Pope Francis on a visit to Canada celebrates a High Mass today in Edmonton, Alberta, the day after a historic pardon for the tragedy of residential schools for Indians.
Under a cloudy sky, thousands of people flocked to the Commonwealth Stadium where the sovereign pontiff will deliver a homily, his third speech since the start of his visit on Sunday.
But a few minutes from the Pope's arrival, the bleachers remained half empty, far behind the 63,000 people announced by the organizers, in a restrained atmosphere that contrasted with the usual festive atmosphere of these large gatherings.
< strong>Listen to Alexandre Dubé's interview with Thérèse Niquay, Director of Community Services and Projects, Atikamekw Community of Manawan, residential school survivor on QUB radio:
In his maiden address on Monday, the Pope delivered the long-awaited apology for Native Americans in Canada.
“I am saddened. I ask forgiveness,” the pope said at Maskwacis, an indigenous reservation in the west of the country. Church in this residential school system where “children suffered physical and verbal, psychological and spiritual abuse.”
On Tuesday, for the continuation of his journey, François, 85, should greet the crowd aboard his Popemobile, despite his knee pain which forces him to use a cane or a wheelchair and to limit his movements.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Mary, from Leduc south of Edmonton, told AFP, sunglasses on her nose, while traditional songs resound in the stadium, in the presence of many police officers.
The spiritual leader of the 1.3 billion Catholics will then go at 5:00 p.m. to Lac Sainte Anne, located about 80 km west of Edmonton , for a liturgical celebration in one of the main places of pilgrimage in North America.
Each year, since the end of the 19th century, thousands of pilgrims who came mainly from Canada and the United States go there to bathe and pray in these waters with healing properties, according to Native American rites.
July 26 marks the feast you of Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus in the Catholic tradition, a major figure for many Canadian Aboriginal communities.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7128