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No.: PR2904
TITLE: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton
CREATOR: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton
DATE RANGE: 1955-1985
EXTENT: 58 architectural drawings

The Archdiocese of Edmonton includes the greater Edmonton area but also covers a geographic region stretching from the Rocky Mountains in the west to the Saskatchewan boundary in the east, from Olds in the south to Villeneuve in the north. In total the Archdiocese covers 81,151 square kilometres. It includes 65 parishes with resident priests in cities, towns, rural areas and native communities, and another 66 parishes and missions without resident priests. Within its boundaries are nine Catholic school districts and 10 Catholic health facilities including hospitals, continuing care centres and seniors residences.

The Archdiocese of Edmonton precedes the creation of Alberta. In 1822, Abbé Norbert Provencher, missionary of the Red River Settlement, became auxiliary to the Bishop of Quebec and was put in charge of the “District of the North,” an immense area spreading west from the Great Lakes to the Pacific coast and north to the Arctic Ocean. In 1871 the Diocese of St. Albert was created. Several factors necessitated this move: the confederation of provinces in Canada with the promise of a transcontinental railway; the rapid disappearance of the buffalo with the resulting starvation of First Nations and Métis peoples, the heavy influx of white settlers of different ethnic origins and faiths, the problem of land and schools for the natives, the shortage of missionaries, schools and churches for the newcomers.

On Nov. 30, 1912, the Episcopal See of St. Albert was raised to the status of Archdiocese of Edmonton, and its southern portion removed to form the Diocese of Calgary. Archbishop Emile Legal became the first Archbishop of Edmonton. When he died in 1920, the Catholic population of the Archdiocese numbered 38,400; there were 92 religious priests and 28 diocesan priests serving in 55 parishes and 58 missions with churches.

The Archdiocese of Edmonton continued to grow rapidly after the end of the First World War. The basement of St. Joseph Cathedral was built (1925); a diocesan Catholic newspaper was published (1921); St. Joseph College was incorporated (1926); the diocesan seminary opened its doors (1927). Once again, a portion of the Archdiocese was carved out; this time, it was the northern section that became the Diocese of St. Paul in 1948.

CUSTODIAL HISTORY:The fonds was deposited at the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 2008 by Éloi DeGrâce, Archdiocesan Archivist, with permission from the Chancery Office, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton.
SCOPE AND CONTENT: The fonds consists of music sound recordings as well as architectural drawings from St. Joseph’s Seminary and Newman Theological College, Edmonton. The fonds has been arranged into two series to include the sound recordings and the architectural drawings.
LANGUAGE NOTE: The material is in English.
ASSOCIATED MATERIAL: See also the Roman Catholic Archdiocesan archives at the Chancery Office, 8421-101 Avenue in Edmonton.
GENERAL NOTE: Information for the administrative history was taken from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton web site [accessed August 31, 2020].
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