Most Rev. Gregory Bittman, who has served has Auxiliary Bishop of Edmonton for six years, has been appointed the new Bishop of Nelson, a diocese located in the Okanagan and Kootenay regions of southeastern British Columbia.

Bishop Bittman was appointed to the new post by His Holiness Pope Francis on February 6, and the news was officially announced in Rome early today, February 13. In Nelson he will succeed Most Rev. John Corriveau, OFM Cap., who is retiring.

"Please join with me in praying for God's blessings upon Bishop Bittman as he undertakes the responsibilities and care of his new flock in Nelson," Archbishop Richard Smith said in a message to parishes. "While we are sad to see him depart from Edmonton where he has devoted his pastoral ministry with such generosity and wisdom, we assure him of our profound gratitude and prayerful support. I am confident that his ministry will bear great fruit for the people of God in the Diocese of Nelson and that he will continue to bring a significant contribution to the Church in Canada."

Details of his episcopal installation in the Diocese of Nelson, home to about 78,000 Catholics. have not been finalized.

Gregory J. Bittman was born on March 5, 1961, in Edmonton, the eldest of three boys. He worked as a nurse for several years before entering the seminary to study for the priesthood. He was ordained to the priesthood on August 15, 1996, at St. Joseph’s Basilica by Archbishop Joseph MacNeil, and served in several parishes before being appointed Chancellor of the Archdiocese in 2000.

He was appointed the first Auxiliary Bishop of Edmonton by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on July 14, 2012, and was ordained to the episcopate on September 3, the Feast of St. Gregory the Great, at St. Joseph's Basilica.

Bishop Bittman is a pianist, amateur organist and avid runner. He holds a black belt in karate and enjoys skiing and scuba diving. He is known for his work as an apprentice home renovator as well as being a doting uncle to 10 nieces and nephews.