The latest on the Pope’s visit to Canada

Pope Francis is on a six-day tour of Canada aimed at reconciliation with indigenous peoples for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in boarding schools.

Here are the latest developments on his Alberta stops today (all times are MST):

9:50 a.m

People at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium lifted babies onto the popemobile as Pope Francis toured the venue.

The Pope rose to bless the children and stopped to wave and smile at the crowd.

Those gathered in the stadium cheer, wave and take pictures.

The pope was also greeted by the sound of indigenous drums from a group of Dene drummers from northern Alberta.

9:40 a.m

Pope Francis has arrived at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, where he will deliver a public mass to an estimated 70,000 people.

The Pope drives in the popemobile and waves to the crowd.


9:20 a.m

Edith Didzena says she is attending the Pope’s Mass at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium to honor her mother, who attended boarding school.

She held up a photo of her mother, who died before she could hear the Pope’s apology for the Catholic Church’s role in the institutions.

She says seeing Pope Francis will help her deal with the trauma of her family’s past.

Acknowledging past wrongdoing doesn’t erase what happened, she says, but it does help begin healing.

9:10 a.m

People continue to make their way to their seats at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium before Pope Francis arrives for a public mass, and many are still queuing outside.

The stadium — Edmonton’s largest — has a capacity of about 56,000, and organizers say another 10,000 people can be seated on the field itself.

An overflow room has been set up at nearby Clarke Field where the Pope is expected this morning before heading to the stadium in the popemobile.

8:55 a.m

Organizers of today’s Pope’s Mass in Edmonton say 460 priests and 56 deacons will distribute Holy Communion to an estimated 70,000 people.

They say communion stations have been set up throughout Commonwealth Stadium.

They say it’s a huge undertaking but hope it can be done in about 10 to 12 minutes.


8:10 a.m

With a high rate of COVID-19 transmission in the region, health officials in Quebec City are advising caution when the Pope’s visit shifts to the provincial capital on Wednesday.

In a statement today, health officials say large gatherings, even outdoors, can lead to transmission of the virus.

They say face masks are to be distributed to those boarding shuttle buses to celebrate a mass with Pope Francis in Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré on Thursday.

dr Jacques Girard, an assistant to the public health director in Quebec City, says those attending the papal visit should act responsibly and not attend if they have COVID-19 symptoms.


8:00 am

People are lining up to get into Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium, where Pope Francis will deliver a public mass later in the morning.

The Pope should arrive shortly after 9 a.m. and first explore the area with the popemobile.

Later in the day he plans to go to Lac Ste. Anne, northwest of Edmonton, to join the community’s annual pilgrimage.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 26, 2022.


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