The final details of Pope Francis’s papal visit to Canada were released by the Vatican in late June. The Holy Father will spend three days in Alberta, from July 24th to 26th. Following a brief airport ceremony in Edmonton on July 24th, the 85-year-old-pontiff will go to Maskwacis on July 25th, home of one of the largest residential school sites in Canada, the former Ermineskin Residential School. He will be joined by former residential school students from across the country as part of a former program.
Later that day, he will visit the Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples, a national Indigenous church in downtown Edmonton. It will be the first time the parish has opened its doors since a devastating fire in 2020. The following day, July 26th, Pope Francis will celebrate an open-air Mass at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. Taking place on the feast of St. Anne, a day of particular reverence of Indigenous Catholics, Indigenous traditions will be incorporated as part of the gathering and Mass. That evening, the Holy Father will be in Lac Se. Anne and take part of a prayer service as part of the annual Lac Ste. Anne pilgrimage.
The Pope will then go to Quebec City on July 27th, taking place in private meetings at La Citadelle, followed by a public address. The following day he will celebrate Mass in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre, one of the oldest pilgrimage sites in North American. In the evening he will meet with various religious and clerics, and then to a dinner with Indigenous leaders. On the final day of the Holy Father’s visit, July 29th, he will meet with Indigenous leaders of Eastern Canada before departing for Iqaluit, Nunavut, where he will spend the day meeting with residential school survivors, followed by a public community event hosted by the Inuit.
Learn more by reading the Papal Visit’s official press release. Northern Light will have a reflection and some coverage from the papal visit in the September 2022 issue.