Truth and Reconciliation - Videos
Archbishop Albert LeGatt focusses his weekly messages on different issues surrounding reconciliation, and on how we, as a Church and broader society, are to move forward. We all have a part to play, and we all must be active players in the process of healing and reconciliation.
Walking Together: Now What?
Following the historic papal penitential pilgrimage to Canada last month, during which Pope Francis apologized for the “catastrophic” wrongs committed to Indigenous peoples through colonization and residential schools, and the important role the Church had to play in this national tragedy, Archbishop LeGatt looks back at this historic encounter. He also, though, looks forward: what’s next? Let us not allow this historic moment fizzle. Rather, let us continue to take on our shared responsibility of continuing to work towards a world of equity and justice for all.
➡️Check out various #Reconciliation resources on our website here: https://www.archsaintboniface.ca/main.php?p=1102
➡️Take part in the FREE online program, Four Seasons for Reconciliation, here: https://www.archsaintboniface.ca/main.php?p=1109
➡️Read all of Pope Francis’ statements and other messages throughout his penitential pilgrimage to Canada, here: https://www.vatican.va/.../out.../documents/canada-2022.html
Pope Francis' Apology to Canada's Indigenous - Maskwacis Alberta, July 25, 2022
To read the texts of Pope Francis' speeches and consults the Canadian Papal Visit archives, click here
215 - In the wake of the devastating news this week of 215 Indigenous children, buried in unmarked graves at a Residential School on the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, Archbishop Albert takes a moment to reflect. To reflect on the active part the Catholic Church played in the tragedy of colonization here in Canada. To reflect also on what these findings mean for us here in Manitoba.
Growth and Transformation - In this homily from June 13, the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Bishop LeGatt reads from the Gospel of Mark (ch 4, 26-34), and reflects on the Kingdom of God, and how we are all called to respond to God's call for growth and transformation.
The mustard seed in Jesus' parable can be seen to be how we all bring about a better relationship between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous persons. The large shrub that grows from the mustard seed will be the result of our asking forgiveness for the good of the other, for the Indigenous, and how we will have walked together as God accomplishes great and wonderful things with all of us.
Continuing on the Journey of Reconciliation - Archbishop Albert continues his reflection on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. The road of reconciliation is a long, complex, and redemptive one. We all have a part to play, and we all bear the responsibility of being agents to continue this path of healing, through hearing and listening, acknowledgement, apology, and action. We must also continue careful personal introspection, to identify and remediate those seeds of colonization, racism, and hatred that may also be in our hearts, as we humbly continue our Christian and human journey.
Let us Humbly and Actively Seek to Listen, First - Since June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Archbishop Albert reflects on the first and most urging action non-Indigenous people must take: humbly and actively listening to the experiences and wisdom Indigenous peoples share.
Truly, we must together take action in the light of the recent shocking finding of those 215 unmarked children’s graves on the site of the Residential School that once stood on Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, and of similar findings that have preceded it, including the systemic inequity continuing to be faced by Indigenous peoples in Canada. But the first and most pressing action non-Indigenous people must take is real, true, humble listening, in order to then affect to more concrete and lasting change. Especially now as the UN Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples is set to soon become law in Canada, let us continue, together, to build the ways of healing, reconciliation, and peace.
Let us Continue to Listen, and to Pray
We have just yesterday gotten news of yet another discovery of unmarked graves at a Residential School, this time on the Cowessess First Nation, in Saskatchewan. And we will, without a doubt, continue to hear about more tragic discoveries such as this one, throughout the summer and coming years. Many of us can be rightly shocked, angered, and simply not know how to respond or what to do next. The Catholic Church was an active agent in the tragedy of colonisation in the land we now call Canada, and in the events which ensued, including running many Indian Residential Schools. We may qualify these horrific realities as genocide. Today, how do we understand and respond to this reality? First and foremost, we must listen. Not hasten to quick words or initiatives, but listen; allow Indigenous peoples to heal, follow their lead, inform ourselves, and humbly continue to seek the paths of reconciliation. The answers are complex and many. The responsibility is shared among all, to shoulder the burden and the shame brought on by this tragedy, the consequences of which Indigenous peoples continue to face today. We must be attentive to them, and walk humbly on the paths of reconciliation: these paths which God calls us to today and forever.
Bishop LeGatt: "Our model is Saint Joseph"
Our diocese celebrated an Act of Entrustment to Saint Joseph on July 1st at St. Boniface Cathedral.
The Mass included the Institution to the Ministry of the Lectorate of Peter Tran, a diocesan seminarian.
In his homily on the Gospel of Matthew (1:16-24), bishop LeGatt touched upon the tragic legacy of Residential Schools, and asked that we entrust ourselves to Saint Joseph.
Bishop LeGatt on an Eventual Papal Apology
Archbishop Albert reflects on his continued listening and relationship with many people, especially with Indigenous peoples, and particularly with Indigenous Catholics within our archdiocese. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission put forth a call to action, requesting that the Pope issue an official apology, on behalf of the Canadian and universal Church, for the harms inflicted to Indigenous peoples during Residential Schools.
Has the Pope refused to do so? Not quite. In this video, Archbishop Albert reflects on how Pope Francis may be waiting for the Church in Canada, Bishops, Clergy, and all faithful, to continue the diligent work of contrition and reconciliation, which are indeed essential for such an apology to have real effect, when the time and context are right.
In this view, the December meeting that will take place in Rome between Pope Francis and First Nations, Métis and Inuit representatives, chief among these being Indian Residential School survivors, will be another step towards this goal. In the meantime, we are called, each and all, to continue to listen, humbly, and to continue to seek peace, reconciliation, and healing, as Christ desires for all.
"If you go with less, you will get more" - Bishop LeGatt's July 11 Homily on the Gospel of Mark
In his July 11 homily on the Gospel of Mark, Bishop LeGatt reminds us if you go with less, like the disciples, you will get more. But more of what? God’s love. And the advancement of God’s kingdom. This means more to share, more friendships, and more opened doors.
This observation is applicable in many situations, but most recently regarding our relationship with the Indigenous.
We know of the first contact between the Indigenous and the Christian missionaries, who brought the Christian message. The missionaries carried with them a pearl of great price: Jesus and His Gospel.
But how did it go so wrong? The pearl was carried by the missionaries in an envelope – a cultural envelope – in which Jesus was proclaimed. But because the envelope contained a lot of cultural baggage about how to do things in a European way, Jesus could scarcely be heard, or not at all.
The missionaries came with more. If they had come with less, they would have found more – in the life and teachings of the Indigenous. And the Indigenous would have discovered Jesus.
Let us share Jesus with gratitude… and almost nothing else.
Bishop LeGatt: Honour Your Father and Mother
Pope Francis instituted a Church-wide celebration of the first World Day for Grandparents & the Elderly. Starting this July 25th, it will be held annually every 4th Sunday in July. This year's theme is: “I am with you always" (Mt 28:20), revealing the closeness of God and the Church to the elderly, as well as the inter-generational closeness between the young and the elderly.
As such, Archbishop Albert reflects on the vital role grand- and great-grandparents have in each family, and even in the fabric of greater society, and takes a moment to share on the impact his grandparents had on him.
The 4th Commandment, calling us to honour our father and mother, is never truly understood without also considering the honour adult children are called to give their aging parents. This Commandment was never truly meant for children, but for the adults, who may sometimes forget to care for, be attentive to, and support their aging and declining parents. This year, let us reflect on these realities, on the true gift these elders are to us, personally, and to greater society, and to pray for them.
➡️ More info and multiple resources here: https://www.archsaintboniface.ca/main.php?p=401
Bishop LeGatt: "They were like sheep without a shepherd"
What is a shepherd? What is a good shepherd? How can we know if a shepherd is of God, and trustworthy? Or worthy of blame, as when the prophet Jeremiah accused the kings of Israel of driving the people of Israel away?
In his homily on the Gospel of Mark, Bishop Albert reflects on those Catholics who, in their anger over the recent discoveries at former residential schools, want their names stricken from parish registers. Are they being led by the media? Or are they believers who know what our priorities really should be? What are their intentions? Do we truly even know our own intentions?
And to whom shall we all turn to, when we need a good shepherd? To the one who is peace and, through the cross established peace, reconciling all with God.
Bishop LeGatt: Let Us First Inform Ourselves, and Acknowledge
The Honourable Murray Sinclair, in his tireless work to bring about truth and reconciliation, suggested the way forward was by acknowledging, apologizing, and acting. This week, Archbishop Albert reflects on the steps that need to happen within the Canadian Church, both at the hierarchical and at the charismatic, lay levels, for an apology to be made with any real integrity, and for real, lasting action to follow. The reason many in the Canadian Catholic Church have had difficulty in apologizing, is that this acknowledgement has not yet fully happened. We must thus actively endeavour to educate and inform ourselves, as Catholics in today’s world, to then be able to truly and fully acknowledge the sin of over 150,000 children being ripped from their families in Residential Schools, and the horrors of colonization. Only then will an apology have any integrity. And only then will true, real action ensue, at institutional levels, but first and foremost, at individual, interpersonal levels.
Archbishop Albert's Statement on the Troubling Statements Made by Fr. Rhéal Forest
This week, Archbishop Albert responds to the troubling statements made by Fr. Rhéal Forest, pertaining to Indian Residential Schools. In doing so, he clarifies two vital elements to better appreciate his current reflexion on this and similar issues. First, regret is not enough. He expresses his total, absolute disavowal, renunciation, and repudiation of those patently incorrect ideas which were preached. These were wrong, and beyond that, so deeply hurtful to Residential School survivors, and to their loved ones. Second, a mere statement of apology does not go far enough, either. Rather, Archbishop Albert invites us to ask for forgiveness from Indigenous peoples. Apology can mean many things, and may, in some cases, only reinforce the dynamics of power already at play. Instead, he is calling all Catholics, himself foremost, to ask forgiveness, from a position of deep humility and vulnerability, requesting, as a Church, that Indigenous peoples consider forgiveness for the evil and wrong that was perpetrated to them and their ancestors, and that continue to be reinforced when such statements are made. These recent incidents are yet another reminder of the broad conversion to which we are called as Church, as we continue to address racist ideas and attitudes that persist. Please pray for our Church, and especially its leaders, as we continue to move forward in the steps of recognition, contrition, apology, and reconciliation.
Bishop LeGatt: "It's all about Jesus"
It’s all about Jesus, Bishop Albert reminds us in his August 1st homily. The Bread of Life, the Good Shepherd, Living Water are so many images that Jesus uses to describe who He is. And He wants to give abundance of life and love to each one of us.
What does it means, then, to follow Him?
It’s an ongoing invitation, hunger, longing for a deeper, more faith-filled and loving relationship with Jesus. And with others, especially when it’s very difficult to see them the way Jesus sees them. For instance, would Jesus, today, in our families, want children to be hit? Even if it’s a form of discipline? No. There are other ways.
Would Jesus have wanted children to be hit in the past, such as those in Residential Schools? No! We know Jesus’ heart. Whatever the intentions of those who ran the schools, we know the results were terrible.
At all times, we have to turn to Jesus. Wherever there is compassion, righteousness, goodness and hungering for justice, let us be led by Jesus. Let us know him more fully, and follow Him more faithfully, as we progress in the ways of truth, of love, of justice, of reconciliation and justice restored.
Bishop LeGatt: Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of Treaty 1
This week, we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 1, the first of the 11 numbered treaties in Western Canada, signed between Indigenous chiefs and representatives of the Crown. Communities benefiting from the lands of Treaty 1 today, which encompasses a large part of our archdiocese, include Winnipeg, Selkirk, Steinbach, Emerson, and First Nation Treaty 1 communities include Brokenhead, Long Plain, Peguis, Roseau River, Sagkeeng, Sandy Bay, and Swan Lake. Thus, Archbishop Albert reflects on the true meaning of these treaties, acknowledging the need for him and for all of us to continue to learn and listen, and to get better acquainted with the content and spirit behind these foundational covenants, to better understand what it means for us to be treaty people today. They underpin all aspects of today’s society: they were truly seen, by the Indigenous, as a covenant of mutual sharing and mutual responsibility towards #Creation. So today, we inherit the befits of these treaties and of our common land, but we also inherit mutual responsibility. We must seek to address the colonial mindsets that continue to pervade, and seek, together, to become one in mind and spirit: truly, this is what the Lord desires for us and our society today.
Bishop LeGatt Homily: the Power of Words
On August 4, Archbishop LeGatt ordained Serge Buissé to the transitional diaconate. On this occasion, Bishop Albert notes the current tension in the Church of Canada, where fear anger and uncertainty concerning the future of the Church.
In all things, we must follow Jesus, who is calling us confidently to change, as servants. Like deacon Serge, we are called to service , by bringing charity and justice to the world. Especially in our words. Words can unite, but they can divide; in particular during this difficult time for our country, confronted with the reality of the Residential School legacy, and the urgent need for truth and reconciliation.
Let us ensure that our words are the voice, heart and mind of Jesus, whenever we speak.
Bishop LeGatt: On Being Compassion in the Face of Human Suffering
Beyond the pandemic, drought, and political uncertainty, it truly is reconciliation with Indigenous peoples that has underpinned this past year. This truly is the issue of our times, and when addressing these matters, it could be temping for non-Indigenous people to think this has little to do with them, or that this is not their responsibility, tempting them to wipe their hands clean of such issues. However, our response to any human suffering, as Christians and as people of good will, must always be compassion.
We have a responsibility to meet people in their pain, in their hurt, in their suffering, and to be like Jesus to them. So, while recognizing the Church’s, government’s, and other institutions’ responsibility in these matters, and calling these to restitution and action, is of the essence, sooner still, the issue at hand for us it to be present in others’ pain: person to person, in their hurt, in their suffering, just as Jesus is, listening compassionately, authentically, to their story and to their heart. This truly is our responsibility as Christians, and truly what Jesus calls us to today and forever.
Bishop LeGatt: Working Together Towards a Formal Apology
The question of an official, local apology, on behalf of the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, to Indian Residential School survivors, has been on Archbishop Albert’s heart for quite some time. He takes this opportunity, this week, to provide some insight and accountability on exactly where this process is standing, and what initiatives the archdiocese has taken, and continues to take, leading up to this much needed, formal apology.
For years, continual dialogue has been developed between Archbishop Albert and local Indigenous leadership, ensuring that any apology be done in a way that is best suited for local Indigenous peoples: in their time, taking their lead, and ensuring that this is an opportunity for healing and reconciliation, and not a time of reopening wounds. This apology will happen, and more than once. At this point, it is a matter of time, and ensuring that it is done according to the needs and realties of Indigenous peoples, to best lead to reconciliation, restitution, and healing.
Video for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
In preparation for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, September 30, 2021, Archbishop LeGatt and Mireille Grenier, Director of Pastoral Services, sat down to share about their vision for reconciliation within the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, and other questions. This dialogue is available on the Archdiocesan website and Facebook page.
Pope Francis' April 1st, 2022 Apology to Indigenous Peoples
Bishop LeGatt: Official Apology to Canada's Indigenous Peoples
Following last week’s plenary assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), where an official apology was unanimously pronounced from every Catholic bishop in Canada to Indigenous peoples for the Catholic Church’s part in the trauma of colonization, especially Indian Residential Schools, Archbishop Albert reflects on what this apology means. First and foremost, it is the working of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has been working in the hearts of all Catholics for many years, leading up to this total and unequivocal apology. If we truly believe we are One in Christ and all share in His love, we also believe that we are one in sin, and that we all carry the sin and scandal of Residential Schools. Thus, we also all share in the responsibility to inform ourselves, and partake in the many works for reconciliation that lay ahead. We truly all have a part to play. The $30M fundraising efforts which will be undertaken by all Canadian dioceses in the coming years are part of this, but only part of the broader, individual, personal work of reconciliation that lays ahead of us. We all share in the responsibility, and we all share, through the Holy Spirit, in the way forward.
Walking Together: Archbishop LeGatt's June 2022 Video Message
As Pope Francis’ pilgrimage of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada is approaching quickly, this late-July event will be a further and important step in the journey of healing and peace our Church continues to pursue along with Indigenous peoples throughout Turtle Island. In fact, our archdiocese will be sending a delegation of 55 Indigenous peoples, Residential school survivors from our seven Indigenous communities, who will be selected as representatives by the Chiefs and Band councils of their respective communities. As Archbishop Albert accompanies them to meet with Pope Francis in Edmonton, this will also be an important step in reconciliation for our local Church.
As most of us will be unable to be there physically, it is important for us to commit to joining this pilgrimage spiritually. In this message, then, Archbishop Albert invites us to follow, through the various media (such as Salt + Light Media), the events of this pilgrimage. But not only this. He further invites us to inform ourselves, particularly from Indigenous voices and perspectives, to thus open ourselves up, to read Indigenous literature, to hear Indigenous stories, and to connect, one on one, with Indigenous people in our communities. Truly, although an important step, this pilgrimage remains but one step in the long journey of reconciliation which remains at hand.
➡️To learn more about this papal pilgrimage, or even to register to volunteer, click here: https://www.papalvisit.ca/
Visit the Papal Visit Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/papalvisitCanada
Returning to Spirit Videos
An Encounter with Reconciliation, pt. 1
In this video, Lisa Raven, Executive Director of Returning to Spirit, explains how a SEEDS of Reconciliation workshop works.
An Encounter with Reconciliation, pt. 2
In this video, Albert LeGatt, Archbishop of St. Boniface, Fr. François Paradis, OMI, Knowledge Keeper & Trainer at Returning to Spirit, and Lisa Raven, Executive Director of Returning to Spirit share their personal reconciliation journeys.
Communicating like a Catholic
A useful tool in considering how Catholics discuss the subject of Residential Schools and their legacy.
Created by the Catholic Conscience YouTube channel, this workshop is all about effective communication and, crucially, charitable communication through the lens of our Christian faith.
How do we communicate with others as disciples called to see the face of Christ in everyone we talk to? Watch!
Calls to Action
(Reconciliation circles, Catholics for Truth and Reconciliation, Prayers, etc.)