Theology on Tap EAST: Yukon's Northern Lights Reveal God

Event Date: 
Monday, October 3, 2016 - 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Faith Connections, the Office of Catholic Youth, and the local parishes invite young adults (19-39) to join us for an evening of thought-provoking conversation on theological topics! Munchies provided, cash bar available - come and bring a friend!
Special guest: Bishop Hector Vila.

His Excellency Most Rev. Hector Vila is the bishop of Whitehorse, Canada’s largest geographical diocese, spread over a 732,515 km2 which encompasses the entire Yukon Territory and part of the northern British Columbia. Bishop Vila will share his own vocation story, and reflect on how each of us is called by God to a specific mission in life. Finally, he will also share his experience of the Church in the Canadian North, as well as what are the gifts and challenges of working in the Canadian Catholic Mission territories.

The diocese of Whitehorse covers a vast area of Canada, 732,515 km2, and its population is of approximately 38,000 people. Most of them, i.e. about 28,000 people, live in Whitehorse. The ethnic makeup of the population is British, First Nations, Irish, Germans, Filipino and French. The diversity of people and the vast area of this part of Canada makes the Diocese a pleasant challenge and a place where we can really exercise our missionary spirit. The weather is also a challenge because of the long hours of night time during the winter and the long of hours of day time during the summer. I can say by my experience that whenever the Lord calls us to a mission He also provides the means and the strength to achieve it. It is also very important to note that the beauty of the land, with its natural sceneries and wildlife (bears, deer, moose, buffalos, caribous, etc.) makes Yukon a place many want to explore and visit.

Our Catholic population is of approximately 8,000, which is served in 23 parishes and missions. Presently six priests, two religious sisters, five consecrated sisters from Madonna House, one Bishop and some very dedicated lay faithful keep the light of Catholic faith shining in our small mission churches.

The seat of the diocese is Whitehorse, the capital city of the Yukon Territory. The Sacred Heart Cathedral, Our Lady of Victory Parish, and three Roman Catholic schools serve the Whitehorse area.

The diocese is geographically situated in the great river watersheds of both the Arctic and Pacific oceans. The Yukon, Liard, Dease Lake, Fort Nelson, Stikine, Nass and Skeena rivers and their tributaries are the historical highways of this land.

The all-season Alaska, Klondike, and Cassiar Highways connect the diocesan missions throughout the year and provide connections to our neighboring dioceses of Prince George

We certainly face a great challenge in maintaining the missions with just a few priests to carry on the pastoral work in these remote regions. Therefore, in some cases we can only offer the celebration of the Holy Mass once a month, and during the remaining weeks the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion.

About Bishop Hector Vila

My name is Rev. Hector Vila, and I was born on September 17, 1962, in Lima, Peru. I arrived to Canada with my father Godofredo Vila Matos in 1979, and finished my High School at Emery Collegiate Institute in 1982. I completed the Mechanical Engineering at George Brown College in 1986, and worked at Missal Tooling Ltd. as a Mechanical Engineer assistant for a year and a half. At the beginning of 1986 I felt the call of God to become a priest and in March 1987 I started the Neocatechumenal Way in the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Toronto. In October 1988 I decided to enter the seminary and began my studies in Philosophy at the University of Toronto, and in September 1989 I was sent to the Redemptoris Mater Missionary seminary of Rome, Italy. I completed my Philosophy and my Masters in Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. I was ordained priest on May 14th 1995, by his Holiness, Pope Saint John Paul II. Later, I completed my Licentiate in Patristics at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome in 1997. I served as a deacon and then as an associate pastor at St. Irenaeus Parish in Rome for two years and as priest at St. Patrick Parish for two years. I came back to Canada in October 1998, and I became rector of the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary of Toronto until 2015. In November 2015 I was named by the Holy Father Pope Francis, Bishop of the Diocese of Whitehorse in the Yukon.

Theology on Tap photos

For more information: visit our Toronto Theology on Tap web page, or contact OCY by e-mail, or phone 416-599-7676. RSVPs appreciated!


Wille Stouts Pub & Grill
2175 Sheppard Ave E (at Consumers Rd)
Toronto, ON M2J 1W8
43° 46' 27.4296" N, 79° 19' 51.3948" W