Residential School Tragedies

As with all Canadians we continue to follow the tragic discoveries at the former residential schools and we are keeping all those affected in prayer.

If you have visited St. Francis of Assisi Parish in the last weeks you will have seen these vests in the sanctuary. We want to make sure everyone understands what they represent.

Bishop Crosby has written a Pastoral Letter to all members of the Diocese of Hamilton concerning this tragedy and steps the Diocese and other Catholic organizations are taking towards reconciliation. Click the picture below to read the Bishop’s letter, To Inform, To Encourage, To Heal.

Please see the statements below from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and from the Oblate of Mary Immaculate.

Bishop Crosby’s Heart to Heart

Each week Bishop Crosby publishes a newsletter to all parishioners in the Diocese of Hamilton.  The Bishop continues to focus on Indigenous Peoples and Reconciliation, so we will continue to feature several sections of these newsletters here:

THE SPIRIT GARDEN TO BE INSTALLED AT NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE in Toronto is another step closer to realization. Tenders for the project went out last week. The plan is to have shovels in the ground in September, with completion expected by September 2023! The multi-faith partners of the Restorative Relations Working Group (RRWG) meet regularly with Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre who are overseeing the project. They ask the faith communities for prayers for the success of the project!

THE CALL FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TO “APOLOGIZE” for our involvement in government sponsored Indigenous Residential Schools is loud and clear. The apologies actually began 30 years ago, when the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate offered an apology at the annual Lac Ste. Anne (Alberta) pilgrimage – a long-time sacred pilgrimage site for thousands of Indigenous Peoples from North America. The Oblates were marking their 150th anniversary of presence and ministry in Canada, and chose to make the apology an important part of the anniversary year. You can read the apology here.

AND JUST YESTERDAY the CCCB announced a long-in-the planning initiative to send a delegation of Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers, residential school survivors, and young people to meet with Pope Francis in a “meaningful encounter of dialogue and healing”. The event will be a rich conversation between a diverse group of Indigenous peoples and the Pope. The pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions stalled the project; however as these restrictions ease, the delegation has resumed its planning for the visit. Read the statement here.