Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince George
|Diocese of Prince George
Dioecesis Principis Georgensis
|Territory||Northern British Columbia|
|Ecclesiastical province||Archdiocese of Vancouver|
|Area||345,600 km2 (133,400 sq mi)|
51,200 (as of 2004) (21.8%)
|Established||July 13, 1967|
|Cathedral||Sacred Heart Cathedral|
|Emeritus Bishops||Gerald William Wiesner, O.M.I.|
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince George (Latin: Dioecesis Principis Georgensis) was created as the Vicariate Apostolic of Prince Rupert on January 14, 1944, when the Vicariate Apostolic of Yukon-Prince Rupert was split. It is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Vancouver. It was elevated on July 13, 1967.
The diocese consists of 1 emeritus bishop, 1 bishop, 5 religious and 16 diocesan priests, 4 brothers, 17 sisters, all serving 51,200 Catholics in 18 parishes, 20 missions and 8 schools.
The first priest to baptise in the area of Fort George was Father Demers in 1842. In 1885, Father Adrien-Gabriel Morice, OMI, served the Carrier and Sekani First Nations from Stuart Lake. He created the first writing system for the Carrier language, the Carrier syllabics, and translated the Carrier prayer book, which is still used today. Father Morice was also credited with the first map of the interior of British Columbia and published by the government in 1907.
On January 14, 1944, the Vicariate Apostolic of Yukon-Prince Rupert split into the Vicariate Apostolic of Prince Rupert and the Vicariate Apostolic of Whitehorse. The Peace Region of BC, which was part of the old Archdiocese of Grouard-MacLennan, became part of the newly formed Vicariate of Prince Rupert. Emile-Marie Bunoz became the first bishop of the newly formed territory.
in 1956, Bishop John Fergus O'Grady, OMI, became the third bishop of the vicariate. Under his leadership, the number of schools was greatly increased to thirteen. The Frontier Apostolate was created by Bishop O'Grady to help staff the schools and administrations. 1960, Prince George College (later known as O'Grady Catholic High School) was built and staffed by the Sisters of Mercy, of Ireland.
On July 13, 1963, Vicariate Apostolic of Prince Rupert was elevated to a diocese and changed its name to Diocese of Prince George. The administration moved from Prince Rupert to Prince George.
During the 1980 and 1990s, the diocese suffered financial setbacks. The diocese had to sell off property and its debt was paid off by 1996. Immigration Canada changed its rules around recruiting from other countries and the Frontier Apostolate, which helped bring immigration to the area, came to an end. Low registration also forced the closure of O'Grady Catholic High School in Prince George in 2001 and, in 2008, St. Joseph's elementary in Vanderhoof.
- Emile-Marie Bunoz, O.M.I. (1944–1945)
- Anthony Jordan, O.M.I. (1945–1955)
- John Fergus O'Grady, O.M.I. (1955–1986)
- Hubert Patrick O'Connor, O.M.I. (1986–1991)
- Gerald William Wiesner, O.M.I. (1992-2013) - Bishop Emeritus
- Stephen Jensen (2013–present)
Fort St. James
Fort St. John
Catholic high schools
- O'Grady Catholic High School, of Prince George, was opened in 1960 and closed 2001.
Catholic elementary schools
|Sacred Heart||Prince George||1949||http://www.shspg.com/|
|Immaculate Conception||Prince George||1981||http://www.icschool.ca/|
|St. Mary’s||Prince George||1960||http://www.stmaryspg.org/|
|Notre Dame||Dawson Creek||1944||http://www.notredamedc.org/|
- The Northern Catholic News is published by the diocese for the community.
- Grave of B.C. First Nations woman draws pilgrims seeking miracles from CBC News retrieved Oct. 16, 2008
- Diocese of Prince George - Annual Lejac Pilgrimage
- "Diocese of Prince George". Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved 2007-03-14.