Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ
Fr. Raymond Lafontaine, E.V. - June 6, 2021
Dear friends and parishioners:
As we gather this weekend to celebrate Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, we will be highlighting our solidarity in the broken body of Christ with our First Nations’ brothers and sisters. This week, we are learning what they have known or suspected for many years, about the terrible abuses suffered not only in Kamloops but in residential schools all across the country, 70% of which were operated by dioceses or by religious orders of the Roman Catholic Church. One in the Body of Christ, we share their grief, their pain, their anger, their loss.
This Sunday’s online Mass will highlight this reality in several ways. It will include a brief video in which a survivor tells his story, a joint expression from the parish of our own sorrow and remorse in face of this tragic history, and a poem by a First Nations woman which injects hope even in the face of terrible grief. Please join us online at 11 a.m., and feel free to invite others to join as well.
We are looking forward to being able to welcome up to 100 people at each Mass as of next weekend, June 12-13. Please keep in your prayers the young people of our parish who, after waiting patiently for over a year, will finally make their First Holy Communion over the next three or four Sundays. They too are part of the Body of Christ!
Blessings on you all,
MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY
We, the parishioners and pastoral team of St. Monica’s Parish, join with our neighbouring communities of faith to express our deep sorrow and remorse at the discovery of the graves of 215 innocent children at the former Indian Residential School in Kamloops. This suffering is profound, almost incomprehensible.
The travesty of residential schools, brought to light when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was instituted, continues to call us to deep repentance and conversion. There is still so much left to do to address the many injustices of this system, which marked not only the survivors but all of their descendants as well.
As brothers and sisters, we can no longer stand by in silence. It is our obligation to raise our voices in solidarity, as one people.
We pledge to actively promote Indigenous rights, and to speak out whenever we encounter systemic racism.
We offer our profound apology, and ask forgiveness for our church and for all who contributed to these atrocities: those who committed crimes, those who stood by and did nothing, and we who have stayed on the sidelines because we thought it did not concern us.
We pray for your healing. We pray also for ourselves, that we may never again avert our eyes in the face of such grave injustice.
Yours in solidarity,
The Parish Community of St. Monica’s, NDG, Archdiocese of Montreal