Categories: Family News

This letter from Bishop Fabbro provides an update on the progress of the truth and reconciliation work taking place in the Diocese of London.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am pleased to bring you updates on the progress of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of the Diocese of London which I established last fall and on some of the ongoing efforts of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

  • Our local Committee has been able to meet three times, virtually, and they are currently compiling a list of resources that our parishes and faith communities may find helpful in their pursuit to better understand the legacy of Canada’s residential school system. Their hope is to provide a variety of resources, appropriate to various ages and backgrounds.
  • Responding to the actions called for by the final report of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, our own Committee is developing resources for distribution to parishes and other opportunities for both education and formation. Its hope is to provide an opportunity for our clergy, lay ecclesial ministers and staff to better understand the issues our nation faces, while considering how our parishes might cooperate as agents of reconciliation.
  • Last month, on 28 January, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops announced that it will establish a new registered charity to support and advance healing and reconciliation initiatives. The charity is expected to manage the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund, which will accept contributions from 73 dioceses across Canada to fulfill the $30-million financial commitment made by Canada’s Bishops in September.

The commitment of the Diocese of London to this fund is $1,800,000 over the next five years. Any administrative costs will be on top of the $30-million being raised and will not be deducted from this principal amount. Independent auditors will foster transparency in this work.
The Bishops intend the funds to contribute to the following priorities:

  • Healing and reconciliation for communities and families
  • Culture and language revitalization
  • Education and community building
  • Dialogues for promoting Indigenous spirituality and culture

I have asked the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of the Diocese to assist me in reviewing and assessing requests made by individuals or groups. The Committee will continue to work with me on goals, objectives and the manner by which it will review and assess requests.

The delegation to Rome of Indigenous Elders and leaders, which had been delayed by the pandemic, is now scheduled to meet with Pope Francis the week of 28 March 2022. A final audience with all participants will take place on Friday, 1 April 2022.

There is a recognition that any authentic healing will take time, but the preliminary work that is being done and the accomplishments of our diocesan Committee are positive steps forward. We pray that God, who in Jesus has embodied reconciliation, may bring this work to fruition in our Diocese and across our country.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Ronald Fabbro, CSB
Bishop of London