Preliminary slate of bishop nominees announced & petition period opens

MA Bishop Search Preliminary Slate Photo Grid Preliminary slate: Brendan J. Barnicle; Jean Baptiste Ntagengwa; Gideon L. K. Pollach; Julia E. Whitworth

The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts is pleased to announce that, after receiving the recommendations of the Bishop Nominating Committee, it has approved a preliminary slate of four nominees for election as the 17th bishop diocesan of the Diocese of Massachusetts.  They are:

  • The Rev. Dr. Brendan J. Barnicle,
    Rector, St. Francis of Assisi Church, Wilsonville, OR
  • The Rev. Canon Jean Baptiste Ntagengwa, Th.D.,
    Canon for Immigration and Multicultural Ministries, Diocese of Massachusetts
  • The Very Rev. Gideon L. K. Pollach,
    Rector, St. John's Church, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
  • The Rev. Julia E. Whitworth,
    Rector, Trinity Church, Indianapolis, IN

More information about each nominee can be found at

A seven-day petition period begins, effective March 15, during which anyone who meets the canonical requirements may petition to be added to the slate of nominees. The deadline to submit nomination materials is March 22 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. The requirements and procedure for nomination may be found here.

This announcement of our preliminary slate of nominees is a key milestone in our journey through the bishop search and transition process. We are deeply grateful to the Bishop Nominating Committee for the vigorous work they have undertaken since their formation in July of 2023. 

Once the petition process has been completed, the Standing Committee will announce the final slate of nominees. Members of the diocese will have the opportunity to meet the nominees in a series of Meet and Greets that will take place May 7-11. Information about the times and locations of the Meet and Greets will be made available soon. 

The election will take place on Saturday, May 18 at Trinity Church in Boston. All canonically resident clergy of the diocese and lay delegates (two elected from each of the diocese’s parishes and missions) vote separately as “orders”; a majority of votes on the same ballot from both the clergy and lay orders is required for election. (Preliminary electing convention information is available at

Please keep the nominees, the Nominating Committee, the Transition Committee and the people of our diocese in your prayers as we move into this next phase in the discernment of our 17th bishop diocesan.

The Rev. Dr. Karen Coleman, President, Standing Committee
Grace Knowles, Vice-President, Standing Committee
William Boyce, Co-Chair, Bishop Nominating Committee
The Rev. Diane Wong, Co-Chair, Bishop Nominating Committee
Linda Ouellette, Co-Chair, Bishop Nominating Committee