Fr. Hector Vila Catholic Register file photo

Toronto seminary rector named new bishop of Whitehorse

By 
  • November 27, 2015

TORONTO - Fr. Hector Vila, rector of Toronto’s Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary, has been appointed the new bishop of Whitehorse.
Pope Francis announced the appointment on Nov. 27.

Bishop-designate Vila takes over as the sixth bishop in the history of the diocese spread across the Yukon and northern British Columbia. He succeeds Bishop Gary Gordon, who was appointed bishop of Victoria in 2014.

“I wish to express my gratitude to God and to His Holiness Pope Francis for the trust placed in me,” said Vila. “Coming from the Diocesan Missionary Redemptoris Mater Seminary of Rome established by St. John Paul II, I was humbled by this new call to serve God’s people in the Diocese of Whitehorse, in knowing that God has a plan and will guide me on His path. I look forward to this new mission and to meeting wonderful people, learning about their traditions, discovering the beauty of this region of our country and growing in faith together.”

“Bishop-designate Vila is a holy and faithful priest who will bring a love of his faith and the people he has served to the Diocese of Whitehorse,” said Cardinal Thomas Collins. “I invite all of the faithful, and especially the members of the Neocatechumenal Way, to join me in offering their prayers for Bishop-designate Vila.”

The 53-year-old Vila was born in Lima, Peru, and came to Canada with his father in 1979 to study and work in mechanical engineering. In 1988 he entered the seminary and began his studies to become a priest in Toronto. He was sent to Rome in 1989 to study at the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary. He was ordained by Pope John Paul II May 14, 1995.

Since returning to Canada in October 1998, Vila has been rector at Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary.

The Diocese of Whitehorse is among the world’s largest dioceses geographically, covering an area of almost 725,000 square kilometres. The Catholic population is 7,500 is served by 23 parishes and missions.

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