Salesian Vicar General Appointed Bishop of Gent, Belgium

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GENT, Belgium, DEC. 23, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II has named the vicar general of the Salesian Society, Father Lucas Van Looy, as new bishop of Gent, Belgium.



He is replacing Bishop Arthur Luysterman, who presented his resignation to the Holy Father for reasons of health and age.

When news of Father Van Looy's appointment was made public, Father Pascual Chavez, the major rector of the Salesians, thanked the Pope for the trust he has again shown in the congregation, and expressed his gratitude to the bishop-elect for the service rendered "with generosity and competence," Salesian sources told ZENIT.

Lucas Van Looy was born on Sept. 28, 1941, in Tielen. He entered the Salesian novitiate, studied philosophy at Groot-Bijgaarden in Belgium, and carried out apostolic work in Korea.

Upon his return, he studied Theology at the Catholic University of Leuven, obtaining a licentiate in missiology. Ordained a priest in September 1970, he returned as a missionary to Korea where he was first a teacher and chaplain to Catholic students (1974-1978), and then provincial (1978-1984).

In 1984 he was elected general adviser of the Salesians for the missions (1984-1990), and later he was entrusted with the pastoral care of youths in the congregation (1990-1996). Since 1996 he has been vicar general of the Salesians.