The Catholic Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan encompasses about 225,000 sq. km. of northwestern Alberta. It extends from Valleyview in the south to High Level and Fort Vermilion in the north; and from Slave Lake in the east to the Alberta-BC border in the west. Another way to describe it is as covering the western half of Treaty Eight land.
The Cathedral, St. John the Baptist Parish, has been in McLennan since 1947 and will remain there for the foreseeable future. The Chancery offices, including the Office of the Archbishop, are in Grande Prairie, as of June 2014. Most of the Pastoral Offices are also in Grande Prairie, save the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, which is housed in the Catholic Conference Centre in Peace River.
The Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan was created by Pope Paul VI in 1967, as a gift to Canada on her centennial. Before becoming an archdiocese, it was the Apostolic Vicariate of Grouard (1927-1967), itself having been carved out of other Apostolic Vicariates. An apostolic vicariate can be understood as a missionary region which is reasonably expected to increase in population and financial self-support so as to become a diocese at some future time.
The scattered population, numerous isolated communities, and insufficient indigenous financial resources make us a missionary diocese still. For the time being, we rely on Catholic Missions in Canada, and the generosity of its donors, to be able to maintain our parish churches, missions, and priests.
- Quinquennial Report 2006-2016 (submitted to His Holiness, Pope Francis, on the occasion of the Archbishop’s ad limina visit to Rome in April 2017)