Bishop McNally High School is named after the first Bishop of the Calgary Roman Catholic Diocese, the Most Reverend Dr. John Thomas McNally. He was appointed Bishop of Calgary in 1913 and served until 1924. Bishop McNally was born in Hope River, Prince Edward Island on June 24, 1871 and died November 18, 1952 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He studied in Charlottetown, Ottawa and Rome.
Bishop McNally was known for firmly establishing the Calgary Diocese. During his tenure, nearly 50 priests were enlisted in the service of the diocese. Bishop John McNally is remembered for his fondness of children. He shared his delightful wit and playfulness with them by sharing fascinating tales and reciting amusing poetry.