Terrence Prendergast, S.J.

Archbishop Emeritus
Terrence Prendergast, S.J.

Born in Montréal in 1944, Archbishop Prendergast entered the Jesuit Novitiate in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1972. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University, Master of Divinity and Doctor of Theology degrees from Toronto School of Theology and a Licentiate in Theology from Regis College. He taught at the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax from 1975-81, was Rector of Regis College in Toronto from 1981-87, as well as professor of New Testament and Dean from 1991-95.


Following a sabbatical during which he was visiting professor at the École Biblique in Jerusalem, he was appointed auxiliary bishop the Archdiocese of Toronto in February 1995 and ordained on April 25, 1995.


Archbishop Prendergast has translated two books by the French exegete, Xavier Léon-Dufour. He has also served as editor of several biblical and theological journals.


Named Archbishop of Halifax in June 1998, he was installed on September 14, 1998. After serving as 11th Archbishop of Halifax, 1998–2007 and Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Yarmouth, 2002–2007, he was named 9th Archbishop of Ottawa on May 14, 2007 and installed on June 26, 2007.


Since 2003, he serves on the Vox Clara Committee of the Congregation for Divine Worship. In 2010–2011 he took part in an Apostolic Visitation of the Archdiocese of Tuam, Ireland.


Appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall in January 2016, he became its 9th Bishop on April 27, 2018, uniting the dioceses of Ottawa and Cornwall in his person (“in persona episcopi”).


On May 6, 2020, Archbishop Prendergast was named the first archbishop of the newly created Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall.


He became Archbishop Emeritus on December 3, 2020.


Following his retirement, he was named Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Hearst-Moosonee from 2020 to 2022.

Archbishop Emeritus Terrence Prendergast’s Coat of Arms

Heraldry speaks of two sides of a shield – dexter and sinister – which are right and left sides; these are reversed when viewed. The sinister, left side of the shield (right to the viewer), makes reference to the Archbishop’s family and religious community:  “Azure a Sun in its splendour Or charged with a monogram of the Holy Name Sable” (a golden sun inscribed with the first three Greek letters of the name of Jesus in black, all on a blue background). These, along with the motto, represent the bishop’s ties to the Society of Jesus or Jesuit Order.  “Between a Shamrock slipped and a Rose in chief and a Fleur-de-lis in base all Argent” (on the upper level are a shamrock with stem attached and a rose, while on the lower level there is a lily – all these in silver).  The shamrock and the rose represent the Archbishop’s forebears in Ireland and England, and the fleur-de-lis his upbringing in Montreal, Quebec. The fleur-de-lis and the colour blue also represent the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Society of Jesus.



The right side of the shield (left to the viewer) blends the double-barred cross from the coat of arms of the Archdiocese of Halifax, chosen by Archbishop Prendergast during his episcopate there (the flowering cross, like the blazing sun represents the power of Christ’s resurrection to transform human experiences into a share in Jesus glorification), with a new element the wavy blue Y-shape representing the three great rivers of the National Capital Region: the Ottawa, the Rideau and the Gatineau. The presence of the Cross above nature suggests the healing of Christ that touches not only people’s lives but all of creation too.



The motto, “In nomine Jesu” (“at the name of Jesus”) is taken from St. Paul’s hymn to the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ in the Epistle to the Philippians (2:10). Besides expressing the desire that his ministry be in the name and manner of Jesus, it expresses its goal as the praise and glory of God, echoing the Jesuit motto Ad majorem Dei gloriam (“to the greater glory of God”).


The achievement is completed by a reference to the pallium, a liturgical vestment (represented by the three black crosses on wool) conferred on metropolitan archbishops, by the Pope, who shares his universal jurisdiction with the Archbishop in the Ottawa ecclesiastical province, which includes the dioceses of Hearst, Pembroke and Timmins. The broad rimmed galero hat and the double-barred cross are also emblems of a metropolitan archbishop.

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