"The name for this proposed city was chosen in a nationwide contest sponsored by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. The company offered a cash prize of $250.00 for the best name for this new Pacific Coast city. The contest rules included the consideration that the name must contain less than ten letters and a maximum of three syllables. More than 5,000 entries were received by the contest closing date of December 15, 1905. Miss Eleanor MacDonald of Winnipeg was declared the winner for the name 'Prince Rupert.'
"Prince Rupert (1619-82) had been born in Prague, the son of Frederick, King of Bohemia, and Elizabeth, daughter of James I of England. Rupert grew up in the Netherlands and studied at Leiden ... A man of many artistic and scientific interests, Rupert also took part in colonial and commercial schemes. On May 2, 1670, King Charles II appointed Rupert - 'Our dear and Entirely Beloved Cousin' - first Governor of Hudson's Bay Company. However, somewhat ironically Prince Rupert never set foot in Canada."The location was an ideal spot for the railway terminus because it had a deep, ice-free harbour and was a shorter shipping distance to Asia. The activity that accompanied the building of a new town and railways attracted a lot of ambitious men and women to the area, including many Catholics. In 1913, Archbishop McNeil wrote to the Catholic Church Extension Society explaining the need for more services for the workers:
Archbishop McNeil had been Archbishop of Vancouver for two years before being appointed to Toronto, so his experience with the area made him an ideal advocate for soliciting support and funds for the Catholics in that area. Prince Rupert had a church quite early, but the need was growing in other places. McNeil recognized the need for local administration and expansion of services. What had previously been very much a mission area needed an increased presence of the formal structures of the Catholic Church. At the time of the letter, the Prince Rupert area was the centre of the Prefecture Apostolic of the Yukon and Prince Rupert, and by 1917 it became a Vicariate Apostolic. The boundaries shifted over the years, but in 1967 the territory was elevated as a diocese. The next year, the bishop moved the seat of the diocese to Prince George, where it remains today.
Though the Grand Trunk Pacific didn't fare well, the city it founded flourished as a transport hub. With a population of 12,000, it is a centre of natural resource production and a destination for tourists.
You can read more about the history of the Diocese of Prince George here.
Bonus: Check out the British Columbia Archives, which has many interesting digitized photos, including Prince Rupert under construction, the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, the first Catholic church, and much more.