His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Msgr. Mark Hagemoen, PH, Bishop of Mackenzie-Fort Smith. The Bishop-elect had been serving as President of Corpus Christi and St. Mark’s Colleges in Vancouver.

The new Bishop is the first Canadian episcopal appointment by Pope Francis.

Bishop-elect Mark Hagemoen was born and raised in Vancouver. After completing his undergraduate degree (Bachelor of Arts) at the University of British Columbia, he travelled throughout Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe for a year, before entering St. Peter’s Seminary in London, Ontario. He completed his Masters of Divinity degree there in 1990. After being ordained a priest for theArchdiocese of Vancouver in May 1990, he received a National Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies and a Diploma for Advanced Studies in Ministry in 1997, and subsequently completed the Doctor of Ministry program at Trinity Western University in 2007. In December that year, he was honoured by Pope Benedict XVI who recognized him as a “Prelate of Honour” with the title Monsignor, for his work in the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

Msgr. Hagemoen has also served as Vicar of Pastoral Services and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Vancouver and on a number of archdiocesan committees and school boards.

The see of Mackenzie-Fort Smith has been vacant since December 6, 2012, when Pope Benedict XVI named its then Bishop, the Most Reverend Murray Chatlain, Archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas and Apostolic Administrator of Mackenzie-Fort Smith.

According to the 2013 Directory of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Diocese of Mackenzie – Fort Smith has 37 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 20,110, which is served by seven diocesan priests, three priests who are members of religious communities, one permanent deacon, seven Religious Sisters and Brothers, and one lay pastoral assistant. A special twinning arrangement with the Archdiocese of Edmonton was announced by Archbishop Richard Smith in 2012, in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Archdiocese.