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Most Reverend Wayne Kirkpatrick

Portrait of Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick

Regional Bishop's Office – Northern Pastoral Region

Phone: (905) 727-4448
Fax:  (905) 727-5891

Wayne Joseph Kirkpatrick was born on June 5, 1957 in St. Catharines, Ontario, the fourth of five children. He studied at the University of Waterloo, St. Jerome's College, earning a Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) before entering St. Augustine's Seminary in 1980. He completed a Masters of Divinity and was ordained to the priesthood on September 1, 1984. He received a Licentiate (Masters) in Canon Law in June 1990 from St. Paul University, Ottawa.

Msgr. Kirkpatrick served the Diocese of St. Catharines in diverse roles since his ordination, including 22 years in diocesan administration, concurrently serving in parish ministry as a pastor for 17 years. He served on the Diocesan Finance Council for 17 years and was elected as chair of the Council of Priests for three terms. He was Diocesan Administrator for the Diocese of St. Catharines from April to November 2010. He was named a Prelate of Honour by Pope John Paul II in June 1999, a papal honour that bestows the title of ‘Monsignor' on priests recognized for their service to the church.

In May 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Toronto. At the time of his appointment, he was serving as Moderator of the Curia, Chancellor and Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of St. Catharines, Rector of the Cathedral and President of the Canadian Canon Law Society. Bishop Kirkpatrick's episcopal ordination took place at the Cathedral of St. Catherine of Alexandria in St. Catharines, Ontario on July 25, 2012.

As Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto, Bishop Kirkpatrick will oversee care of the pastoral needs of the Northern Pastoral Region. He has also been appointed as Episcopal Vicar for Religious institutes of men and women in the Archdiocese and Episcopal Vicar for the Francophone community.


Explanation of the Coat of Arms for Bishop Wayne Kirkpatrick

Coat of Arms for Bishop KirkpatrickThe external heraldic symbols of dignity for a bishop of the Roman Catholic Church are those assigned by the Special Instruction of Pope Paul VI on March 31, 1969.

These are a simple gold-coloured processional cross (placed behind the shield) and above it the bishop's green ecclesiastical hat with cords and twelve tassels, six per side, arranged in three rows also all coloured green.

The Celtic cross above and behind the shield calls to mind Bishop Kirkpatrick's Irish heritage with his mother's maiden name being Phelan and his surname Kirkpatrick, meaning Church of Patrick.

The main colours are red and blue from the shield of the Diocese of Saint Catharines in Ontario, red being the colour associated with divine love, compassion and sacrifice and blue the colour associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. The blue also calls to mind the waters of baptism. Both the Celtic cross and the triangular shape symbolize a church with a steeple. The blue triangle is also reminiscent of Niagara Falls, the most notable geographical feature of the Diocese of St. Catharines where he has lived and exercised his priestly ministry. Bishop Kirkpatrick is a canon lawyer and the upper part of the shield bears a traditional depiction of the Tablets of the Law or Ten Commandments. Grape vines are also a feature of the upper part of the shield and along with the wheat stalks in the lower part of the shield give us the elements of the Eucharist, bread and wine, a symbol of Jesus Christ who is the bread of life. Vineyards are also a notable feature of the Niagara area. The vines are a reference to John 15: 4-5, the source of the Bishop's motto: "Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches."

Given that one of Bishop Kirkpatrick's baptismal names is Joseph the lower part of the shield bears a carpenter's square, an emblem of St. Joseph the Worker. It is inscribed with the letters "J, M, J" signifying Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, but here also a reference to his parents, James and Margaret as well as his own middle name Joseph. His Episcopal ordination date is July 25th, the Feast of St. James the Apostle. Saint Mary of the Assumption, his home parish in St. Catharines from birth to ordination is symbolized by the lily, emblematic of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and here placed within the protective arms of St. Joseph's carpenter's square. Centrally placed is the broken wheel of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, the patroness of the diocese and cathedral that bear her name, places where the Bishop has lived and ministered. The wheel can also be seen as a reference to Bishop Kirkpatrick's first baptismal name, Wayne, as a wainwright is a tradesperson who is skilled in the making and repairing of wagons, one who may also fix damaged wheels; a fitting emblem for pastoral ministry. The placing of the charges on the shield creates the effect or shape of a heart and to quote the Bishop, "The law of love is supreme".

Coat of Arms designed by Rev. Canon D. G. Bowyer