The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver has been faithfully serving Catholics in British Columbia since 1863, when the Vicariate Apostolic of British Columbia was established with the Oblate local superior, Louis-Joseph d’Herbomez, OMI, as the vicar apostolic. On September 19, 1908, Pope Pius X established the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver (RCAV) with Bishop Dontenwill appointed as the first Archbishop.
The Archdiocese covers primarily B.C.’s Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. It has about 430,000 baptized Catholics within its boundaries. Archbishop Miller is chief pastor and leader of the Archdiocese, tending to both the spiritual and administrative needs of the Archdiocese. The suffragan dioceses of the Archdiocese, Kamloops, Nelson, Prince George, and Victoria, all led by their own bishops.*
The Church in Vancouver has undergone massive change since the mission outposts of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate of the 1800s. As of 2014, the Archdiocese has 77 parishes, 7 missions, 106 diocesan priests, and 99 religious priests. It also has 92 religious sisters and 18 religious brothers. There are 50 Catholic schools as well as Catholic hospitals including Holy Family Hospital, Mount St. Joseph Hospital, St. Paul’s Hospital and St. Vincent’s Hospitals: three colleges including Corpus Christi College, St. Mark’s College and Catholic Pacific College and Seminary of Christ the King. Within the Archdiocese we have one archdiocesan cemetery named Gardens of Gethsemani and two OMI cemeteries including St. Mary’s Chilliwack Cemetery and St. Peter’s New Westminster Cemetery. More than 80 organizations, associations, ministries and clubs help carry out the Church’s mission.
The Archdiocese of Vancouver has recently announced its new Priorities and Goals, which will focus its pastoral efforts and mission as the Church and its followers work to intentionally help people experience God’s merciful love. Archbishop Miller invited everyone to play a role in their implementation. “Each of you is crucial to this endeavour, by lending a hand and offering advice on how we can all work together.”
The four priorities are:
- Make Every Sunday Matter
- Get Closer to Jesus
- Strengthen Marriages & Families
- Develop Parish Leadership & Support