New bishop appointed to Whitehorse

Pope Francis has appointed Father Hector Vila as the new bishop of Whitehorse. Vila, 53, will succeed Bishop Gary Gordon, who left for Victoria, B.C. last year.

Pope Francis has appointed Father Hector Vila as the new bishop of Whitehorse.

Vila, 53, will succeed Bishop Gary Gordon, who left for Victoria, B.C. last year.

Gordon had served as the bishop since 2006, after being elected by Pope Benedict XVI.

In a news release on Friday, Vila said he was excited to move to the Yukon.

“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,” he said.

Vila becomes the sixth bishop of Whitehorse. The Diocese of Whitehorse, made up of approximately 7,500 Catholics, covers a geographical area of about 723,515 square kilometres that also includes northern British Columbia.

Vila was born in Lima, Peru and moved to Canada with his father in 1979, according to the release.

He studied and worked as a mechanical engineer until 1986, when he became a priest.

Vila entered the seminary in Toronto two years later and continued his studies in Rome in 1989.

He earned a masters in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained a priest by Pope Jean Paul II in 1995.

Since returning to Canada in 1998, he’s been the rector of the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary in Toronto, Ont.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

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