Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 22, 2022. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Itinerary released for Pope Francis' visit to Canada

  • June 23, 2022

Pope Francis’ commitment to Indigenous people to visit Canada “where I will be able better to express to you my closeness” now has the concrete form of an official itinerary.

The visit has been anticipated since before the Pope offered an initial apology to the Indigenous people of Canada in Rome April 1. An official itinerary makes the trip a concrete reality for organizers.

This morning, June 23, the Vatican announced a full slate of events and meetings spanning July 24 to 29, starting in Edmonton and proceeding through Quebec City and finally to Iqaluit before returning to Rome.

After an official welcome at the Edmonton International Airport on Sunday, July 24, the Pope’s full itinerary in Canada gets underway in Maskwacis, an unincorporated hamlet that hosts two Cree communities, about 100 kilometres south of Edmonton, July 25. After meeting with First Nations, Inuit and Metís, Pope Francis will make his first public address of the trip.

From there Pope Francis will return to Edmonton. His 4:45 p.m. meeting with members of the Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples will be another occasion to meet with Indigenous Canadians and another formal, public address.

The largest gatherings of the trip will likely be on July 26, which begins with Mass in Commonwealth Stadium. The home of the Edmonton Elks, who last year changed their name from “Eskimos” to “Elks,” the stadium seats over 56,000. That capacity could be higher if the playing field is opened up.

A 5 p.m. prayer service at the Lac Ste. Anne Pilgrimage site, 72 kilometres west of Edmonton, closes the day.

Pope Francis is back on the plane July 27, headed for Quebec City. There he will meet with Governor General Mary Simon, the first Indigenous representative of the crown in Canada’s history. In Quebec he will also meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

At an afternoon meeting with the official Indigenous organizations (Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Assembly of First Nations, Metis National Council), Quebec officials and the international diplomatic corps, Pope Francis will make another public address.

Pope Francis preaches again at Mass 10 a.m. at the National Shrine of St. Anne de Beaupré, 30 kilometres northeast of Quebec City, on July 28.

He meets with seminarians, pastoral workers, religious, bishops, priests and deacons at 5:15 p.m. July 28 in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Quebec City.

Pope Francis begins his day July 29 meeting with his brother Jesuits in the Quebec Archbishop’s residence. The doors of the Archbishop’s house swing open 10:45 a.m. for a meeting with Indigenous people from Quebec.

The last leg of Pope Francis’ journey in Canada begins 12:45 p.m. with a flight to Iqaluit, arriving at 4:15 in the afternoon. Once there, he will again meet with residential school survivors at the Iqaluit primary school. The meeting with survivors will be followed by a meeting with elders and young people outside the school.

A farewell ceremony will precede the Pope’s night flight directly from Iqaluit to Rome, departing at 5 p.m. and arriving back in Rome at 7:50 a.m. Rome time.

Last modified on June 23, 2022

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