Pope to depart Edmonton, travel to Quebec City for final days of reconciliation visit

Pope Francis is set to leave Edmonton for Quebec City today, beginning the next stage of what he has described as his “penitential” journey in Canada.

The pontiff is to visit with officials on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec’s capital shortly after his plane touches down.

Francis is to hold a mass Thursday at the National Shrine of Ste. Anne de Beaupré east of the city, then attend vespers with church officials at the Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Quebec.

On Friday, he is to make a brief stop in Iqaluit before heading home to the Vatican.

The Alberta leg of the Pope’s journey included a visit to the Indigenous community of Maskwacis, south of Edmonton.

Standing there before residential school survivors and Indigenous leaders, he apologized for abuses at the institutions, most of which were run by the Roman Catholic Church.

Francis also led an outdoor public mass at Edmonton’s football stadium, which some criticized as too traditional.

He also joined a pilgrimage at Lac Ste. Anne, northwest of Edmonton — a place of spiritual significance for many Indigenous Catholics that is thought to have healing properties. Francis blessed the lake and then sprinkled some of its water on people in the crowd.

 This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2022.