This represents a first step in a long process, as true acknowledgement of the indelible harm caused by the Church will need to be accompanied by meaningful action. The wounds of forced separation and abuse continue to mark the lived experiences of Indigenous communities today, a painful truth echoed in the responses of many Indigenous leaders to the Pope’s apology.
Through our work, GHR has learned about the vital importance of family care for a child’s long-term development and overall wellbeing, prompting our efforts to help strengthen families alongside Catholic communities, especially with Catholic Sisters. We know the Church has the potential to be a dynamic force for good in the world, as Pope Francis illuminates, and that it will take the support of a global community to continue the healing process.
While the Pope’s visit cannot erase the trauma of the past, GHR in inspired by Pope Francis’s steps toward reconciliation. The Foundation embraces similar opportunities to model his example and reflect on ourselves, our work, the communities we serve and opportunities for reconciliation from structural and systemic harm along the way.
Learn more about GHR’s work with the Church and family strengthening here, and the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition’s work for truth, healing, and justice for boarding school survivors and descendants.