New Bishop Named for Military Ordinariate of Canada

Wednesday, March 25 1998

(Ottawa — CCCB) His Holiness Pope John Paul II today appointed Rev. Donald Thériault of the Diocese of London as Bishop for the Military Ordinariate of Canada. The position has been vacant since the appointment of Bishop André Vallée to the Diocese of Hearst in August 1996. Bishop-elect Thériault has been Episcopal Vicar for the Francophone community of the Diocese of London, Ontario, since 1997. He has formerly worked for the Canadian Forces as a chaplain.

Born in Paquetteville, New Brunswick, on January 18, 1946, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1968. The new Bishop-elect was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of London on May 8, 1971 after completing his theological studies at St. Peter’s Seminary in London. He then received his master’s degree, with a specialization in liturgy, from the Institut catholique de Paris, France, in 1977. Bishop-elect Thériault is also the current pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Tilbury, Ontario. He has been president of the London Council of Priests; vice-president of the London Liturgical Commission, judge of the London Marriage Tribunal; chaplain to French-language public schools in the London area; a member of the Ontario Liturgical Commission; a captain with the Canadian Forces Reserve, and a summer chaplain for the Canadian Forces Air Cadets.

The Military Ordinariate was created April 21, 1986, following the publication of the Apostolic Constitution Spirituali Militum Curae. Bishop André Vallée, P.M.E., was the first bishop in Canada to become Military Ordinary on January 28, 1988. All Catholic military personnel, including those of the Eastern Rites, and civilian personnel in the Department of National Defence come under the jurisdiction of the Military Ordinariate. This also includes their families, those serving schools under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Forces as well as residents of veterans’ hospitals.

The Military Ordinariate has a population of 75,183 Catholics in 33 parishes and missions, with 32 diocesan priests, eight priests who are members of religious communities and one permanent deacon.