10/15/2013 12:36 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 18:58 EST

Vancouver priest named bishop of N.W.T. diocese

Pope Francis has named Vancouver priest Mark Hagemoen as bishop of Mackenzie – Fort Smith, the largest diocese in Canada. 

Before being named Bishop-elect, Hagemoen was president of Corpus Christi and St. Mark’s Colleges, two Catholic colleges in Vancouver.

Hagemoen is the first Canadian episcopal appointment by Pope Francis.

At more than 1.5 million square kilometres, the diocese of Mackenzie – Fort Smith covers most of the N.W.T and parts of Nunavut and Saskatchewan.

It is the largest diocese in Canada. According to the 2013 Directory of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the area has a Catholic population of 20,110.