Pope Names His First Canadian Bishops

For Keewatin-Le Pas and Hamilton

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OTTAWA, JULY 11, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI has named his first two Canadian bishops.

Father Sylvain Lavoie, 58, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate, was named coadjutor bishop of Keewatin-Le Pas, Manitoba, and Father Gerard Bergie, 46, was named auxiliary of Hamilton, Ontario, the Vatican press office and the Canadian bishops’ conference announced today.

Born in Delmas, Saskatchewan, Sylvain Lavoie was ordained to the priesthood after joining the Community of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1974, and following his education in theology at St. Charles Scholasticate in Battleford, Saskatchewan.

He later became provincial superior and consultor of his religious community and worked in a number of parishes in the Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas. He has been pastor of a Cree community in Makwa, Saskatchewan.

As coadjutor, Bishop-elect Lavoie would be in line to succeed Archbishop Peter Sutton, 70.

The Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas has a Catholic population of 37,000 in 48 parishes and missions. Its pastoral ranks include 16 diocesan and religious order priests.

Gerard Paul Bergie was born in Hamilton, Ontario. He received a master’s degree in divinity from the University of Western Ontario in 1983 and a licentiate in canon law from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome in 1991.

Ordained to the priesthood in May 1984, he has served in parishes and occupied diocesan posts, including chancellor.

The Diocese of Hamilton serves a Catholic population of 560,000 in 150 parishes and missions. Its pastoral ranks include 118 diocesan priests and 90 priests belonging to religious communities.

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