Ontario dean elected bishop

The diocese of Ontario has elected its dean as diocesan bishop.

Dean George Bruce was elected co-adjutor bishop of Ontario on June 8. A co-adjutor is an elected bishop who has a right to succession once the current bishop leaves office. Bishop-elect Bruce’s consecration will take place on Sept. 28 at a very familiar place: Kingston’s St. George’s Cathedral, where he has been incumbent since 2000. Prior to his cathedral appointment, he served as rector of St. James the Apostle in Perth, Ont., and at two parishes in the diocese of Ottawa.

Bishop-elect Bruce will succeed Bishop Peter Mason, who announced earlier this year that he would retire, effective at the end of September. 

Born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England in 1942, Bishop-elect Bruce moved with his family to the United States in 1953. Following high school in England and Montreal, he served in the Canadian Forces from 1959 – 1986. He received a history degree from Royal Military College in Kingston and was ordained to the priesthood in 1987. He and his wife, Theo, have five children. The couple founded Perth’s food bank during their ministry there.

The diocese of Ontario is located in the southeastern area of the province of Ontario.

Meanwhile, in another episcopal election, the diocese of the Arctic elected Canon Benjamin Arreak, 54, as suffragan, or assistant bishop. Bishop-elect Arreak will be the area bishop for the Arctic’s Nunavik region in northern Quebec.

Bishop-elect Arreak has been a member of several national committees and served as deputy prolocutor of General Synod from 1995-1998. He and Bishop Andrew Atagotaaluk were part of a five-priest team who recently completed an Inuktitut-language Bible. The project took 24 years to complete. 

His second-ballot election, which took place near the end of the recent diocesan synod, was needed after Bishop Atagotaaluk – already a suffragan bishop in the Arctic – was elected co-adjutor bishop a few days earlier at synod. Bishop Atagotaaluk’s election as diocesan left a vacancy in the diocese. Bishop Arreak and his wife, Susan, have eight children. Bishop-elect Arreak will be consecrated Sept. 15 at St. Jude’s Cathedral in Iqaluit.


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