CNS photo/Shannon VanRaes, Reuters

Archdiocese of Toronto announces first annual collection for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

  • September 28, 2022

Below is the letter issued by Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, announcing the first annual collection for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Friday, September 30th is observed across Canada as a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

As Catholics, we share a responsibility, with all Canadians, to take meaningful steps with Indigenous people and communities on the path to reconciliation. We also mourn the suffering and loss of those wounded physically, emotionally and spiritually as a result of the residential school system as well as the intergenerational trauma that remains for many throughout the country.

We invite the Catholic community throughout the Archdiocese of Toronto to take time on Friday for prayer, reflection and education. On September 30 at 7:30 a.m., I will offer Mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica for the intention of our healing and reconciliation journey with Indigenous Peoples of This Land. You are welcome to join in person or virtually by clicking here. It will also be available here for later viewing.

On his recent penitential pilgrimage to Canada, Pope Francis said, “I trust and pray that Christians and civil society in this land may grow in the ability to accept and respect the identity and the experience of the Indigenous peoples. It is my hope that concrete ways can be found to make those peoples better known and esteemed, so that all may learn to walk together.”

Given the recent Papal Visit to Canada, you may wish to reflect on some of the texts offered by the Holy Father relating to the journey of healing, reconciliation and hope. These texts and videos of his remarks in Canada can be found here. Salt & Light Catholic Media also has produced a powerful one hour documentary on residential schools and the Indigenous delegation to Rome earlier this year. This informative educational resource can be found here.

Pope Francis’s apology, like the collective apology of the Canadian bishops in 2021, was an important step in our ongoing journey as Catholics. Over these past many months, we have provided resources and educational materials for the faithful and clergy. We have supported the Papal Visit to Canada through the sharing of significant financial and human resources. The focus and theme of the 2021 Cardinal’s Dinner was Indigenous healing and reconciliation. We have presented webinars and posted numerous resources on our website – many can be found here.

We also committed, in February of this year, $6 million over five years as the archdiocese’s contribution to the $30 million commitment by the Catholic Bishops in Canada. Our funds will be generated through the existing operations and assets and the generous participation of parishioners in our parishes.

Our first annual special collection to support the Indigenous Healing & Reconciliation Fund, a national initiative, will take place in parishes on the weekend of October 1, 2022. Donations can also be made online here. The archdiocese’s healing and reconciliation fund committee is beginning its work in earnest, researching and identifying funding priorities that focus on supporting projects that further:

  • Healing and reconciliation for communities and families;
  • Culture and language revitalization;
  • Education and community building; and
  • Dialogue for promoting Indigenous spirituality and culture.

Our funding will support Indigenous partners, organizations and communities in our archdiocese and beyond. Specific funded projects and initiatives will be announced in the coming months.

Let us continue to identify ways in which each one of us can participate in the ongoing journey of healing, reconciliation and hope. May our reflection and action this week assist us in our ongoing collective efforts.

St. Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us!

Sincerely in Christ,

Thomas Cardinal Collins
Archbishop of Toronto

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