Pope Francis Appoints Bishop Joseph Dabrowski as Bishop of Charlottetown

April 2, 2023

Auxiliary Bishop of London named as the 14th Bishop of Charlottetown

His Holiness, Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Joseph Dabrowski, C.S.M.A., as the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of Charlottetown.

Bishop-designate Dabrowski was until now the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of London and he succeeds Bishop Richard Grecco who retired after serving the diocese from 2009 to 2021.

Bishop Dabrowski will be installed at a ceremony at St. Dunstan’s Basilica on a date to be confirmed soon. Following his installation he will have the responsibility to shepherd the Catholic residents of Prince Edward Island and its 50 parishes.

Bishop Dabrowski commented on the announcement, “I am honoured and humbled that the Holy Father has entrusted to my care the Church in the Diocese of Charlottetown, and I am grateful for it. I accepted this appointment with trust that God will provide for me the necessary graces. I look forward to meeting the priests and people of the Diocese of Charlottetown, shepherding them, and working with them in furthering the mission of the Church there. In the spirit of synodality promoted by Pope Francis, we can express our confidence that Jesus will accompany us ‘together on the road.’ Additionally, I want to thank Bishop Ronald Fabbro, with whom I have worked so closely in the last eight years as his Auxiliary Bishop. He has been a true friend, teaching me so much about the life and work of bishops. His mentoring has prepared me for this moment as I take on my new responsibilities. The people of the Diocese of London have made me feel at home from the time I first stepped off the plane to begin my priestly ministry here in 1991. I will always have a special place in my heart for all of you, priests, deacons, Religious and lay faithful. It has been a great blessing and an honour to serve in this diocese all these years.”

Fr. Brian MacDougall, the Administrator of the Diocese of Charlottetown, welcomes Bishop Dabrowski, “For the last two years I have been asked countless times; is there any word on a new bishop? To which I would reply, no word yet. Finally, that word has arrived with the appointment of Bishop Joseph Dabrowski as the incoming bishop, the 14th in the history of the diocese. This is wonderful news. Now we have a shepherd once again. On behalf of the priests and lay faithful of the Diocese of Charlottetown I congratulate and warmly welcome Bishop Dabrowski to our diocese.”

Bishop Fabbro offered his support for the bishop designate, “I was delighted to hear the news that Bishop Dabrowski was appointed the Bishop of Charlottetown, although I received it with mixed feelings. I am happy for him to have this opportunity to serve as the bishop of a diocese, and for the people of Charlottetown who will receive him as their bishop. I am saddened, however, to lose a friend and a wonderful co-worker in the Lord’s vineyard of London. We have worked closely together over these eight years. I came to rely on Bishop Dabrowski’s pastoral zeal and instincts that came so naturally from his many years as a dedicated and faithful pastor in the Diocese. I know I can speak for the priests, deacons, Religious and laity of London in saying that we are deeply grateful for his episcopal ministry and wish him well. As he begins this new appointment, we promise him our continued prayers.”

Bishop Dabrowski was born in 1964, the second of five children and grew up in Wysoka Strzyżowska, a small village in the south of Poland. After graduating from a high school run by the Congregation of St. Michael the Archangel, he chose to enter the Michaelite Religious order. After completing one year of the novitiate he made his first profession in 1982, and graduated from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome, obtaining his Master of Divinity in 1991. He was ordained to the priesthood on 4 May 1991 in Italy at the Pontifical Sanctuary of Santa Maria ad Rupes, and he was assigned to join the Michaelite community in London, Ontario.

He served as Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Czestochowa in London from 1992 to 1993; St. Michael in Leamington from 1993 to 1996; St. Pius X (now Holy Family) in London from 1996 to 1997; and St. Mary in London from 1997 to 1998. In 1998 he was named Pastor of St. Mary parish in London, where he served until he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop in 2015. As a priest he served on the Ministry to Priests Team, Council of Priests, as a Spiritual Director for St. Peter’s Seminary, the advisory board for St. Peter’s Cemetery, and the Linguistic Communities Committee.

In the Michaelite community, he served as Vice Superior, Advisor, Vice Provincial, and Provincial of the North American Vice Province.

Since his ordination as Bishop on 14 April 2015 at St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica in London, Bishop Dabrowski has served as Vicar General, Vicar for Priests, Episcopal Liaison to St. Peter’s Seminary, Member of the Board of Directors of St. Peter’s Seminary, Episcopal Liaison to the Knights of Columbus, Episcopal Liaison to the Catholic Women’s League, Episcopal Liaison with Religious Communities and on the Ministry to Priests Team.

As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Dabrowski was appointed as co-chair to the Roman Catholic / Evangelical Dialogue Group and a member of the Episcopal Commission for Evangelization and Catechesis. For the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario (ACBO), Bishop Dabrowski served as a Member of the ACBO Commission for Priests, State Chaplain of the Ontario Knights of Columbus, Member of the ACBO Social Affairs Commission, Liaison Bishop to the Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education (OAPCE) and Liaison Bishop to the Ontario Catholic Cemetery Conference.

Bishop Dabrowski enjoys serving and speaking with the faithful of many cultures, and celebrating the Catholic faith in many languages. He speaks English, Polish, Italian, Spanish and has previously studied French, Russian and Latin. Bishop Dabrowski enjoys playing the guitar, volleyball, tennis, soccer, and skiing. He is a big fan of the Italian football club AS Roma.

In 2021 Bishop Joseph Dabrowski gave a mission Celebrating the Year of St. Joseph. Here is his talk from YouTube:

We pray for Bishop Dabrowski and look forward to welcome him to his new home here on Prince Edward Island.