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The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver is a Roman Catholic archdiocese that includes part of the Province of British Columbiamarker. It is the metropolitan see of the ecclesiastical province which includes the suffragan dioceses of Kamloops, Nelson, Prince George, and Victoria. The Archdiocese is led by Archbishop John Michael Miller.

Archdiocesan synod

The archdiocese concluded a nine-year synod in December 2006.

A synod is a gathering of priests, religious, and lay faithful who assist the bishop in his ministry by helping him to discern where and how his diocese can improve. The only limit placed on the scope of the synod is that it can only deal with matters capable of being decided or changed at the diocesan level.

In the case of the Vancouver synod, lay and religious representatives of every parish, Catholic schools, religious communities, the local seminary, and Catholic organizations took part, as well as non-Catholic observers who were invited to the process.

Although it formally ran from October 2002 to October 2003, extensive preparation went into the synod as far back as 1998 during the period leading up to the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. The synod’s aim was to bring the Church of Vancouver into the 21st century, from the “maintenance” mode it was in to more of a mission-driven model, as former Archbishop Emeritus Adam Exner, OMI, put it.

On December 3, 2006, at Holy Rosary Cathedral, Archbishop Raymond Roussin, SM, officially declared the synod closed, and with that, officially set the initiatives from the synod into motion.

According to the archdiocesan newspaper The B.C. Catholic, the first 20 declarations from the synod were to come into effect almost immediately. "Among the highlights are initiatives to encourage pastors to delegate more duties to the laity, to promote the faith formation of teachers, to initiate an adult faith formation strategy, to establish an office and vicar for evangelization, and to initiate a support group for priests."

More information about the synod can be found at

The B.C. Catholic's coverage of the synod can be found at:

Archdiocesan demographics

As of 2006, the archdiocese contains 74 parishes, 15 missions, 96 diocesan priests, 93 religious priests, and 429,390 Catholics. It also has 126 religious sisters, 22 religious brothers, and 1 permanent deacon. There are 49 Catholic schools.


On the 24th of July, 1846, the Diocese of Vancouver Island was erected from the Vicariate Apostolic of the Oregon Territorymarker.
Holy Rosary Cathedral pipe organ
Oblates of Mary Immaculate years
On the 14th of December, 1863, the Vicariate Apostolic of British Columbia was erected. A French priest, by the name Louis-Joseph D'Herbomez, from the order of Oblates of Mary Immaculate, became the first Vicar Apostolic of the newly formed territory. He was later ordained Bishop in 1864 and served the Catholic community until his death in 1890.

In 1890, the Vicariate of British Columbia becomes the Diocese of New Westminster. Another Oblates of Mary Immaculate French Bishop, Pierre-Paul Durieu, took over the responsibilities and served the community until his death in 1899. During his tenure, the territory of Alaska was lost in the creation of the Prefecture Apostolic of Alaska in 1894.

Another French Bishop, Augustin Dontenwill, took governance of the Diocese of New Westminster in 1899 and served the community until he resigned, to become the Superior General of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, in 1908. Under his tenure the Holy Rosery Church was commissioned.

Under the Archdiocese of Victoria
In 1903, the Diocese of Vancouver Island was elevated to Archdiocese of Vancouver Island and in 1904, it changed to the Archdiocese of Victoria. A German born Bishop, Bertram Orth, was appointed Archbishop in 1903 and lead the Archdiocese of Victoria and it’s suffrages until he resigned in 1908.

In September, 1908, the Diocese of New Westminster was elevated to the Archdiocese of Vancouver and in October, 1908, the Archdiocese of Victoria was lowered to the Diocese of Victoria. Father Alexander MacDonald, of Nova Scotia, was quickly appointed and ordained Bishop of Victoria.

The Canadian Bishops
For just over one year the Archdiocese of Vancouver had no bishop until Neil McNeil, Bishop of St. George’s, Newfoundland, became the first appointed Canadian Archbishop of Vancouver on the 19th of January, 1910. His tenure was short, as he then went on to become the Archbishop of Toronto on the 10th of April, 1912.

August, 1912, Timothy Casey, Bishop of Saint John in America, New Brunswick, becomes the 5th Archbishop of Vancouver. 1914 World War I breaks out and Archbishop Casey had to battle hard financial times for the Archdiocese. Under his governance, Holy Rosery Church became a Cathedral. He served his community until his death on October 1931.

The "Iron Duke" years
August 1928, a priest from St. John, New Brunswick, became Coadjutor Archbishop of Vancouver and on 5th of October 1931, Bishop William Mark Duke became Archbishop of Vancouver. In his 32 years of service to his community Archbishop Duke had to deal with the Great Depression of the Dirty Thirties and later World War II. His strict disciplinarian beliefs and financial management of the Archdiocese earned him the title “Iron Duke”. The legacy that was left behind when Archbishop William Mark Duke retired in March 1964 is impressive. He helped establish St. Mark’s College at the University of British Columbia, 2 Catholic high schools, 1 non-diocese Catholic high school, 22 Catholic elementary schools, and 3 Catholic hospitals including many new parishes in the diocese alone. During his tenure the Diocese of Nelson was erected in 1936 and the Diocese of Kamloops was erected in 1945. These new diocese helped erect a new high school, new elementary schools & parishes.

The bishop of Nelson, Martin Michael Johnston, became Coadjutor Archbishop of Vancouver, in 1954, to assist Archbishop Duke during the last 10 years of governance. Bishop Johnston became Archbishop of Vancouver on 1964 and retired in 1969. During Archbishop Johnston tenure, the Vicariate of Prince Rupert was elevated to Diocese of Prince George, in 1967.

Project Advance years
Auxiliary Bishop, James Francis Carney, became Archbishop of Vancouver in 1969. Archbishop Carney became the first Vancouver born bishop to be appointed to the Archdiocese. During his tenure Archbishop Carney saw the need to rebuild many of the parishes, schools and hospitals that were showing their age. Project Advance was introduced into the community that required the parishes to raise funds. These funds went back into the community to help rebuild their parishes & schools and also to build new facilities, like Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary School, which was built in the Archbishop’s honour, after he died in 1990.

List of suffragan dioceses

The following are the Diocese under the direction of the Archdiocese of Vancouver:


The following is a list of the residenct bishops of Vancouver and their terms of service:


The churches offer masses in the following languages: Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese), Chinese (Mandarin), Croatian, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Laotian, Traditional Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.




New Westminster

North Vancouver




  • Saint Anthony of Padua

  • Saints Joachim & Ann

Bella Coola
  • Holy Name of Mary

Boston Bar
  • Saint Joseph's

Bowen Island

  • Saint Mary's
Crescent Beach
  • Holy Cross





Maple Ridge


Port Coquitlam

Port Moody

Powell River


  • Saint Joseph's

West Vancouver

White Rock


Catholic High Schools

Aerial View of the Archdiocese's new Archbishop Carney Secondary School
School City Est. Website Enrollment
Holy Cross Regional High Schoolmarker Surrey 1982 ~780 (co-ed)
St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Secondary School North Vancouver 1953 ~600 (co-ed)
Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary School Port Coquitlam 1994 ~750 (co-ed)
St. Patrick's Regional Secondary Vancouver 1928 ~500 (co-ed)
St. Thomas More Collegiate (non-diocese) Burnaby 1960 ~660 (co-ed)
St.John Brebeuf Regional Secondary Abbotsford 1992 ~335 (co-ed)
Notre Dame Regional Secondary School Vancouver 1953 ~600 (co-ed)
St. Ann's Academy (high school re-established 1981) Kamloops 1910 ~600 (co-ed)
Vancouver College (non-diocese) Vancouver 1922 ~600 (boys)
Little Flower Academy (non-diocese) Vancouver 1927 ~470 (girls)
Convent of the Sacred Heart high school closed 1979.
Now it's St. George's Junior School

Catholic Elementary Schools

School City Est. Website
Assumption School Powell River 1961
Blessed Sacrament Vancouver 1954
Cloverdale Catholic Surrey 1954
Corpus Christi Vancouver 1957
Holy Cross Burnaby 1959
Holy Trinity North Vancouver 1955
Immaculate Conception Delta 1959
Immaculate Conception Vancouver 1926
Our Lady of Fatima Coquitlam 1947
Our Lady of Good Counsel Surrey 1957
Our Lady of Mercy Burnaby 1959
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Vancouver 1927
Our Lady of Sorrows Vancouver 1926
Our Lady of the Assumption Port Coquitlam 1982
Queen of All Saints Coquitlam 1996
Sacred Heart Delta 1944
St. Andrew's Vancouver 1937
St. Anthony of Padua Vancouver 1997
St. Anthony's West Vancouver 1958
St. Augustine's Vancouver 1921
St. Bernadette's Surrey 1986
St. Catherine's Langley 1986
St. Edmund's North Vancouver 1911
St. Francis de Sales Burnaby 1954
St. Francis of Assisi Vancouver 1946
St. Francis Xavier Vancouver 1940
St. Helen's Burnaby 1923
St. James Abbotsford 1985
St. Joseph's Vancouver 1922
St. Joseph the Worker Richmond 1988
St. Jude's Vancouver 1955
St. Mary's Chilliwack 1948
St. Mary's Vancouver 1931
St. Michael's Burnaby 1957
St. Patrick's Maple Ridge 1955
St. Patrick's Vancouver 1922
St. Paul's Richmond 1960
St. Pius X North Vancouver 1996
Star of the Sea White Rock 1981
Vancouver College Vancouver 1922
  • St. Ann's Academy, of Vancouver (located by Holy Rosery Cathedral), was open 1888 & closed 1946.
  • St. Ann's Academy, of New Westminster, was open 1865 & closed 1968.
  • St. Peter's School, of New Westminster, was open 1945 & closed in 1968.
  • Holy Ghost School, of Lulu Island, was opened 1947 & closed in 1955.
  • In 1982, Little Flower Academy closed its elementary section of the school.

Catholic Universities, Colleges & Seminaries

Abbey church
At present there are no Catholic universities, but, as per Archdiocesan Synod, there are plans to build one in the future.

College City Est. Website Enrollment
St. Mark's College Vancouver @ University of British Columbia 1956 ~8000 (co-ed)
Corpus Christi College Vancouver @ University of British Columbia (co-ed)
Reedemer Pacific College Langley @ Trinity Western University 1999 (co-ed)
Seminary of Christ the King Mission 1931 (men only)

Religious Orders

Religious communities of men

Religious communities of women


The Gardens of Gethsemani Cemetery & Mausoleum (Est. 1965), 15800 - 32nd Avenue,Surrey, B.C.

Charitable Organizations

Health Care
St. Vincent's Heather is built on the old site of St. Vincent's Hospital.
On March 31st 2000, St. Paul’s Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, & CHARA Health Care Society were consolidated into one legal entity and formed Providence Health Care, with eight sites in the city of Vancouver.

Although the Archdiocese is responsible for the creation of the hospitals & care facilities. It no long has direct control of these facilities as they are governed by a Board of Directors, the Congregation of Sisters & Providence Senior Leadership Team. Providenc Health Care continues to provide Catholic health care.

Providence Health Care is presently developing the Legacy Project, which is to renew St. Paul’s Hospital into a state of the art research and teaching facility.
Hospital City Est. Order Beds
St. Paul's Hospital Vancouver 1894 the Sisters of Providence 500
St. Vincent's Hospital Vancouver 1939 the Sisters of Charity 650
Mount Saint Joseph Hospital (1946) Vancouver 1921 the Missionary Sisters 208
Holy Family Hospitalmarker Vancouver 1947 the Sisters of Providence 218
Youville Residence Vancouver 1931 the Grey Sisters 152
Family support
  • Catholic Family Services - School assistance, marriage, employee assistance, separation, abortion healing, etc.
Overseas assistance Shelters
  • Catholic Charities Men's Hostel - Emergency shelter for men.
  • Columbus Towers - Low rent housing for seniors
  • Missionaries of Charity - housing for single pregnant mothers.
  • St. Michael's Centre - extended care beds & hospice beds. (144 beds)
Social support
  • Apostleship of the Sea - Provides services to visiting international seafarers.
  • Catholic Charities Justice Services - Prison visitation & re-integration programs.
  • Faith & Light Association - Providing services & support for the mentally handicapped & their families.
  • Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement - emergency food & clothing programs.
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul - visiting the sick and assistance to families.
  • The Door is Open - A safe drop-in centre for the homeless.

Saints, Blessed & Venerables

(to be updated)


  • The Archdiocese publishes a newspaper call 'The BC Catholic' for the community. (Founded in 1931)
  • Rosemary Heights Retreat Centre - A ministry of the Archdiocese which consists of a chapel, accommodations, conference rooms, full cafeteria service, gardens and grottos.



External links

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