The Vatican publishes the schedule for Pope Francis’ visit to Canada | Religion News

Pope Francis will meet indigenous leaders and residential school survivors in a visit July 24-29, the Vatican says.

Warning: The following story contains details of residential schools that may be disturbing. Canada’s Indigenous Residential School Survivors and Family Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.

Montreal Canada – Pope Francis will begin his visit to Canada next month by meeting with survivors of indigenous residential schools in the western province of Alberta, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) said.

The Vatican released the schedule for the trip Thursday, with the pope arriving in Edmonton, Alberta, on July 24.

The next day you will visit the community of Maskwacis, which was home to one of the largest residential schools in Canada, the Ermineskin Residential School.

“The Holy Father will join former residential school students from across the country as part of a formal program. Alberta is home to the largest number of former residential schools in Canada,” said the CCCB.

Pope Francis’ visit comes after he apologized on April 1 for abuses by members of the Roman Catholic Church against indigenous children forced to attend Canada’s residential schools.

The apology, delivered after days of talks with indigenous delegates in Rome, was long sought after by residential school survivors, whose calls for justice and accountability have grown louder over the past year as that unmarked graves were discovered at several sites where schools used to be.

Many survivors and indigenous community leaders called on the Pope to come to Canada to offer an apology on indigenous lands.

Canada forced more than 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children to attend residential schools across the country between the late 19th century and the 1990s.

Thousands of people are believed to have died while attending the institutions, which were established and funded by the state but run by various religious denominations, notably the Catholic Church.

“We know that the Holy Father was deeply moved by his meeting with Indigenous Peoples in Rome earlier this year, and that he looks forward to building on the important dialogue that took place,” said Archbishop Richard Smith, general coordinator of the papal visit to Canada. he said in the CCCB statement on Thursday.

“We pray that this pilgrimage will serve as another significant step in the long journey of healing, reconciliation and hope.”

In Edmonton, the Pope will also participate in an outdoor Mass at Commonwealth Stadium to commemorate the feast of Saint Anne on July 26. He will then travel to Lac Ste Anne for an annual pilgrimage, the CCCB said.

The next day, Pope Francis will travel to Quebec City, where he is expected to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Governor General Mary Simon and indigenous leaders, the Vatican said.

He will celebrate a mass on July 28 at Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre, one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in North America. The CCCB said some 15,000 people are expected to attend.

On July 29, the Pope will travel to his final stop on the trip in Iqualuit, in the northern territory of Nunavut, where he will hold a private meeting with residential school survivors before joining a public event.

A map of former residential schools in Canada

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