Pope to visit Iqaluit July 29, Vatican confirms
Pope Francis to visit with residential school survivors, elders and youth
Pope Francis will stop in Iqaluit on July 29 during his six-day visit to Canada, the Vatican has confirmed.
According to a schedule released by the Vatican Thursday, the Pope will arrive in Iqaluit around 3:50 p.m. after stopping first in Quebec City.
At 4:15 p.m., he will meet with former residential school students at Nakasuk Elementary School.
Following that, he will meet with elders and young people at the school’s outdoor square at 5 p.m.
A departure ceremony at Iqaluit’s airport is scheduled for 6:15 p.m., with the Pope departing at 6:45 p.m. for Rome.
Pope Francis is scheduled to start his Canadian trip in Edmonton on July 24 and spend the next three days with Indigenous groups there — including a public mass at Commonwealth Stadium on July 26 — before flying to Quebec City.
While in Quebec City, Pope Francis will receive an official welcome from Gov. Gen. Mary Simon and will meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to the Vatican.
When Pope Francis met with delegates of Inuit, Metis and First Nations at the Vatican in late March, he said then that he hoped to be able to visit Canada.
Toward the end of that visit, on April 1, the Pope apologized for the role some Roman Catholic clergy played in abuses that occurred in the residential school system. It’s expected he will apologize again during this visit.
In a news release Thursday, Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. said it is working with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and other organizations to bring Inuit to Iqaluit for the visit.
Nunavut Inuit interested in attending or participating in events related to the Pope’s visit are asked to register with NTI through the organization’s website, the release said.
NTI and other groups are working to plan travel, opportunities for Inuit to speak with the Pope and Inuit cultural and spiritual ceremony during the visit.
This will be the fourth papal visit to Canada. The three previous ones were all made by pope Saint John Paul II.