On July 24, 1846, the Diocese of Vancouver Island was established, including Vancouver Island, the adjacent islands, New Caledonia (i.e., the British Columbia Mainland), the Queen Charlotte Islands, and Alaska, with the bishop residing in Victoria.
The Diocese was raised to the status of an Archdiocese on June 19, 1903. The name was changed to Victoria on September 6, 1904. It was returned to the status of a Diocese on October 1, 1908.
The largest city in our Diocese is Victoria, located at the southern end of Vancouver Island. Almost 96,000 persons in our geographic area listed themselves as Roman Catholic in the 2011 civic census; nearly 13,000 families are registered with parishes in the Diocese and of that number, 68.8% are active in their parish community. The Diocese is blessed with a variety of cultures and provides Masses in English, French, Croatian, Hungarian, Korean, Latin, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Many of the Diocese’s Indigenous population are Roman Catholic. Within the Indigenous population, there are three distinct linguistic groups (the Nuu-chah-nulth, the Coast Salish, and the Kwakwaka’wakw) comprising fifty Nations, plus six Métis communities, each with a Chief and Council. Diocesan clergy, religious men and women and native lay leaders minister to Indigenous communities in Saanich, Duncan, Chemainus, Nanaimo, Ucluelet and Tofino, as well as to Indigenous communities in the Gulf Islands, islands off the West Coast of Vancouver Island, and communities in the north of Vancouver Island.
The current Bishop is the Most Reverend Gary Gordon.
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