The Papal Visit to Canada secretariat has been created by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the national assembly of the Bishops of Canada. It was founded in 1943 and officially recognized by the Holy See in 1948. The Papal Visit team is working closely with numerous partners including the Vatican, Indigenous Elders, knowledge keepers and survivors of residential schools along with government officials at the federal, provincial and municipal levels as we prepare for this historic visit.
1) When and why is Pope Francis coming to Canada?
Pope Francis will make a pastoral visit to Canada from July 24 to 29, 2022. The Pope’s visit will provide a unique opportunity for him, once again, to listen and dialogue with Indigenous Peoples, to express his heartfelt closeness and to address the impact of colonization and the participation of the Catholic Church in the operation of residential schools throughout Canada. The papal visit will also provide an opportunity for the shepherd of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to connect with the Catholic community in Canada.
The Holy Father first committed to visiting Canada after accepting the invitation of Canada’s Catholic Bishops in late October 2021. In March/April 2022, more than 30 Indigenous delegates representing First Nations, Métis and Inuit Elders, Knowledge Keepers, survivors of residential schools and youth spent one week in Rome, meeting privately with Pope Francis to share their stories and discuss the historical and ongoing intergenerational trauma that continues to impact Indigenous Peoples. After issuing a public apology on April 1, 2022, the Pope reiterated his desire to travel to Canada to continue the healing and reconciliation journey. This historic visit also follows the statement of apology by the Catholic Bishops of Canada to the Indigenous Peoples of this land, in 2021.
2) Where is the Pope going?
Given the vast landscape of our country, the limited time period for the visit and considering the health of the 85 year-old Pontiff, the Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will utilize only three communities as a base for his Canadian Visit. The hubs will be Edmonton, Quebec City, and Iqaluit.
Edmonton is home to the 2nd largest number of Indigenous people living in urban Canadian centres. In addition, 25 residential schools were located in Alberta, the most of any province or territory in Canada.
Iqaluit, with a population of 8,000 people, is home to the largest number of Inuit in Canada (approx. 3,900). Pope Francis was personally invited by the Inuit delegates to visit the North during their meetings in March.
Quebec City provides an eastern hub for those who may wish to travel to see Pope Francis, especially Indigenous Peoples of the East. The region is also home to Ste. Anne-de-Beaupré, one of the oldest and most popular pilgrimage sites in North America, drawing Indigenous Peoples and others from throughout Canada and around the world each year.
Approximately six to eight weeks prior to the Papal Visit to Canada, specific programming sites and times will be confirmed. Given the focus on Indigenous healing and reconciliation, the Holy Father is expected to visit the site of a former residential school and other locations of particular significance.
3) How will Indigenous Peoples participate in the preparation of the Papal Visit?
Indigenous Peoples have been engaged throughout the planning for the Papal Visit to Canada. These conversations began with delegates preparing to visit the Vatican in March/April 2022 and continued during their private meetings with Pope Francis as well as ongoing dialogue with a working group of Canadian Bishops. Indigenous partners have also been involved in advance visits to possible sites for the Papal Visit. With confirmation of dates and general locations of the visit, the focus, themes, and programming of the visit will also be shaped in dialogue with Indigenous partners.
4) How can I see the Pope? Do I need tickets?
As events are confirmed and a formal schedule is released, we will share further details regarding individual events and opportunities to participate in the Papal Visit to Canada. For events focused specifically on Indigenous Healing & Reconciliation, our priority is to ensure Indigenous participation, especially for Elders, knowledge keepers and survivors of residential schools. Further details will be shared in the coming weeks.
5) How can I volunteer during the Papal visit?
Sign-up for volunteering is currently closed. Thank you for your interest.
6) What about media accreditation or media inquiries?
Media accreditation will be required for on-site coverage of events. There will be limited space available at some events, and media centres will be set up to facilitate the work of journalists at locations where the Holy Father will be visiting. Accreditation typically opens 6-8 weeks prior to the papal visit, once the formal program has been released.
We encourage interested journalists to sign-up for updates here. Media inquiries regarding the Papal Visit to Canada can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org (English) or email@example.com (French).
7) Who will pay for the Papal visit?
Traditionally there are a number of sources of funding for papal visits. These include the participation and support of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), local dioceses from across Canada, donations or in-kind contributions from individuals and corporations, as well as significant assistance from various levels of government. To be clear, the $30 million commitment recently announced by the CCCB will support Indigenous healing and reconciliation initiatives. None of these funds will be allocated to cover the expenses of the Papal Visit to Canada.
8) How can I donate to support the Papal Visit?
You can make a financial contribution to the Papal Visit through our CanadaHelps page.
9) I want to be a corporate sponsor of the Papal Visit. Whom should I contact?
10) Is it possible to donate items/goods/services for the Papal Visit?
11) How can I pray for this journey of healing and reconciliation?
An essential component of preparing for Pope Francis’ visit to Canada is the prayers of our community and country!
Several resources are offered on this page. We will be providing additional resources in the weeks ahead.
Papal Visit Newsletter
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