Working to Make Reconciliation a Reality


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Vatican Confirms Papal Visit to Canada Program – July 24 – 29, 2022.  A Visit of Healing, Hope & Reconciliation 

The Vatican has released additional details regarding the Papal Visit to Canada, July 24-29, 2022.  The Pope’s visit will provide an opportunity for him to listen and dialogue with Indigenous Peoples, to express his heartfelt closeness and to address the impact of residential schools in Canada.  The papal visit will also provide an opportunity for the shepherd of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to connect with the Catholic community in Canada. 

The Holy Father will travel within Alberta (based in Edmonton) from July 24-27, followed by a visit to Quebec City and Ste. Anne-de-Beaupré, July 27-29.  Pope Francis will visit Iqaluit, Nunavut the afternoon of July 29 before returning to Rome. 

Drawing on the theme, “Walking Together”, the Holy Father’s journey of reconciliation, healing and hope includes visits to a former residential school, Indigenous pilgrimage sites, two public Masses and a mix of private and public events.  There will be tickets available (free) for a limited number of events, all of which will be broadcast and accessible via livestream. 

For ticket information, to volunteer, donate or learn more, visit www.papalvisit.ca (English) or www.visitepapale.ca (French).  Please continue to pray for the health of Pope Francis and for all those engaged in the ongoing healing and reconciliation journey. 

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National Indigenous Peoples Day – June 21, 2022 

Tuesday, June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada.  As we walk together in the spirit of reconciliation, we acknowledge that this day, in the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, we gather on Treaty One, Two, Four and Five land and the homeland of the Métis Nation.  We respect these treaties, we acknowledge harms and mistakes, and we dedicate ourselves to moving foward in partnership with First Nation, Métis and Inuit people in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

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Truth & Reconcilation Resolutions
Church apologies and reconciliation

58. We call upon the Pope to issue an apology to survivors, their families, and communities for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the spiritual, cultural, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children in Catholic-run residential schools.

59. We call upon church parties to the settlement agreement to develop ongoing education strategies to ensure that their respective congregations learn about their church’s role in colonization, the history and legacy of residential schools, and why apologies to former residential school students, their families, and communities were necessary.

60. We call upon leaders of the church parties to the settlement agreement and all other faiths, in collaboration with Indigenous spiritual leaders, survivors, schools of theology, seminaries, and other religious training centres, to develop and teach curriculum for all student clergy, and all clergy and staff who work in Aboriginal communities, on the need to respect Indigenous spirituality in its own right, the history and legacy of residential schools and the roles of the church parties in that system, the history and legacy of religious conflict in Aboriginal families and communities, and the responsibility that churches have to mitigate such conflicts and prevent spiritual violence.

61. We call upon church parties to the settlement agreement, in collaboration with survivors and representatives of Aboriginal organizations, to establish permanent funding to Aboriginal people for:

  1. Community-controlled healing and reconciliation projects.
  2. Community-controlled culture and language revitalization projects.
  3. Community-controlled education and relationship-building projects.
  4. Regional dialogues for Indigenous spiritual leaders and youth to discuss Indigenous spirituality, self-determination, and reconciliation.

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click:  An update from Archbishop Richard Gagnon regarding the Papal Visit to Canada

click:  Archdiocese of Winnipeg Truth & Reconciliation webpage

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Indigenous Peoples Meeting with Pope Francis

On Friday, April 1st, the historic visit of the Indigenous peoples of Canada to the Vatican was brought to completion with a powerful conclusion.

Gathered together, the Holy Father addressed all three delegations representing the Métis, Inuit and First Nations peoples.  His summation of his visits with each delegation indicates a Pope who has listened and heard, and who has set the Church on the path to genuine Truth and Reconciliation.
click:  Watch a video of CBC News’ coverage of the meeting

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Our parish Truth and Reconciliation committee recommends the following resources:

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act
A good resource to learn more about the history of our indigenous people and their relationship with Canada.  
Understanding the Indian Act itself is a good way to begin to recognize the basis for so many lingering issues.

Indigenous Canada 
A free online course through the University of Alberta.  This 12-lesson study explores the different histories and contemporary perspectives of indigenous peoples living in Canada.
click:  Learn more or Register for the course

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click:  Children Memorialized in Living Waters Columbarium

click:  Statement from Archbishop Gagnon on the Kamloops Residential Schools

click:  Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Statement – Delegation to the Holy See

click:  Archbishop Gagnon confirms Pope to receive Indigenous delegation

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Pastoral Letter to Parishioners from Fr. Darrin
June 25, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

There is no doubt that the most recent findings of the unmarked graves at two Residential Schools in western Canada have become a great cause for sadness, anger and shame as it so closely touches our Catholic history.

Even though we know that the sins of the parents do not pass on to the children, this legacy affecting our mission and ministry has marked our integrity and ability to continue to preach a gospel of hope, of life and of justice for all.

As a priest who has given over 30 years in ministry, I find it very difficult to comprehend these most recent discoveries as well as continue to minister under the dark cloud of the overall clergy sexual abuse crisis that has prevailed for simply too long.  It has been extremely trying to continue to present a church still filled with more goodness than bad, more hope than despair, more holiness than sin.

I know as faithful parishioners that you too have carried and continue to carry similar burdens as you strive to remain committed to the church, pass on your faith to your children and grandchildren, and keep your head held high as Catholics in the world today.

More than ever, how easy and justifiable is it for all of us to “throw in the towel”, to revoke our membership and association with the church.

As we continue to work through these most difficult days and confront yet again the sinful saga of our church, compounded with our isolation from one another due to the pandemic, we must ask ourselves what is it that God is asking of us?

I still believe that God is working in our church and that God is walking with us through these days of darkness and despair.  I believe that God needs each and every one of us to be more committed than ever to walk the walk of suffering, pain and reconciliation, not only for ourselves and this present generation, but also for generations to come.  If we do not stay steadfast to do the hard work in building a new church from the inside out, then we will miss the important role that Christ is calling us to as his disciples at this time in history.

I firmly believe that a new church is on the horizon.  One that may be healed from the sins of its past, however, will also have its own struggles and sins to contend with. 
A church that will continue to know the paschal mystery of Christ’s own life, death and resurrection.  I believe that there will be future disciples like us, who will also be tasked with the same responsibility to bridge the gap that will mark their own world experience.

My dear parishioners, today I write you this brief message in the hope that it will bind us together even more with a spirit of urgency to create a community that will bring hope, peace, truth and reconciliation.  May we continue to be committed to “transforming the world by unconditional love and sacrifice”.

In Christ,
Fr. Darrin