.- A diocese in the Canadian North has a new bishop. Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop Sylvain Lavoie to succeed Archbishop Peter Sutton for the Diocese of Keewatin-Le Pas. The pope accepted the resignation of Archbishop Sutton, 71, who has been living with illness for some time. The announcement was made March 25.
Archbishop Lavoie was named coadjutor in July 2005. Both clerics were ordained for the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, and like many Oblates before them, have spent their lives serving the people of the Catholic missions in Canada’s Great North.
Archbishop Lavoie was born 1947 in Delmas, Sask. After joining the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and studying philosophy and theology at St. Charles Scholasticate, Battleford, Sask., he was ordained to the priesthood in 1974. 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, which includes the northern parts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Archbishop Lavoie is currently a member of the Episcopal Commission for the Evangelization of Peoples, of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Sutton was born in Chandler, Quebec, in 1934. He was ordained to the
priesthood in 1960. In 1974, he was ordained as bishop of Labrador
City-Schefferville., He was named coadjutor archbishop of Keewatin-Le
Pas in February 1986. In November of that same year, he was named
Archbishop Sutton served on a number of CCCB commissions, including the commissions for social affairs, Christian education and the evangelization of peoples. He was also national spiritual adviser with the Catholic Women’s League of Canada.
The Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas has a Catholic population of 37,000 in 48 parishes and missions, served by 16 diocesan and religious order priests, nine religious sisters and brothers and 13 lay pastoral assistants.