New Archbishop Appointed to Winnipeg

Wednesday, June 07 2000

His Holiness Pope John Paul II today accepted the resignation of Archbishop Leonard J. Wall and named Most Reverend James V. Weisgerber, who has been Bishop of Saskatoon, as the new Archbishop of Winnipeg.

Born on May 1, 1938, in Vibank, Saskatchewan, Archbishop Weisgerber studied at St. Peter’s College in Muenster, Saskatchewan, and at Saint-Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario, where he obtained licentiates in philosophy and theology.

Following his ordination to the priesthood in 1963 in Regina, he was Dean of the faculty of arts at Notre Dame College (now Athol Murray College), Wilcox, Saskatchewan; director of the pastoral and social justice offices at the Diocesan Centre of the Archdiocese of Regina; and pastor of various parishes in Regina and at Fort Qu’appelle which also included pastoral ministry with a number of Aboriginal communities.

In 1990 he was appointed General Secretary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), a position he occupied until his nomination as Bishop of Saskatoon in 1996.

Archbishop Weisgerber is currently serving as the Western Regional Representative on the CCCB Permanent Council and is also Chairman of the CCCB Episcopal Commission for Social Affairs and Co-chair of the Canadian Anglican/Catholic Dialogue. As well he is the President of the Western Catholic Conference which is the Western regional conference of Catholic bishops.

Most Rev. Leonard Wall is retiring after eight years as Archbishop of Winnipeg, having reached the retirement age for a bishop on September 29, 1999. Canon 401 of the Code of Canon Law stipulates that a diocesan bishop is required to present his resignation to the Pope upon attaining the age of 75.

The Diocese of Winnipeg, with a Catholic population of more than 170,000 in 92 parishes and missions, is served by 60 diocesan priests and 28 priests who are members of religious communities, as well as 18 permanent deacons. There are also 177 religious brothers and sisters in the archdiocese who are members of religious communities.