Province of Prince Albert: Ministry in the Archdiocese of Regina
ECHOES OF THE MISSION
MY MINISTRY AMONG THE FIRST NATION
Working Group on Indigenous Spirituality Text (WGIST)
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is working on a resource on Indigenous spirituality, in part responding to the TRC Calls to Action and to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The goal is to provide bishops and potentially Catholic parishes across the country with a better understanding of Indigenous spirituality. The resource is being prepared in consultation with Indigenous elders with the help of Indigenous researchers and writers. One section of the resource is being drafted here in Regina and I am grateful to be a part of this team along with our Archbishop Don Bolen and some of our Indigenous colleagues. The section that we are drafting involves themes in Indigenous spirituality, languages, spiritual connections to the land and all creation through creation stories, traditions, ceremonies, and teachings, as they are found in different parts of the country and among different Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Metis, Inuit).
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has initiated Diocesan/Regional Listening Circles with Indigenous Communities, where Bishops, and church representatives listen deeply to Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers and other members of the Indigenous community. These listening circles are focused on the theme of healing, within Indigenous communities, the Church, in society, and how might the Church and Indigenous communities envision walking together towards the future. The Archdiocese of Regina had their Listening Circle on March 12th 2020, when the Papal Nuncio of Canada, Luigi Bonazzi, was visiting the Archdiocese. We wanted him to be a part of this circle to hear the voices of Indigenous people, and experience healing and reconciliation. Our PM community had the joy of hosting this event in our home!