August 25, 2014

OTTAWA – The president of Canada's bishops' conference welcomed the naming of Dennis Savoie as Canada's new ambassador to the Holy See.

"Mr. Savoie is a man who has given leadership both at the civic and community level in Canada," said Archbishop Paul-André Durocher of Gatineau, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird named Savoie Aug. 1.

The new ambassador had most recently been serving as second in command of the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, Conn.

As deputy supreme knight, Savoie also advised the Knights on Canadian affairs.

The bilingual New Brunswick native also served on the board of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family.

Durocher stressed the importance of having Canada represented at the Vatican.

"It's important for us as a country to be part of the diplomatic corps at the Vatican, particularly at this time in the life of the Church and the role that Pope Francis is playing."

Savoie spent 25 years at New Brunswick Electric Power Corporation after earning a degree in sociology at the Université de Moncton in 1968. He rose to hold a variety of senior roles in the company.

Active in his community, he held positions on various New Brunswick school boards, and on the boards of governors of Université de Moncton and Saint Thomas University in Fredericton. He also coached minor hockey.

He and his wife Claudette Surette have two children and five grandchildren.