July 18, 2011

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict has named a new bishop for the Diocese of Nicolet, Quebec, and two new auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Montreal.

Accepting the resignation July 11 of Bishop Raymond Saint-Gelais, who reached the customary retirement age of 75 in March, the pope named Montreal Auxiliary Bishop Andre Gazaille, 65, to succeed him.

Gazaille was born in Montreal, studied at the archdiocesan seminary and was ordained a priest in 1971. After 35 years of parish work and service as a chaplain, he was named an auxiliary bishop for Montreal in 2006.

Also July 11, the pope named two new auxiliary bishops for Montreal.

One is Father Christian Lepine, 59, a Montreal pastor who had worked in the Vatican Secretariat of State and in the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments from 1998 to 2001.

The other is Father Thomas Dowd, 40, archdiocesan director of formation and a professor of theology at the Montreal seminary and at Concordia University in Montreal.

Lepine was ordained to the priesthood in 1983, served in a parish for three years and then studied at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University.

Dowd earned a degree in international business from Concordia University before entering the seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2001 and has worked with a variety of Montreal chancery offices since 2005.

The appointments are the first major ones since Cardinal Marc Ouellet, former archbishop of Quebec, last year became head of the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops, which helps the pope to appoint new bishops.

Several episcopal appointments are expected in Quebec in the next few years as current bishops retire. Among those expected retirements is that of Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte of Montreal, who turned 75 on June 26.