I am most grateful that Pope Francis has accepted the invitation of the Bishops of Canada for a pastoral visit to advance the healing and reconciliation journey with the Indigenous Peoples of this land.
I reiterate the unequivocal apology of the Canadian bishops from earlier this year as we sorrowfully acknowledged the historical and ongoing trauma and the legacy of suffering and challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples that continue to this day. We affirm our commitment to walk with the Indigenous people on the lengthy path of healing and dialogue. I pray that the visit of the Holy Father will provide a space for that journey to continue through authentic encounters of compassion, understanding and reconciliation.
To assist in establishing the foundation for his pilgrimage to Canada, later this year, from December 17-20, the Holy Father will welcome a delegation of Indigenous survivors, Elders, knowledge keepers and young people at the Vatican. Over the course of several days, through authentic listening and dialogue, Pope Francis will hear directly from those who have suffered.
I invite the faithful of the Archdiocese of Toronto to join me in prayer for all those who suffer from the legacy of the residential school system. We pray also for the delegates who will visit with the Holy Father in December. Finally, we keep Pope Francis close in prayer. May he be blessed with good health and strength to prepare him to join us at the appropriate moment to continue our journey of healing and reconciliation together.
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.
Cardinal Thomas Collins
Archbishop of Toronto