Bzdel, Michael, 1930-2012

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Bzdel, Michael, 1930-2012

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Archbishop Michael Bzdel, C.S.s.R. (Emeritus)
  • Metropolitan Michael Bzdel, CSsR

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

July 21, 1930-April 3, 2012


Early Life:

Archbishop Michael Bzdel, CSsR (Emeritus), was born on July 21, 1930 in Wishart, Saskatchewan to Theodore and (Dora) Eudokia (nee Wasyluk) Bzdel. He was the eleventh of fourteen children: six boys and eight girls. On August 3, 1930, Bzdel was confirmed and baptized at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Church by Father Gregory Shyshkowich, CSsR. His family lived on a farm (section 23, township 30, range 15, West of the second meridian), which Bzdel helped upkeep during his formative years. Bzdel made his first confession and received his first Holy Communion in September of 1938 from Father Volodymyr Kayewski, CSsR.


In 1936, Bzdel began his primary education at Honey Bank School. Though the school lacked substantial funds, Bzdel and his schoolmates would pass the time with second-hand softballs and improvised “stone games.” A highlight for Bzdel was being selected as the school’s “fireman” in 1943, which required Bzdel to wake far earlier than the other children to light the school’s fire for warmth by the time classes had begun.

At the age of fourteen, Bzdel decided to attend St. Vladimir’s College, near the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border, in Roblin, Manitoba. Founded by the Redemptorist Fathers, his years at St. Vladimir’s formed a lifelong devotion to the Redemptorist order. The Redemptorists are the Eastern Church branch of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and esteem poverty, chastity, and obedience.

In the spring of 1947, Bzdel graduated from St. Vladimir’s College after completing grade eleven and skipping grade ten. In the fall of the same year, he entered the Redemptorist Novitiate in Yorkton and received his habit on September 23, 1947. His temporary vows were made in 1948 as he attended St. Mary’s Seminary in Waterford-Meadowvale, Ontario. Studying philosophy and theology, Bzdel was the school’s gardener and kept busy by starting a stamp collection. Bzdel also spent three consecutive summers (1949-1951) at the summer camp of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Canadian province at Lac Gauvreau Masham, QC.

On August 19, 1952, Bzdel made his perpetual vows to the Redemptorists.


On February 13, 1954, Bzdel received minor orders and sub-diaconate at Holy Eucharist Church in Toronto, Ontario. Two days later, on February 15, Bzdel was ordained a deacon by Bishop Isidore Borecky at St. Mary’s Seminary in Meadowvale, Ontario. On July 7 of the same year, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in St. Mary’s Church, Yorkton, Saskatchewan by Bishop Andrew Roborecki.

Bzdel held many posts, including:

• Yorkton, SK, 1955 (monastery)
• Ituna, SK, 1955 to 1956 (northern portion of Ituna pastoral district)
• Roblin, MB, 1956 to 1967 (associate pastor at Holy Redeemer)
• Winnipeg, MB, 1967 to 1971 (parish priest of St. Joseph’s Church)
• Saskatoon, SK, 1972 to 1981 (Sts. Peter and Paul Church)
• Yorkton, SK, 1981 to 1984 (superior of the monastery, parish priest of St. Mary’s Church and district).

Bzdel also spent time as a teacher at St. Vladimir’s College from 1955 to 1967, while he held the job as associate pastor at Holy Redeemer in Roblin, MB.

For four years following his departure from Roblin, Bzdel was the parish priest of St. Joseph’s Church in Winnipeg. He was active with the youth in the parish, spending time with the Ukrainian Catholic Youth group (UCY). As well, he worked with a group of young adults called the St. Demetrius Club (or, “Club D”). Bzdel was also active in hospital work, visiting with hospitalized parishioners, and in 1968, took a chaplaincy course at the Health Sciences Centre. Bzdel claims these experiences “were pivotal…and helped to stabilize [his] priestly vocation.”

From 1971 to 1972, Bzdel would complete a Masters degree in pastoral counseling at St. Paul’s University in Ottawa, Ontario.

Bzdel was elected the Provincial Superior of the Yorkton Ukrainian Redemptorist Province of Canada and the U.S.A. on May 3, 1984. Bzdel attended the Redemptorist General Chapters held in Rome from October 20 to November 23, 1985. It was here that Bzdel benefitted from his Latin education when he was younger: the official language of the General Chapters was Latin.

On March 9, 1993, Bzdel was ordained as Archbishop of Winnipeg and Metropolitan for Ukrainian Catholics in Canada. The consecration and installation was held at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral. Bzdel’s appointment was somewhat unconventional as typically, a priest becomes chancellor, then auxiliary bishop, and then becomes an archbishop. In Bzdel’s case, a Redemptorist Provincial for nine years, he took the road less travelled. Bzdel chose the phrase, “Who is like God,” as his Episcopal crest motto, which in Hebrew means “Michael.” On March 11 of the same year, Bzdel received money from Steve and Irene Groch to start the Archbishop Bzdel Charity Trust Fund. From October 2 to October 30, 1994, Bzdel participated in the IX Ordinary General Assembly of the Snyod of Bishops. Bzdel made interventions as a permanent council member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and as the Metropolitan for the Ukrainian Catholics of Canada. From November 16 to December 12, 1997, Bzdel attended the Synod of Bishops for America in Rome.


On December 12, 2005, Bzdel received word from the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Liugi Ventura that Bzdel’s resignation has been accepted by Pope Benedict XVI. Bzdel officially announced his retirement on December 29, 2005. On February 11, 2006, Bzdel formally retires as Bishop Lawrence Huculak is named the new Archbishop Metropolitan. Because of his position as Archbishop Metropolitan, Bzdel was an ex officio member of the Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.


At age 81, Bzdel died in his sleep in the late evening on April 3, 2012 at his residence in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His funeral was held from April 11 to 12, 2012 at Sts. Vladimir and Olga Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral and St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

1930 July 21, Born in Wishart, Saskatchewan

1936-44 Attended primary school at Honey Bank School

1944-47 Attended high school at St. Vladimir’s College (Roblin, Manitoba)

1947 Graduated from St. Vladimir’s College

1947 Entered the Redemptorist Novitiate (Yorkton, Saskatchewan)

1948 Studied philosophy and theology St. Mary’s Seminary (Waterford-Meadowvale, Ontario)

1952 August 19, Made perpetual vows to Redemptorists

1954 February 15, Ordained as deacon by Bishop Isidore at St. Mary’s Seminary chapel (Waterford-Meadowvale, Ontario)

1954 July 7, Ordained to the Holy Preisthood at St. Mary’s Church (Yorkton, Saskatchewan) by Bishop Andrew Borecki

1955 Assistant parish priest in Yorkton, Saskatchewan and surrounding district

1955-67 Teacher at St. Vladimir’s College, Roblin, Manitoba

1967-69, Redemptorist Vicar Provincial

1969-78 Member of the Extraordinary Provincial Council

1978-81 Member of the Eparchial Consistory of Saskatoon

1981 July 30, Received $5000 cheque from Sts. Peter and Paul Church and starts fund to help parish students at St. Vladimir’s College

1984 May 3, Provincial Superior of the Yorkton Redemptorist Province

1992 December 29, Bzdel announced as new Archbishop Metropolitan of Canadian Ukrainian Catholics

1993 March 9, Consecrated Archbishop Metropolitan

2005 July 21, Announced retirement at 75 years old

2012 April 3, Michael Bzdel dies in his sleep at age 81 (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Mandates/sources of authority

(1993, March 7 & 14). “Curriculum Vitae.” Progress, pp. 14.
(1993, March 21). “Metropolitan Michael consecrated Archbishop of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of Canada”. Progress, pp. 1.
(2004, July 4). “Metropolitan Michael: 50th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination”. Progress, pp. 1, 8-9.
(2004, July 4). “Most Reverend Michael Bzdel, CSsR[,] Archeparch of Winnipeg[,] Metropolitan for Ukrainian Catholics in Canada”. Progress, pp. 3.

Bzdel, Michael. (2012). Unpublished Memoirs. Winnipeg, MB: unpublished.

Winnipeg Free Press. (2012). “Michael Bzdel Obituary”. In The Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved May 6, 2013:

Internal structures/genealogy

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Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg Archives

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created September 17, 2013.


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