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Bishop’s pastoral letter re: IRS (Indian Residential School) Settlement agreement with Govt. of Canada

Dear Clergy, Religious Sisters, Lay Faithful – Brothers and Sisters of the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith… Click here to read Bishop Mark’s pastoral letter

Catholic responses to Truth and Reconciliation Commission Call to Action 48 and questions regarding the “Doctrine of Discovery”

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The Catholic response to Call to Action 48 appeals “to all our Catholic brothers and sisters — laity, members of institutes of consecrated life and of societies of apostolic life, deacons, priests, and Bishops” — to make eight commitments to “continue to walk together with Indigenous Peoples in building a more just society where their gifts and those of all people are nurtured and honoured.” The commitments include:

  • Working with Catholic educational institutions and formation programs in telling the history and experience of Indigenous Peoples
  • Working with seminaries and other formation centres to promote a “culture of encounter” by including the history the history of the Indian Residential Schools and of Canadian missionary work with its “weaknesses and strengths”
  • Encouraging partnerships between Indigenous groups and health care facilities
  • Encouraging a restorative justice model within the criminal justice system
  • Supporting the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women
  • Deepening relationships, dialogue and collaboration with Indigenous People
  • Inviting Catholic parishes and institutions to become better acquainted with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Also considered and repudiated are illegitimate concepts and principles used by Europeans to justify the seizure of land previously held by Indigenous Peoples and often identified by the terms ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ and terra nullius.”

For further information, please go to following links:

A Catholic Response to TRC Call to Action 48 (On Adopting and Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)

The “Doctrine of Discovery” and Terra Nullius: A Catholic Response

An interview with Bishop Donald Bolen, Chairman of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, about the two texts

Click here for Bishop Mark Hagemoen’s letter to the Mackenzie Fort-Smith Diocese on the TRC Calls to Action


Read the Joint letter from Bishops Mark Hagemoen, David Parsons and Darren McCartney to the NWT Government regarding the priority of Palliative Care and end-of-life support

Click here for the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) publication “Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Urgent Questions”

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The Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith joins the Church throughout the world in celebrating the Year of Mercy. Here are some resources to help with our celebration of this important year for our people.

Year of Mercy – February Resource (Focus: Spiritual Works of Mercy)
Year of Mercy – Parable Reflection 1 (God’s Mercy is For Everyone – Luke 7:36-56)
Year of Mercy – Youth Crossword on Mercy
Year of Mercy – Corporal Works of Mercy Coloring Page

Click on the image below for Pope Francis’ Prayer for Year of Mercy.
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Click here for the Diocesan Brochure on the Year of Mercy.


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