(ZENIT News / Edmonton, Canada, 26.07.2022).- At least 50,000 Catholics attended the multitudinous Mass, which the Holy Father officiated in Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium. As videos and photographs have shown, the Pontiff went in the popemobile through the Stadium’s avenues to be close to the faithful.
At the end of the Holy Mass, the Archbishop of Edmonton, Monsignor Richard William Smith, greeted and thanked the Pope.
Here is Archbishop Smith’s address.
* * *
Most Holy Father,
On behalf of my brother Bishops and all gathered here for this Eucharistic celebration, I extend to you our heartfelt thanks for your presence among us. Your Apostolic Journey fulfils a promise you made to come to Canada and thereby demonstrate your closeness to us all, especially the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples of this land. We recognize and appreciate the enormous personal effort you have made to be with us. Please know that we are deeply grateful.
In October of last year, you announced your desire to journey to this land on a pilgrimage of healing and reconciliation. Our earnest prayer is that, by your very presence among us, the shadow of Saint Peter (cf. Acts 5:15-16) will fall upon our country and bring the grace of God’s healing and peace. Much remains to be accomplished if we are to experience in a lasting way the reconciliation we all seek. From the love and encouragement visibly manifest in your presence, we have received a new impetus to continue the journey, reliant always upon the gifts that God, our Creator, does not fail to grant.
The Bishops of Canada are fully committed to walking together with the First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Peoples. We are enriched by the beauty of their culture and wisdom of their traditions. Strengthened by the intercession of Saints Joachim and Anne, and accompanied by your prayerful support, Holy Father, we pledge anew to follow the path of healing and reconciliation with our Indigenous partners and friends.
We wish you well, Your Holiness, and promise you our constant prayer. Be assured of our respect, gratitude, and love.
Kitatamihin (Cree), Ishnish (Nakota Sioux), Maarsii (Michif), Qujannamiik (Inuktitut), Mercy, Thank you, Holy Father.