died April 2022
Most Rev. Brian Joseph Dunn, D.D., appointed Bishop of Antigonish, November 21, 2009; installed January 25, 2010; appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth on July 3, 2019; served as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Antigonish until Feb. 3, 2020
Most Rev. Wayne Joseph Kirkpatrick, D.D., appointed Bishop of Antigonish, December 18, 2019; installed February 3, 2020