Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince George

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Diocese of Prince George
Dioecesis Principis Georgensis
Country Canada
Territory Northern British Columbia
Ecclesiastical province Archdiocese of Vancouver
Area 345,600 km2 (133,400 sq mi)
- Catholics

51,200 (as of 2004) (21.8%)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established July 13, 1967
Cathedral Sacred Heart Cathedral
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Stephen Jensen[1]
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.

Diocesan Demographics[edit]

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.




Catholic high schools[edit]

Catholic elementary schools[edit]

School City Est. Website
Sacred Heart Prince George 1949
Immaculate Conception Prince George 1981
St. Mary’s Prince George 1960
Notre Dame Dawson Creek 1944
St. Anthony’s Kitimat 1957
Annunciation Prince Rupert 1916 n/a
St. Joseph’s Smithers n/a
Veritas Terrace

See also[edit]




External links[edit]