UGCC Department for Information and the Eparchy of New Westminster.
On November 8, 2023, the Divine Liturgy with the Rite of Episcopal Consecration of Bishop Michael Kwiatkowski was held at the Cathedral of Saints Volodymyr and Olha in Winnipeg. It was led by Metropolitan Lawrence Hutsuliak of Winnipeg, the main consecrator. Bishop Borys Gudziak, Metropolitan of Philadelphia, and Bishop David Motiuk, bishop of the Edmonton Eparchy, were the co-consecrators.
During the liturgy, Metropolitan Lawrence greeted all the faithful and the bishops who came to participate in Bishop Michael’s episcopal ordination.
“His Beatitude Sviatoslav, who, in accordance with canonical law, holds the authority to ordain all bishops for the Ukrainian Catholic Church, delegated me, as a metropolitan, to perform this consecration, as his hectic schedule, primarily due to the war in Ukraine, does not allow him to perform it personally. I am accompanied by two bishops-co-consecrators: Metropolitan Borys Gudziak of Philadelphia, who for many years worked with Bishop Michael in Ukraine, and Bishop David Motiuk, who was the apostolic administrator of the New Westminster Eparchy after Bishop Nowakowski’s appointment to London,” the bishop said.
The Metropolitan of Winnipeg addressed the newly ordained Bishop with the words of the Head of the UGCC in the Decree naming him ruling Bishop of the New Westminster Eparchy: “Dear brother! Today you join the flock of the bishops of the New Westminster Eparchy who in their ministry have fulfilled God’s will ‘that all men may be saved and come to the understanding of the truth.’ Preserve and multiply their work, dear Bishop! You will perform this ministry in accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches and the particular laws of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. We encourage you, in compliance with the admonition of the Apostle to the nations, to be ‘blameless, hospitable, benevolent, wise, just, pious, self-controlled, holding true doctrine according to the teaching… capable of instructing in sound doctrine and of exhorting those who oppose it.’ We remind you of the important duty to be a faithful member of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC and, in accordance with the provisions of the law, to participate in it at every call of the Father and Head of the Church. We urge you to preserve and affirm the faith and to work faithfully for the salvation of the souls of our faithful. Listen to the clergy and laity of the diocese entrusted to you.”
“We ask the clergy and God-loving lay people of the diocese to welcome His Eminence Bishop Michael with an open an sincere heart, with respect and love. We urge the clergy to show you due obedience in serving Christ, His Holy Church, and the people of God so that the word of Christ’s truth may spread throughout the eparchy to the glory of the Holy, Consubstantial, Life-giving, and Undivided Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” He continued.
In his speech of gratitude delivered in English, the newly ordained Bishop Michael thanked all those who accompanied him on his journey of vocation and ministry: his parents, brothers and sisters, and his entire family; the Redemptorist Fathers and his seminary colleagues from his time in Manitoba, including Bishop Brian Baida, with whom he studied at St. Volodymyr’s College, and the then rector, Bishop Petro Stasiuk; the Basilian Fathers and the brethren of the Pontifical Ukrainian College of St. Josaphat in Rome; the Dominican Fathers of Angelicum and the Jesuit Fathers of the Pontifical Oriental Institute; the brothers in the priesthood of the Winnipeg Archeparchy; and the sisters of various congregations; and fellow bishops Metropolitan Maksym Hermaniuk, Archbishop Myroslav Marusyn, major consecrator Metropolitan Lavrentiy Hutsuliak, co-consecrators Metropolitan Borys Gudziak and Bishop David Motiuk, Metropolitan Stefan Soroka, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox bishops present at the ordination, and all the bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the Episcopal Conference of Canada.
Bishop Michael also remembered His Beatitude Lubomyr Husar, who called him to serve in the Patriarchal Curia in Lviv, and all the people who worked with him during this time, particularly at the Ukrainian Catholic University.
“I would like to express my deepest gratitude to two other bishops who not only had a significant role in the beginning of my new ministry today, but I know are praying for me at this time: the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis, who appointed me Bishop of New Westminster, and the Major Archbishop of Kyiv and Halych, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, who, together with the Synod of Bishops, elected me and nominated me to Rome,” said Bishop Michael.
He then called on those present to keep His Beatitude Sviatoslav, our Church in Ukraine, and the suffering Ukrainian people in their prayers.
Bishop Michael was born 21 November 1961 in Hamiota MB. The son of Edward Kwiatkowski and Phyllis Zemliak, he is the 3rd of 7 children. He attended elementary and secondary schools in Brandon MB, completing his high school at St. Vladimir’s College and Minor Seminary in Roblin MB. After initial University studies and some work experience, Michael began his seminary formation on 7 September 1980. He resided at St. Josaphat Seminary in Rome, attending courses at the Angelicum, where he earned a BA in Philosophy (1980-1982) and a BA in Theology (1982-1985).
He made his Profession of Faith on 13 September 1985, and was ordained to the Diaconate on 14 September 1985 in Roblin MB by Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk CSsR. He was ordained a priest on 28 July 1986 in Brandon MB, also by Metropolitan Hermaniuk.
After serving as assistant pastor at Protection of the BVM Church (Boyd) in Winnipeg, he returned to Rome to undertake studies in Canon Law. He completed these studies, earning a Doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome (JCD).
Bishop Michael lived in Ukraine from 1996-2006, while the Church was reestablishing itself after years of underground existence. There he became chancellor of the Archeparchy of Lviv, and served as Judge and head of the Major Archbishopric Tribunal. He served as Vice-Rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, taught courses in Canon Law and directed the University’s department of pastoral life for six years.
He returned to Canada to serve as Spiritual Director at Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Ottawa from 2006 – 2010. From 1 August 2010 – 2021, he undertook parish ministry at Holy Eucharist Parish in Winnipeg, and from 2021 until the present has been parish priest at Protection of the BVM Parish in Winnipeg. He serves on the Winnipeg Tri-Diocesan Pro-Life Committee as well as the Tri-Diocesan Prison Ministry Committee. He was State Chaplain for the Manitoba Knights of Columbus from 2016-2019.
Bishop Michael has served as the Chancellor of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg from 1 August 2014, also representing the Archeparchy on the Patriarchal Ukrainian Greek Pastoral Council since its establishment in 2019 in Ukraine.