Mixed emotions amid request for volunteers for papal visit to Alberta | Globalnews.ca

In just over two weeks, Pope Francis will begin his visit to Alberta. So far, 2,100 volunteers have signed up to help out at Commonwealth Stadium for an outdoor Mass, Maskwacis, and Lac Ste. Ana. There is still a need for 4,000 more volunteers.

City wants to hear from residents impacted by large outdoor events in Calgary – Calgary | Canadian

The Maskwacis community was able to see up to 15,000 people. Volunteer Coordinator Megwan Yellowbird Cardinal was a day school survivor. She is eager for the opportunity.

“It’s been hectic and a bit stressful. Things are coming together very quickly,” Yellowbird Cardinal said.

Read more:

The first set of tickets for the Pope’s mass in Edmonton was reserved in minutes

The Pope is expected to repeat an apology for the role of the Catholic Church in the management of Canadian residential schools. Yellowbird Cardinal said he wants to be a part of making that apology happen.

Story continues below ad

She said that people who volunteer want to because they are survivors themselves or their parents are survivors.

Read more:

Edmonton church prepares for Pope’s visit and grand reopening after 2020 fire

Yellowbird Cardinal said he wants to leave feeling like he did everything he could for the survivors.

“Let them feel a bit at ease, that we are a big part of having that closure for our people.”

Holly Johnson Rattlesnake is also a volunteer at Maskwacis. She said that people in her community have many emotions and some are not ready to receive Pope Francis.

“It is disheartening to know that this is a great opportunity for Maskwacis and sometimes negative feedback overwhelms me, but I look beyond that. It could be part of the healing.

“I just have mixed emotions.”


Pope Francis will visit a former residential school as part of a trip to Canada

Luci Johnson is on the fence. She went to day school, her parents went to residential school. She is frustrated to see the province speeding up the paving of a road in Maskwacis in preparation for the Pope’s visit. Highways are often under federal jurisdiction and she wonders why a papal visit is needed to do it.

Story continues below ad

“Many people say that it is the Pope who lets it happen… Why? Pave that road because we are from Maskwacis. Pave the way because we are human,” Johnson said.

“It shouldn’t just be about cosmetics in our community. It should be about getting the vision and goals of what your message is for us, not just a path.”

She said she’s only coming for an hour and that’s a lot of money.

Johnson said she is undecided about her visit. She’s not sure if an apology will help.

“What happens the day after that…is it going to help us? Are people going to be re-traumatized? Will they be able to sleep that night when the Pope comes here? Johnson wondered.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Leave a Comment