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Fr. Gary Franken has been named as the new bishop of St. Paul, Alta.

Vancouver vicar general named new Bishop of St. Paul diocese

  • September 22, 2022

VANCOUVER -- Pope Francis has named the Archdiocese of Vancouver’s vicar general, Fr. Gary Franken, as the new Bishop of St. Paul, Alta.

Bishop-elect Franken will take over from Bishop Paul Terrio, who retires at the age of 79, four years after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.  

Terrio will serve as apostolic administrator for the diocese until Franken’s installation at an unspecified date.

Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, said Pope Francis “has chosen well a worthy successor” to Terrio.

“Like his brother priests, I will miss Fr. Gary as vicar general and his tireless ministry in our local Church. We all know just how much the Diocese of St. Paul will be blessed to have him as their new chief shepherd.”

Franken has been vicar general in Vancouver since 2016, when he replaced Fr. Joseph Nguyen, who became Bishop of Kamloops.

Franken is also vicar of priestly life, moderator of the curia, pastor of St. Anthony’s Parish in West Vancouver, and sits on numerous councils and committees of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, including the Presbyteral Council  and the Finance Council.

He has served on a large number of boards and commissions including the Archdiocesan Stewardship Commission, the Stewardship Advisory Board and the Communications Advisory Board. He is a member of the Archbishop’s Council, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and the College of Consultors.

He was vocations director for the archdiocese from 1997 to 1999. 

Franken was ordained to the priesthood in 1989 by Archbishop James Carney after receiving his Master of Divinity from St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ont. Later he received his Licentiate of Sacred Theology (STL) in Dogma and a diploma in Spirituality from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome. 

He has served as pastor at Immaculate Conception in Delta and St. Francis de Sales in Burnaby, as well as assistant at Star of the Sea in Surrey and Holy Rosary Cathedral. 

Franken grew up in St. Mary’s Parish in Vancouver and graduated from St. Thomas More Secondary in Burnaby in 1980.

As a young man and motorcycle enthusiast, he took a two-year break in the middle of his undergraduate studies, during which he lived in a L’Arche community and worked with people with intellectual disabilities.

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