Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Grouard–McLennan

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Grouard–McLennan (Latin: Archidioecesis Gruardensis–McLennanpolitana) is a Latin archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in Canada and the metropolitan see of an ecclesiastical province for the Roman Catholic Church in northwestern Canada.

Archdiocese of Grouard–McLennan

Archidioecesis Gruardensis–McLennanpolitana
Coat of Arms of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan.svg
Country Canada
TerritoryNorthwestern part of the Province of Alberta
Ecclesiastical provinceGrouard-McLennan
Area223,596 km2 (86,331 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)

47,899 (42.4%)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedApril 8, 1862
CathedralCathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Patron saintSaint Martin of Tours
Current leadership
ArchbishopGérard Pettipas, C.Ss.R.
Archbishop of Grouard-McLennan
Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in McLennan, Alberta

The archbishop is the Most Reverend Gérard Pettipas, C.Ss.R.. As archbishop, Pettipas also serves as pastor of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, the mother church and episcopal see of the archdiocese.

Ecclesiastical provinceEdit

The Metropolitan has two suffragans :


The Archdiocese of Grouard–McLennan was erected on April 8, 1862 as the Apostolic Vicariate of Athabaska Mackenzie, on territory split off 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, remaining as the Apostolic Vicariate of Athabaska, which comprised what is today the northwestern area of the Province of Alberta, but losing the then 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, Celestin_Henri 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.[1] 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, but 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.


Episcopal ordinariesEdit

[2](all Roman Rite, mostly members of Latin congregations)

Apostolic Vicars of Athabaska Mackenzie
Apostolic Vicar of Athabaska
Apostolic Vicars of Grouard
  • Émile Grouard, O.M.I. (see above 15 March 1927 – retired 18 April 1929), emeritate as Titular Archbishop of Ægina (1930.02.28 – death 1931.03.07)
  • Joseph Guy, O.M.I. (19 December 1929 – 2 June 1937), Titular Bishop of Photice (1929.12.19 – 1937.06.02); later Bishop of Gravelbourg (1937.06.02 – retired 1942.11.07), emeritate again as Titular Bishop of Photice (1942.11.07 – death 1951.12.08)
  • Ubald Langlois, O.M.I. (30 March 1938 – death 18 September 1953), Titular Bishop of Risinium (1938.03.30 – 1953.09.18)
  • Henri Routhier, O.M.I. (18 September 1953 – see elevated 13 July 1967 see below), succeeding as previous Coadjutor Vicar Apostolic of Grouard (1945.06.15 – 1953.09.18) and Titular Bishop of Naissus (1945.06.15 – 1967.07.13).
Metropolitan archbishops of Grouard–McLennan :

Coadjutor bishopsEdit

Auxiliary bishopEdit

Extent and statisticsEdit

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.

As per 2014, the archdiocese pastorally served 59,927 Catholics (37.7% of 159,081 total) on 224,596 km² in 33 parishes with 26 priests (17 diocesan, 9 religious), 2 deacons, 20 lay religious (9 brothers, 11 sisters) and 3 seminarians.[3]

See alsoEdit


Sources and external linksEdit

Coordinates: 55°42′42″N 116°54′34″W / 55.71167°N 116.90944°W / 55.71167; -116.90944