Papal visit to the center of three cities: report


Pope Francis on his popemobile drives through a crowd of worshipers at the end of the Catholic Easter Sunday mass he led in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Sunday. The sovereign pontiff is expected in Canada for a four-day tour in July. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

When Pope Francis comes to Canada at the end of July, he is not expected to travel to Winnipeg.

According to a report by CBC, the three places on the list for his four-day trip – during which he will apologize to Indigenous people for their experience in Roman Catholic residential schools – are Quebec City, Edmonton and Iqaluit.

The report cited confidential sources who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The sources also said the trip, which was scheduled ahead of March 28-April 1 meetings between the pope and delegates from First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities, will be funded by the Canadian Catholic Church.

The goal is to make it as easy as possible for Indigenous peoples in Canada to hear from the Pope.

According to Métis National Council President Cassidy Caron, advance Vatican teams have already explored the three cities in preparation for the trip.

If the Pope visits Edmonton, he may apologize to Lac Ste. Anne, a pilgrimage located 78 kilometers west of the Alberta capital.

The pilgrimage is popular with Métis and Aboriginal people; During his April 1 audience with delegates at the Vatican, the pope said he hoped “to be with you” on the feast day of Saint Anne, July 26.

In a statement, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) did not confirm the venues, saying any official announcement regarding dates and locations would come from the Vatican.

As for the trip itself, the CCCB said, “The Canadian bishops are grateful that Pope Francis has accepted our invitation to visit Canada on a pilgrimage of healing and reconciliation.

He went on to say “We had meaningful conversations with Indigenous peoples, about the timing, focus and themes of the visit.”

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CCCB has also been in conversation with the federal government, knowing the national significance of such an event, he added.

“Given the advanced age of the Holy Father and his desire for simple and modest visits, the Canadian visit can be expected to reflect this reality both in the duration of the pilgrimage and in the geography of such a visit, given the size of Canada. We can anticipate that the visit to Canada will be very different from those in the past,” added the CCCB.

Regarding costs, until it has confirmed the dates, locations and scope of the visit, the CCCB is “not able to provide detailed information on the budget for this trip” , said Jonathan Lesarge, advisor in government and public relations.

“There is widespread enthusiasm around the pilgrimage from the bishops of Canada, other members of the Catholic community and Canadians in general,” he said, adding that the CCCB is confident in its ability to raise the funds. needed for the Pope’s journey.

All costs of the papal visit “will be in addition to the $30 million raised to support healing and reconciliation projects across Canada,” he added.

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John Longhurst

John Longhurst
faith reporter

John Longhurst has been writing for the Winnipeg Faith Pages since 2003. He also writes for the Religion News Service in the US and blogs about media, marketing and communications at Making the News.


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