Bishop Murray Chatlain of the Roman Catholic Mackenzie-Fort Smith diocese is leaving the N.W.T.

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Bishop Murray Chatlain leads the mass and rosary at St. Kateri Roman Catholic church in Dettah, N.W.T., in October celebrating the canonization of the saint. (Ruby Pigott)

The Pope has asked him to be the archbishop in of the Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

"It was not an expected call, and not something I was really looking for at all," he said. "I was hoping to be here a long time, but when the Pope asks, you have to have a good reason to say no."

Chatlain has been bishop of the Mackenzie-Fort Smith diocese since 2008. He will continue as diocese administrator until a new bishop is appointed here, which will is expected to be at least six months.

The diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith comprises the entire N.W.T., western Nunavut and some communities in northern Saskatchewan.

He said he has enjoyed his time in the diocese's 38 communities and will miss the people here.