Prefecture Apostolic of Yukon

The Apostolic Prefecture of Yukon or Prefecture Apostolic of the Yukon-Prince Rupert, was a Catholic missionary jurisdicton in the extreme northwestern portion of Canada since 1908 till 1916, then a Vicariate Apostolic till 1967.


Extending from 54 degrees North latitude to the Arctic Ocean and from the summit of the Rocky mountains to 141° West longitude, it covered an area of about 312,000 sq. miles, comprising two distinct districts, the Yukon Territory and the north of the province of British Columbia, which, previous to the erection of the new prefecture, belonged to different jurisdictions; the former being attached to the Vicariate of Mackensie River and the latter of the Diocese of New Westminster.

The prefecture was established on March 9, 1908, and entrusted to the Oblate Fathers of Mary Immaculate, the first prefect, Rev. E. M. Bunoz, being appointed on 8 April of the same year.

At Dawson, the metropolis of the Klondike gold fields, the first house of worship (Church of St. Mary) and first hospital, both log buildings, were erected in 1907-1908 by the Jesuit Father Judge (d. at Dawson, 1899). The Oblate Father Gendreau, who succeeded Father Judge, enlarged and transformed the rough church besides establishing the first school of the territory. This school was rebuilt on a larger scale in the centre of the town in 1901 under the present prefect, who succeeded Father Gendreau in 1902. It was promoted Vicariate Apostolic in 1916, split Vicariate Apostolic of Prince Rupert 1944, renamed and promoted Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince George in 1967, suffragan of the Metropolitan of Vancouver.

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