Residential School Apology and Financial Pledge

Statement from the Canadian Catholic Bishops on Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples of Canada

The Catholic Bishops of Canada, gathered in Plenary this week, took the opportunity to affirm and acknowledge to the Indigenous Peoples the suffering experienced in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools. Many Catholic religious communities and dioceses participated in this system, which led to the suppression of Indigenous languages, culture and spirituality, failing to respect the rich history, traditions and wisdom of Indigenous Peoples. They acknowledged the grave abuses that were committed by some members of our Catholic community; physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, cultural, and sexual. They also sorrowfully acknowledged the historical and ongoing trauma and the legacy of suffering and challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples that continue to this day. Along with those Catholic entities which were directly involved in the operation of the schools and which have already offered their own heartfelt apologies, the Catholic Bishops of Canada expressed their profound remorse and apologized unequivocally.

Together with the many pastoral initiatives already underway in dioceses across the country, the Bishops pledged to undertake fundraising in each region of the country to support initiatives discerned locally with Indigenous partners. Furthermore, they invited the Indigenous Peoples to journey with us into a new era of reconciliation, helping us to prioritize initiatives of healing, to listen to the experience of Indigenous Peoples, especially to the survivors of Indian Residential Schools, and to educate our clergy, consecrated men and women, and lay faithful, on Indigenous cultures and spirituality. They further committed to continue the work of providing documentation or records that will assist in the memorialization of those buried in unmarked graves.

A delegation of Indigenous survivors, Elders/knowledge keepers, and youth will meet with the Holy Father in December 2021. Pope Francis will encounter and listen to the Indigenous Peoples, so as to discern how he can support our common desire to renew relationships and walk together along the path of hope in the coming years. The Bishops of Canada have pledged to work with the Holy See and our Indigenous partners on the possibility of a pastoral visit by the Pope to Canada as part of this healing journey.

We are committed to continue the journey with the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples of this land. For more information, please contact the diocese or visit

St. Francis of Assisi Feast Day!

Today, October 4th, is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of our parish. We had a wonderful weekend of special Masses celebrating our saint, including a very special Mass on Sunday afternoon with Bishop Crosby, which also closed our 60th Anniversary celebrations. Bishop Crosby also blessed our new statue, St. Francis in Exultation, created by Timothy Schmalz.

Tonight we will have our annual Blessing of Animals, in the Peace Garden off the rectory parking lot. Please bring your pets to be blessed by Fr. Raphael, and please remember to wear a mask and social distance even though we are outside. You may want to stop and look at the other Timothy Schmalz statue we have in our Peace Garden, called Pets Are Blessed, which features St. Francis blessing the animals.

You may also be interested in learning more about our patron saint, by clicking here.

Or you may wish to learn more about our parish, by clicking here.

Finally, we invite you to again appreciate the wonderful memories compiled in our 60th Anniversary video below. May the Lord bless us with many more years as a “Christ-centred faith community seeking to be instruments of God’s peace.”

People & Planet First – Development & Peace

Let’s put People and Planet First with Development and Peace — Caritas Canada’s new campaign!

In Canada, most people can speak out freely when injustice is committed. In many countries of the Global South, however, communities are threatened when they seek to protect their rights, especially their right to a healthy environment. This climate of insecurity is often fueled by the presence and influence of corporations, some of which are Canadian.

Undaunted, many vulnerable communities fight courageously to defend their rights, their lands and the environment against corporate harm.

This year, Development and Peace’s People and Planet First campaign invites you to stand in solidarity with them and celebrate their work!

St. Francis of Assisi Parish is looking for someone who would represent us at the Hamilton Diocese campaign workshop on Tuesday October 5th from 7 – 9 pm on Zoom. Please contact the parish office if you would like to represent the parish, or if you simply want to attend for yourself you can click here to register. Learn more at

National Day for Truth & Reconciliation

This day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.  This is also Orange Shirt Day, so we invite you to wear an orange shirt today as you take part in other commemorations and activities.

There are many opportunities to mark this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, in our local community and online. We have links to several below, but we also invite you to look online for other opportunities that may suit your family.

REEP Green Solutions Events

Although these events are happening this week we wanted to let you know about them and introduce you to the REEP Green blog.

Healthy Yards Garden Tour Monday, September 27, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Join Rebecca Robinson, Healthy Yards Advisor, for a casual stroll near Lakeside Park to see a diverse array of healthy yard features, including rain gardens, infiltration galleries, and rain water harvesting.

Caring For Rain Gardens, Trees, and Infiltration Features WEBINAR Wednesday, September 29, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Tune in to a webinar that will cover a variety of maintenance tasks that will keep your rain smart yard looking great and soaking up rain!  We’ll discuss seasonal steps for taking care of trees, rain gardens, rain barrels, permeable pavement, and naturalized landscapes.

Ask a Healthy Yards Advisor 

Our Healthy Yards Advisors are happy to answer questions about your yard. If you have a specific question, submit it to our Ask a Healthy Yards Advisor form to get virtual advice on anything from planting to runoff management! 

More Local Inspiration

Check out the journey of one of our participating homeowners whose yard went from muddy to marvelous via construction of a rain garden.