“We celebrate this appointment as a reflection of Bishop Riesbeck’s dedication to the Lord,” said Fr. Michael Scherrey, Interim General Superior. “He has been an invaluable member of our society and a great role model for all of us. I invite you all to pray for him and for all the faithful in the Diocese he’ll be heading.”
"I am truly grateful, yet at the same time, deeply humbled by the confidence Pope Francis has placed in me through this new episcopal appointment,” said Bishop Riesbeck. “When I read the letter of appointment I was soon reminded of Fr. Bob's own words of deep surrender which was ingrained in me from the beginning of my time with the Companions of the Cross: “Not ready Lord, but willing!" I look forward with anticipation and great joy to this new chapter in my life with the Lord in his service and the service of his Church, especially the good people of the Diocese of Saint John, N.B., working together to proclaim the joy of the Gospel!"
Born in Montreal in 1970, Christian Riesbeck grew up in the Ottawa region. He has earned a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree in political science from the University of Ottawa, a Master of Divinity degree from St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto and a Master’s degree and Licentiate in Canon Law from St. Paul’s University in Ottawa. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Marcel Gervais at Notre Dame Cathedral on October 12, 1996 and performed pastoral ministry at several parishes in Ontario, Canada and in Houston, Texas. Bishop Riesbeck has served as Assistant General Superior of the Companions of the Cross, as Chancellor at the Archdiocese of Ottawa and as Episcopal Vicar for Canonical Concerns. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Ottawa and ordained Bishop on March 19, 2014. Following his episcopal ordination, he has served as Vicar General and Vicar for National Language Parishes, Communities and Faithful for the Archdiocese. As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Bishop Riesbeck served as a Consultor to the Standing Committee for Canon Law, co-Chair of the CCCB Catholic-Evangelical dialogue, and since 2017 is the Moderator of the Canadian Appeal Tribunal.
The Diocese of Saint John has 58 parishes serving a population of over 115,000 Catholics.
The Companions of the Cross were founded by Fr. Bob Bedard in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1984. What started out as a small group of men meeting weekly has grown into a thriving community of 38 priests, two bishops and 17 seminarians. They serve in Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, Detroit, and Houston.