The Joy of the Family

2020/2021 annual report of the roman catholic archdiocese of vancouver
letter title

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It has been about 20 months since the Archdiocese of Vancouver adopted the motto “the Church Never Stops” in response to the challenges that faced us during the first year of the pandemic. As we approach the end of the second year of this crisis, I remain grateful that our local Church has indeed never stopped. Our mission of evangelization has continued without faltering.

The trials of this past year in some ways proved more challenging than those of last year: added restrictions on religious worship, increasing attacks on the sanctity of life, widening divisions in our society, and yet another painful reminder of the legacy of the Catholic Church’s involvement in operating government-established residential schools for Indigenous Peoples.

Amid these crosses and challenges, however, the Church never stopped. We continued to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world. We witnessed the providence of God working in the Church in Vancouver in numerous ways:

  • We are thankful that our churches and schools are now fully open to worship and education.
  • New opportunities have arisen for bringing healing to the longstanding pain of residential school survivors through the Archdiocese’s formal commitment to those who have suffered.
  • Our Men’s Shelter now operates from its new location at St. Paul’s Hospital. It is working closely with its partners BC Housing and Providence Health Care to shelter and care for transient or destitute men in downtown Vancouver.
  • We experienced a year of blessings as Pope Francis declared the Year of St. Joseph and the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. These celebrations remind us that our country’s patron saint accompanies us in our trials, and that in the face of a throwaway culture that marginalizes the elderly we should honour our older generations.
  • The Holy Father blessed the Church by proclaiming the Year of the Family. Appropriately this year’s Archbishop’s Dinner proceeds are funding our reinvigorated Marriage and Family Office, as it helps us testify to the joyful love found in marriage and the family in a culture that desperately needs this witness.
  • Despite setbacks that the necessary restrictions brought about, vocations to the priesthood continue to flourish. We celebrated two priestly ordinations: Father Richard Conlin and Father Raffaele Salvino. This October, we were blessed to ordain nine new permanent deacons, who immediately began assisting parishes and other ministries.
  • This year we are joyfully celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Evangelization of the Philippines. Our Filipino Ministry Office has been coordinating a highly creative and successful year-long celebration of events including special Masses, devotions and pilgrimages.

No one knows what challenges may lie ahead in 2022. I am confident, however, that our Catholic community will continue to labour and pray with its customary dedication to ensure that the Church’s mission continues. It is to them that I dedicate this Annual Report, appropriately titled “The Joy of the Family.”

Placing our faithfulness and trust in God’s grace, and through the prayers of the Holy Family, we will continue to ensure that the Church in our beloved Archdiocese of Vancouver, “the Church Never Stops”.

With the assurance of my blessing and prayers, I remain, 
+ J. Michael Miller, CSB
Archbishop of Vancouver

Priorities and Goals

Make Every Sunday Matter

Celebrate like we mean it
Welcome like we mean it

Get Closer to Jesus

Foster personal encounters
Promote discipleship paths

Strengthen Marriages and Families

Provide support for parents seeking to acquire additional parenting skills
Connect people in need with support services that address their challenges

Develop Parish Leadership and Support

Parishes are called to be dynamic communities of missionary disciples
Every parish will be offered services in management, development, and human resource functions

Our Story

The Archdiocese of Vancouver covers approximately 120,000 km², including B.C.’s Lower Mainland, and has roughly 446,000 baptized Catholics within its boundaries. It was established in 1863 as the Vicariate Apostolic of British Columbia and in 1908 as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver.

77 parishes
52 schools and 4 institutions of higher education
6,365 catechists
446,611 Catholics
207 priests
109 diocesan
98 religious
95 religious sisters
34 permanent deacons
30 religious brothers

Discerning a Priestly Vocation

20 seminarians
5 new seminarians for the 2020-2021 academic year

Our seminarians underwent a full academic year during the pandemic. Despite many challenges, they had a fruitful year of ministry and community life at the Seminary. The Seminary of Christ the King accompanied young men discerning the priesthood by launching King’s Gambit, the first ever online seminary live-in.

We were blessed to celebrate the priestly ordinations of Fr. Richard Conlin and Fr. Raffaele Salvino.

I look forward to being with my sons and daughters and sharing this great gift that I’ve been given from Jesus. I ask you to pray for me, that I may live out this vocation as a father to so many people out there that need a message of hope, a message of the goodness of God during these times.
Fr. Richard Conlin
newly ordained on december 11, 2020
In this unpredictable year of change, I have rediscovered the One who doesn’t change. Regardless of the future to come, Our Lord remains unchanging; an anchor in the midst of storms: “Stat crux dum volvitur orbis” (‘The Cross stands firm while the world turns’).
Fr. Raffaele Salvino
newly ordained on july 3, 2021

In February, the seminarians in the Spirituality Year worked at the new Catholic Charities Men’s Shelter and the Door Is Open in the Downtown Eastside for their Discipleship Immersion Experience. Through ministering to the homeless and the destitute, they showed their trust in the providential care of God.

Working at the Catholic Charities Men’s Shelter showed me the heart of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s words that “we can do no great things, only small things with great love.” I learned that we must love the best we can, and then trust and know that God loves these men more than we ever could – and He will take care of them.
Gabriel Canizares
a new website!
In June, the Vocations and Seminarians Office revamped its website. With a new focus on those discerning a vocation to the priesthood, the website features a survey to help young men concretely begin the process of priestly discernment and points them to seek accompaniment from the Vocations Director and other discerners.