Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Grouard–McLennan
|Archdiocese of Grouard–McLennan
The Coat of Arms of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan
|Territory||Northwestern part of the Province of Alberta|
|Ecclesiastical province||Province of Grouard–McLennan|
|Area||223,596 km2 (86,331 sq mi)|
|Established||April 8, 1862|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist|
|Patron saint||Saint Martin of Tours|
|Archbishop||Gérard Pettipas, C.Ss.R.
Archbishop of Grouard-McLennan
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Grouard–McLennan (Latin: Archidioecesis Gruardensis–McLennanpolitanus) is a particular church of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada. Its ecclesiastic territory includes the northwest section of the Province of Alberta, the boundaries of which are, on the north the 60th parallel north, separating it from the Northwest Territories and the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith. To the south the 55th parallel north, separating it from the Diocese of Saint Paul. On the east the 113th meridian west, separating it from the Diocese of Saint Paul (to the 58th parallel north) and the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith (to the 60th parallel north). To the west the 120th meridian west, separating it from the Province of British Columbia, and the Diocese of Prince George. The archdiocese is the metropolitan see for the Roman Catholic Church in northwestern Canada. The archbishop is the Most Reverend Gérard Pettipas, C.Ss.R.. As archbishop, Pettipas also serves as pastor of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, the mother church of the archdiocese.
As of 2013, the archdiocese contains 65 parishes and missions, 1 archbishop, 9 active incardinated diocesan priests, 10 active diocesan priests incardinated to other dioceses, 9 religious priests and about 60,000 Catholics. It also has 12 women Religious and 2 permanent deacons.
The Archdiocese of Grouard–McLennan was erected on April 8, 1862 as the Apostolic Vicariate of Athabaska Mackenzie with territory taken from the Diocese of Saint-Boniface. A month later on May 8, 1862, Henri Faraud, O.M.I. was appointed as Apostolic Vicar. Bishop Faraud served until March 20, 1890 when he resigned. He was succeeded by Émile Grouard, O.M.I. who was appointed Apostolic Vicar on October 18, 1890. Bishop Faraud and later Bishop Grouard were assisted by Isidore Clut, O.M.I. who was appointed Auxiliary Bishop on August 3, 1864 and who served until his death on July 9, 1903.
On July 3, 1901, the territory of the Vicariate was split into the Apostolic Vicariate of Athabaska, which comprised what is today the northwestern area of the Province of Alberta, and the Apostolic Vicariate of Mackenzie, which comprised what today is the Northwest Territories as well as northeastern area of the Province of Alberta. Bishop Grouard remained as the Apostolic Vicar of Athabaska and Gabriel Breynat, O.M.I. was appointed Apostolic Vicar of Mackenzie. A few years after the death of Bishop Clut, Celestine Joussard, O.M.I. was appointed Coadjutor Apostolic Vicar on May 11, 1909. On March 15, 1927, the name of the Vicariate was changed from the Apostolic Vicariate of Athabaska to the Apostolic Vicariate of Grouard. Bishop Joussard never ended up succeeding Bishop Grouard as Apostolic Vicar of Athabaska and both Bishop Grouard and Bishop Joussard retired on April 18, 1929. Following the retirement of Bishop Grouard, Joseph Guy, O.M.I. was appointed Vicar Apostolic of Grouard on December 19, 1929. Bishop Guy served until June 2, 1937 when he was appointed the Bishop of Gravelbourg.
The following year on March 30, 1938, Ubald Langlois, O.M.I. was appointed Apostolic Vicar of Grouard. On June 15, 1945, Henri Routhier, O.M.I. was appointed Coadjutor Apostolic Vicar. In 1946 Bishop Langlois transferred the seat of the Vicariate from Grouard to McLennan. The Town of Grouard, taking its name from Bishop Grouard when it was incorporated as a town on September 27, 1909, was a thriving community of approximately 1,200 people. This changed when the Edmonton, Dunvegan and British Columbia Railway built its new line south of Lesser Slave Lake instead of going through Grouard which was on the north shore of Lesser Slave Lake. The majority of Grouard’s population moved to High Prairie, the newly established town on the railway. Bishop Grouard had originally established a mission at the Lesser Slave Lake settlement, the original name of Grouard, under the patronage of Saint Bernard, in 1872.
Shortly after the Seat of the Vicariate was transferred to McLennan, work began on a new Cathedral dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. Bishop Langlois served as Apostolic Vicar of Grouard until his death on September 18, 1953. Upon Bishop Langlois death, Bishop Routhier immediately succeeded him as Apostolic Vicar of Grouard. On July 13, 1967, the Apostolic Vicariate of Grouard was elevated to the Archdiocese of Grouard–McLennan and made the Metropolitan See of northwestern Canada with the newly elevated Dioceses of Prince George, Mackenzie-Fort Smith, and Whitehorse as suffragans, (the Diocese of Prince George was later transferred to the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia). On this date all the Apostolic Vicariates in northern Canada were elevated to dioceses.
Archbishop Routhier served until his resignation on November 21, 1972, he was succeeded by Henri Légaré, O.M.I., who had been Bishop of Labrador-Schefferville. Archbishop Légaré served until his retirement on July 16, 1996. On the same day Henri Goudreault, O.M.I., who had also served as Bishop of Labrador City-Schefferville, was appointed to succeed him. Archbishop Goudreault died suddenly of a heart attack on July 23, 1998. The Archdiocese of Grouard–McLennan remained vacant until the appointment of Arthé Guimond, who had served as Archdiocesan Administrator, on June 9, 2000. Archbishop Guimond retired on November 30, 2006 and Gérard Pettipas, C.Ss.R. was appointed to succeed him on the same day.
The following is a list of the bishops and archbishops of Grouard–McLennan and their terms of service:
- Henri Faraud, O.M.I. (8 May 1862 – 20 March 1890)
- Émile Grouard, O.M.I. (18 October 1890 – 18 April 1929)
- Joseph Guy, O.M.I. (19 December 1929 – 2 June 1937)
- Ubald Langlois, O.M.I. (30 March 1938 – 18 September 1953)
- Henri Routhier, O.M.I. (18 September 1953 – 21 November 1972)
- Henri Légaré, O.M.I. (21 November 1972 – 16 July 1996)
- Henri Goudreault, O.M.I. (16 July 1996 – 23 July 1998)
- Arthé Guimond (9 June 2000 – 30 November 2006)
- Gérard Pettipas, C.Ss.R (30 November 2006 – Present)