Our Diocese » Bishop Gregory J. Bittman

Bishop Gregory J. Bittman

Most Reverend Gregory Bittman was installed as Bishop of Nelson on April 25, 2018.

Bishop Bittman was appointed to the new post by His Holiness Pope Francis on February 6, 2018.

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, 2012, 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

Coat of Arms of Bishop Bittman

Red is a colour found in the arms or flags of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Poland, thus marking Bishop Bittman’s ancestry.
Red and white are the colours of Canada.
The Dove is the attribute of Pope St. Gregory the Great, thus alluding to Bishop Bittman’s first name as well as the fact that he was ordained a bishop on the feast day of St. Gregory. The dove is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit, of peace and love, and of the faithful. Its depiction in the arms is based on a stained glass window in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, thus connecting Bishop Bittman’s exercise of the apostolic ministry of a bishop with St. Peter, numbered as the first apostle. 

The lamp is a symbol of nursing, a reference to Bishop Bittman’s profession as a Registered Nurse prior to his reception of Holy Orders. A lamp is also a Christian symbol, a metaphor for the Word of God. Its flame alludes to the flames above the disciples’ heads on the day of Pentecost (and, by extension, to a bishop’s mitre), and to the enflamed Sacred Heart of Jesus, marking the fact that Bishop Bittman was ordained a deacon on that feast day.
The division line resembling clouds alludes to the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on which Bishop Bittman was ordained a priest.

Motto of Bishop Bittman

Christus Iesus Spes Nostra
"Christ Jesus our Hope" (1 Tim. 1:1)

The diocesan Bishop is the chief teacher, sanctifier, and shepherd of God's people. He is the principal teacher…the primary dispenser of all the sacraments… The Bishops have been given a special outpouring of grace, to continue the work that the Apostles started.

(“Understanding the Role of Bishops”, Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops)