Father Mark Dessureault, OMI, reflects on the significance of the important step taken by Pope Francis towards healing and reconciliation with Canada‘s Indigenous peoples, and speaks about the new relationship his Congregation has forged with them.
By Linda Bordoni & Fabio Colagrande, Originally Published by Vatican News
The Order of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) was involved in opening and administering Indian Residential Schools across Canada.
Today, the Congregation is actively collaborating in a process of disclosure vis-à-vis Residential Schools, and has participated in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission that presented its Final Report in 2015 with 94 Calls to Action, some specifically directed towards faith communities.
The Oblates continue to accompany Indigenous communities across Canada in supportive ministries on the ground and is committed to helping its members move into advocacy strategies towards fulfilling the TRC Calls to Action in Canadian society.
Reflecting on the significance and importance of this papal “penitential pilgrimage”, Canadian Father Mark Dessureault, OMI, told Vatican Radio that the Oblates were among the first faith communities to formally extend an apology to the Indigenous Peoples in 1991.