Appointment of a new Bishop for Whitehorse

Friday, November 27 2015

Vila Hector(CCCB – Ottawa)… His Holiness Pope Francis today named the Reverend Héctor Felipe Vila as Bishop of the Diocese of Whitehorse. At the time of his appointment, he was Rector of Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Toronto. Bishop-elect Vila succeeds the Most Reverend Gary Gordon who was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Victoria on June 14, 2014. Bishop Gordon had served as Apostolic Administrator of Whitehorse until he was installed as Bishop of Victoria on August 28, 2014. Since then, the Reverend Kieran Kilcommons, M.H.A., has been Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Whitehorse.

Born on September 17, 1962, in Lima, Peru, Bishop-elect Vila did his primary studies and part of his secondary education in his homeland before immigrating to Canada in 1979. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering in 1986 from George Brown College in Toronto. In 1987, he joined the Neo-catechumenal Way. He began his studies in philosophy and theology at the University of Toronto and in 1989 continued his studies at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Rome and at the Gregorian University. Subsequently, he obtained a licentiate in patristic studies from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome. Bishop-elect Vila was ordained to the priesthood by Saint John Paul II on May 14, 1995, for the Diocese of Rome where he ministered until 1998.

In 1998, upon his return to Canada, he was appointed administrator of St. Norbert’s Parish in Toronto. In 2000, he was then appointed Rector of Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Toronto.

According to the CCCB 2015 Directory, the Diocese of Whitehorse has 22 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 8,150, served by seven diocesan priests, three priests who are members of religious communities, two Sisters who are also members of religious communities, and seven lay pastoral assistants.