“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it.” (1 Cor 12:26)
As Canadians reflect on how we can respond to the pain and suffering experienced by survivors of residential schools and their loved ones, the Archdiocese of Toronto is committed to being directly engaged in the ongoing journey of truth and reconciliation.
In recent days, the country has been shocked, saddened and angered by the discovery of the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves who attended a residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. We pray for the children who died in Kamloops and in residential schools throughout the country – they must not be forgotten. We must also recognize the betrayal of trust by many Catholic leaders who were responsible for operating residential schools, abandoning their obligation to care for young and innocent children.
We all seek the truth and this tragic discovery provides yet another opportunity for us to learn more about this dark chapter in our history and the painful journey experienced by so many of our Indigenous brothers and sisters.
– Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto
Below you will find numerous resources, links & information put together by the Archdiocese of Toronto to help us stay informed.
Background Information & Frequently Asked Questions...
Statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops: Delegation to the Holy See – Healing & Reconciliation – June 10, 2021
Join video statement: Chief J. Wilton “Willie” Littlechild and Edmonton’s Archbishop Richard Smith on Kamloops and Reconciliation – June 4, 2021
Statement from Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto re: Discovery of Children’s Remains at former Kamloops Residential School – June 3, 2021
Statement from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops following the recent discovery at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation – May 31, 2021
Apology from the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate – May 30, 2021 (The religious institute that ran more than 40 per cent of Canada’s residential schools)
Pope Benedict XVI Meets with Representatives of former Indian Residential School Students and the Church in Canada – April 29, 2009
Communiqué of the Holy See Press Office – April 29, 2009
Phil Fontaine’s statement: to the pope on residential schools apology – The Georgia Straight, April 29, 2009
Lord Hear our Prayer...
O God, we praise and thank you for the blessings of life in Canada, from your natural
bounty and from the work of human hands.
We ask you to open our ears to the truths about our collective history shared with the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission by survivors of residential schools.
We ask you to open our minds to the complex and subtle ways that past mistakes,
arrogance, misuse of authority and sinfulness have damaged our social fabric in ways
we have barely begun to redress.
We ask you to open our hearts that we may continue to listen even when the truth
challenges us; that we may understand that we are heirs to a system that has shown
itself capable of domination and cruelty, whether or not we personally contributed; that
we may commit ourselves in all humility to do what we can and support the efforts of
others to restore our ruptured social fabric.
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Apologies & resources from the CCCB
Indigenous Pastoral Initiatives Since the Origins of the CCCB
Encounters with Popes
Video featuring the Native Peoples’ Mission at St. Anne’s in Toronto
A history of residential schools in Canada – CBC, May 16, 2008
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Map of the former residential schools of Canada
Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle