Archdiocese celebrates National Truth and Reconciliation Day – BC Catholic
Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Vancouver were closed on September 30 in honor of Canada’s first National Indigenous Peoples Day, but they marked the new holiday a day earlier by wearing orange t-shirts, praying for reconciliation and creating works of art.
At St. Helen’s Elementary School in Burnaby, grade 6 students led an assembly with prayers and grade 4 students drew pictures of animals that were presented together as a kind of classroom ‘totem pole’. with descriptions of what each animal means to them.
In St. Mary’s in Vancouver, grades 2 and 4 led a school-wide prayer service to honor children who died while attending residential schools in Canada and for struggling residential school survivors. always against the loss of loved ones, language and culture.
Principal Brenda Krivuzoff said students in all grades wore orange t-shirts and planted tulips and daffodils as a sign of their commitment to reconciliation.
Various parishes and Catholic groups have also found ways to participate in the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Some examples include the first Mass celebrated in the Squamish language at St. Paul’s Indian Catholic Church in North Vancouver on September 26 and a Cree guest speaker addressing parishioners of St. Joseph the Worker Parish on September 30. See next week’s BC Catholic for more coverage.
In honor of National Indigenous Peoples Day, the Canadian Catholic Indigenous Council issued a prayer titled Prayer for tolerance, forgiveness, reconciliation.
O God, creator and father of all,
with humility, we, your children, recognize the relationship of all living things.
For that, we thank you, we praise you and we adore you.
We invoke you, Great Mystery, the Word made Flesh
– our teacher, prophet and brother –
open our hearts to all our brothers and sisters,
and with them to grow in wisdom, honesty, courage and
the respect shown in The Sacred Teachings.
Give us the vision and the honesty to recognize
that we are all brothers and sisters of the same human family,
created and supported by the Unique Creator.
As we face many challenges, may we never give in to fear and anger, which can be the
source of division and threat between peoples.
We watch how God always gives us,
as a remedy for the sins of prejudice and intolerance.
We see in God the Creator of all things,
The one who always provides and is generous
– even considering the abuses that we have accumulated on each other and on the earth.
We see in the Son, Jesus Christ
– the innocent Victim who sheds his living blood from the Cross for all peoples.
We see how the Holy Spirit is a gift from God,
living in our world today
– inspiring vision and hope we can have
the same spirit and the same heart of God!
May your Spirit bless souls
died at Kamloops Residential School
and all the souls who died in residential schools.
May that same Spirit also bring blessing and healing
to all families and communities affected in any way by schools.
O Creator, show us the way to healing,
forgiveness and reconciliation
and a renewed brotherhood.
How did your Catholic community observe the day? Send your photos with a short description to [email protected].