A Word from Bishop Desrochers
June 4, 2021
This week, the Federal Government published its report on the recommendations of the Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. While this is important and necessary, it is overshadowed by the recent findings that 215 Indigenous children were buried in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation. The pain and loss all First Nations people in Canada are feeling following the news of these findings is immeasurable.
I express my deep regret, shame, and sorrow to you, all Indigenous Peoples of Canada. As genuine and simple as these words are, I understand that they ring hollow if not acted on appropriately. Our, and your, consolation is that truth can lead to reconciliation and healing. This truth, now brought to light, challenges us to seek ways to reconcile our hurtful past, with our present, in hopes for a brighter future – a tomorrow that will move us from this time of brokenness to building a new way to be trusted as worthy servants of ‘The Great Spirit’ who is God to all of us.
Our diocese will come together regularly, and, I hope, with some of you among us, to continue to fulfill the Calls to Action laid out for us by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; that is, to find ways of healing our regrettable past and your painful history.
+ Guy Desrochers, C.Ss.R.
Bishop of Pembroke
Articles & Resources
Background for Catholics: Residential Schools (FAQ)
Prepared by the Archdiocese of Toronto, July 2021. Over the past several months, there has been a national conversation on the tragic history of residential schools in Canada. The role of the Catholic Church in the residential school system has been a part of...Continue reading
Words from Pope Francis
I follow with sorrow the news coming from Canada about the shocking discovery of the remains of two hundred and fifteen children, pupils of Kamloops Indian Residential School, in the Province of British Columbia. I join the Canadian Bishops and the whole Catholic Church in Canada in expressing my sympathyContinue reading
Chief Littlechild and Archbishop Smith’s Statement on Kamloops and Reconciliation
Chief J. Wilton “Willie” Littlechild and Archbishop Richard Smith met this week in Maskwacis, and are offering this joint statement on the Kamloops Residential School discovery, and on reconciliation. Chief Littlechild is a former Grand Chief of the Confederacy of Treaty 6 First Nations. He was also a commissioner ofContinue reading
Statement of Bishop Guy Desrochers Following the recent discovery at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School
This week, the Federal Government published its report on the recommendations of the Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. While this is important and necessary, it is overshadowed by the recent findings that 215 Indigenous children were buried in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian ResidentialContinue reading