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Try a little tenderness, Pope says on first World Day for Grandparents and Elderly

VATICAN CITY — Try a little tenderness. That’s basically how Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, 73, summarized Pope Francis’ vision for what older people, their grandchildren and friends should do to change the world after the COVID-19 pandemic.

2021 Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage to take place online

This year’s Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage is once again going online.

The five-day pilgrimage which attracts thousands of mostly indigenous people from across Canada will be strictly spiritual and not physical. The year’s pilgrimage July 24-28 will held online in an effort to maintain social distancing, protect pilgrims — many of whom are elderly or in poor health — and avoid the spread of COVID-19.

The pilgrimage site, west of Edmonton, is closed. There will be no camping or on-site visits.

Instead, organizers hope to keep alive the enduring spirit of the healing and spiritual renewal pilgrimage with a virtual Lac Ste Anne event that includes livestreamed Masses celebrated by bishops from Alberta and the Northwest Territories, video messages, and other programming.

The Lac Ste Anne Pilgrimage website will be the main hub for the online content.

Responding to Church Fires

Archbishop Smith addresses the faithful in a response video to church fires amid efforts for truth and reconciliation. On the morning of June 30, 2021 St. Jean Baptiste Church in Morinville (located within St. Paul Diocese) was destroyed in a fire.

Statement on Schools and the Grandin Name

The Archdiocese of Edmonton thanks Alberta Catholic school trustees and district staff for their leadership and sensitivity regarding the name of Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin, central Alberta’s first bishop.

Statement on Vandalism of St. John Paul Statue at Holy Rosary Parish

The following statement is issued on behalf of Archbishop Richard Smith on the vandalism of the statue of St. John Paul II at Holy Rosary Parish in Edmonton.

VIDEO: Chief Littlechild and Archbishop Smith's Statement on Kamloops and Reconciliation

Chief J. Wilton "Willie" Littlechild and Archbishop Richard Smith met this week in Maskwacis, and are offering this joint statement on the Kamloops Residential School discovery, and on reconciliation.

Chief Littlechild is a former Grand Chief of the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations. He was also a commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a member of the 1977 Indigenous delegation to the United Nations, and worked on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He is a recipient of the Order of Canada, Alberta Order of Excellence, and Queens Counsel.

Restoring languages will help right past wrongs

From funding language immersion programs to setting up university chairs for Indigenous linguists, there’s no shortage of ways Canadian Catholics might serve Indigenous communities trying to recover their language

Church to blame for residential schools: poll

While the work toward a formal apology from Pope Francis is ongoing, a clear majority of Canadians hold the Catholic Church primarily responsible for the damage done by residential schools, according to a Leger poll conducted June 4- 6.

Statement on Grandin name

The people of the Archdiocese of Edmonton share the deep pain felt by Indigenous Peoples, and indeed all Canadians, arising from the disclosure that what is believed to be the remains of 215 children were found at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in B.C.

The painful legacy of residential schools, many of which were originally under Catholic administration, reverberates to this day.

The name Bishop Vital-Justin Grandin, central Alberta’s first bishop, appears in a variety of contexts: on buildings, schools, and neighbourhoods. We acknowledge that it represents a controversial and mixed legacy. Although Bishop Grandin is rightly remembered for the many good things he accomplished, nevertheless the association of his name with the sad and tragic legacy of residential schools has rendered it for many people a reminder of very painful experiences.

The Archdiocese is ready to engage and work directly with First Nations, school districts, Franco-Albertan communities, the City of Edmonton, the provincial government and all stakeholders in an ongoing and meaningful conversation about the next steps.

We are committed and working towards finding a solution that is respectful to all parties involved.

Alberta bishops offer support during Catholic Education Week May 10-14

Catholic Education Week May 10-14 celebrates the important and vital role that publicly funded Catholic schools play in Alberta by providing a faith-based education to more than 180,000 students.

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