Father Robert Kasun, CSB Appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto
The Basilian Fathers are delighted by the announcement of the appointment of their confrère, Father Robert Kasun, CSB, as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto.
“It is with joy and thanksgiving that I inform you that Pope Francis has appointed our brother, Robert M. Kasun CSB, as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto. Please join with me in offering prayers for Bishop-Elect Kasun as he begins his new ministry. He will find a warm and welcoming community in Toronto and at its heart will be his Basilian brothers,” said Father George Smith, CSB, Superior General of the Congregation.
News of the appointment came early in the morning of Friday, June 17, from the Vatican. Father Kasun will become one of four auxiliary bishops who assist Cardinal Thomas Collins in the Archdiocese of Toronto.
“We are grateful to the Holy Father for the appointment of Bishop-designate Kasun. I am excited to welcome him to the Archdiocese of Toronto and know that he will make a profound impact in our efforts to evangelize, inspire and care for God’s people. I invite our entire faith community to join me in offering our prayers and best wishes as he prepares to join us soon,” said Cardinal Collins.
Most Rev. Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton, is delighted by the appointment. “In the service of his people Father Kasun has demonstrated a true pastor’s heart, especially for the needy and neglected,” said Archbishop Smith. “The Archdiocese of Toronto is blessed to receive the many gifts that he will bring to the exercise of his episcopal ministry.”
Robert Kasun was born in December 1951 and raised in Cudworth, Saskatchewan, in the former Benedictine Abbacy of Muenster. After high school he attended St. Thomas More College in Saskatoon, where he met the Basilian Fathers, the religious congregation he joined after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in English. Following his novitiate he continued his studies, earning a Master of Divinity from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto, and subsequently, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education from the University of Toronto.
Following ordination to the priesthood in 1978, Father Kasun commenced his teaching ministry in Basilian schools in Merrillville, Indiana; Sudbury, Ontario; and his longest stint, at St. Michael’s College School in Toronto. He also served as Vocation Director for the Basilian Fathers based in Rochester, New York, and as a teacher at St. Francis High School in Calgary. He served on the General Council of the Basilian Fathers from 1989 to 1997 as Regional Representative for Western Canada, and as Vice-President of the Canadian Religious Conference Western Division.
Also in Calgary, he served in parish ministry at St. Pius X and St. Thomas More parishes, on the diocesan presbyteral council, and on the executive committee of the Board of Governors for St. Mary’s University College.
Since 2009, Father Kasun has served as pastor of the inner-city Edmonton parishes of St. Alphonsus and St. Clare, where he and a number of parishioners have enjoyed teaching English as a second language to temporary foreign workers, helping them to feel more at home in our country and Church. During his time in Edmonton, the man known as Father Bob has made a mark as a passionate advocate for and friend of the lower-income and immigrant community.
The bishop-designate said he was surprised and humbled to learn that Pope Francis had requested his service as a spiritual shepherd to the people of the Archdiocese of Toronto.
“I have found my new appointment very difficult to understand and accept, but I will do my best, with the help of God’s grace, to serve the people in the Archdiocese of Toronto,” he said.
Father Kasun will be ordained to the episcopate on Monday, September 12 at 7 p.m., at St. Joseph’s Basilica in Edmonton, Alberta.