VANCOUVER - Nearly 50,000 Roman Catholics in northern B.C. have a new leader, and he's from Vancouver.
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced that Rev. Msgr. Stephen Jensen is replacing Bishop Gerald Wiesner who has held the post in the Diocese of Prince George for the last 19 years.
The organization says Wiesner offered his resignation as required by church law when reaching the age of 75.
According to the conference, Jensen was born in North Vancouver, B.C., educated in Ontario, served as a pastor in Vancouver and Abbotsford, held a position on a catholic school board, and received a doctorate in education in San Francisco, Calif.
The Diocese of Prince George spans about 346,000 square kilometres and covers the area between Prince George in central B.C., the Alberta border to the east, the Yukon border to the north and Haida Gwaii to the west.
Church officials say the Catholic population of the diocese is about 49,500 and includes 37 parishes and missions.