Personal Statement from Bishop-elect Bart van Roijen

Personal Statement

I am honoured, and a bit surprised, by the confidence that Pope Francis has placed in me in appointing me Bishop of the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador.

This appointment has led me to reflect on God’s faithfulness, patience and tender care in my life.  I look back to my formative years under the tutelage of my parents and the joy of Christian family life.  I think of the priests and the many faithful people whom I have admired and of the ways I was involved and included in parish life.  I think of the support and encouragement I received when I first began my vocation discernment process and of the many classmates, priests, religious and lay people who were part of the journey.  I think of the brotherhood among priests, of the people who welcomed me into their lives and of the friendships that have been formed since ordination.  I think of three bishops in particular: Bishops Noel Delaquis, Eugene Cooney and John Corriveau, OFM Cap., under whose paternal care I was given the opportunity to flourish.  The Lord has been good to me, my heart is filled with joy and gratitude

As I set out on this next step in God’s Call in my life, I would like to thank His Holiness Pope Francis for the confidence he has placed in me, Bishop Gregory Bittman, Bishop of Nelson, for his fraternal support and affection and Archbishop Peter Hundt, Administrator of the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador, for his help, guidance and welcome during this time of transition.

From the beginning, I have been struck by the responsibility associated with this appointment.  It has the power to overwhelm.  I draw comfort from two things: God’s abiding presence and that the mission is not mine alone.

I thank you for your signs of welcome and support.  Please pray for me, as I will for you.