About the Archdiocese of Vancouver
The Archdiocese of Vancouver, established as a diocese in 1908, covers approximately 120,000 sq KM, including B.C.’s Lower Mainland and has roughly 450,000 baptized Catholics within its boundaries. Our current Pastoral Centre is located at 150 Robson Street, Vancouver BC V6B 2A7.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver has been faithfully serving Catholics in British Columbia since its creation by Pope Pius X in 1908. Led by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, the Archdiocese covers roughly two-thirds of the province and has roughly 450,000 baptized Catholics within its boundaries. Archbishop Miller is the leader of the Archdiocese, tending to both the spiritual and administrative needs of the Archdiocese.Today, the Archdiocese includes part of the Province of British Columbia and includes the suffragan dioceses of Kamloops, Nelson, Prince George, and Victoria. All four bishops who lead these suffragan dioceses are governed by the Archbishop of Vancouver.The local Church has undergone massive change since the mission outposts of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate of the 1800s. As of 2011, the Archdiocese contains 76 parishes, 12 missions, nearly 106 diocesan priests, 99 religious priests, and 478,000 Catholics. It also has 110 religious sisters and 14 religious brothers.There are 51 Catholic schools as well as hospitals, colleges, and a seminary. Within the Archdiocese there are also numerous church buildings, organizations, ministries and clubs that carry out the Church’s mission.
The large number of baptized Catholics, as well as the extensive infrastructure of the Archdiocese, supports the implementation of the Archdiocesan Synod. The Synod acts as a roadmap and plan for the Archdiocese that invites the faithful to pray, worship, evangelize, and serve.
For a comprehensive history of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, purchase the commemorative book Traditions of Faith & Service.
Diocesan Coat of Arms
The armorial bearings of the Archdiocese of Vancouver are described as follows in the technical language of heraldry:
Or in base upon water barry wavy azure and argent a lymphad azure full sail argent with cross or and a net or cast upon the waters; in chief a mullet argent set between the second and third dancetty of three points azure, the Chi-Rho centered or, between an heraldic rose argent and a dogwood flower argent on the sinister; all surmounted with the precious mitre or.
The main element of the shield is a ship in sail, representing the barque of Peter, but also recalling the coat of arms of the City of New Westminster, where the diocese was founded, and of Vancouver, where the Archdiocese is seated. A net cast overboard highlights the Petrine symbolism and recalls Matthew 4:18. The full sail denotes the church in its vigour. The waves beneath reflect proximity to the ocean; similar waves appear on both the Vancouver and British Columbia coats of arms.
The three chevron shapes are a stylized heraldic rendering of mountains, the backdrop to the city of Vancouver. The three represent Hollyburn, Grouse and Seymour mountaintops.
The Chi-Rho represents the Greek monogram for Christ.
The heraldic rose symbolizes the Cathedral’s dedication to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, while the dogwood is the floral symbol of the province of British Columbia.
The precious mitre is a standard element of diocesan armorial bearings.
The Archdiocese has a diverse range of physical characteristics. Vancouver, the largest population centre of the Archdiocese, is an ocean-side city with a moderate climate and coastal mountains. Further east, there are rich valleys and river deltas, while further north, there is a long coastline and a large area of mountain ranges, forests, and smaller towns and cities.
The boundaries of the Archdiocese of Vancouver comprise that part of the interior of British Columbia bounded on the north: along the 50th parallel of latitude from the 120th meridian Westward to the 124th meridian and Northward to the 53rd parallel to the main shipping channel along the mainland coast; on the South: the 49th parallel of latitude from the 120th meridian Westward to the main shipping channel along the mainland coast, which constitutes the West boundary of the Archdiocese; and on the East: the 120th meridian and 124th meridian of longitude.
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