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.
Financial Support to the Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan
Each year, the Archdiocese of Grouard-McLennan applies for funding through Catholic Missions in Canada (CMIC). This funding helps us in providing monetary support to our mission churches, to our seminarians and to other diocesan programs. The funding received through CMIC is based on the expenditures required for each mission and program. It is not guaranteed each year.
CMIC is a charitable organization, founded in 1908, that is dedicated to supporting and fundraising for Catholic missionary activity in remote and poor regions of Canada. Their efforts are largely devoted to helping church communities on First Nations reserves and on Metis settlements. In CMIC’s support to our mission churches, funding can can go towards subsidies, travel expenses and building expenses (including insurance and utilities).
The Archdiocese of Grouard McLennan also receives financial support from the Archdiocese of Toronto to fund specific projects. This partnership began in 2017, after the CCCB enacted a policy to partner each small and rural diocese in Canada with a larger metropolitan diocese for support. Our archdiocese and the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith were partnered with the Archdiocese of Toronto. The Archdiocese of Toronto raises a collection for this fund each year, and it is subsequently divided between our archdiocese and Mackenzie-Fort Smith. Funding from the Archdiocese of Toronto is only applied for when there is a particular project for which the archdiocese is in need of financial aid. In 2017 and 2018, this funding was used to pay for Fr. Michael Uso-Ereyi’s education in canon law. In 2019, it was used for needed repairs in our northern missions. In 2020 and 2021, there was no project proposed for this funding, and in 2022 $68,136 was given for needed repairs to the roof of the rectory/former chancery building in McLennan.
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)