“I commit the Diocese of London to accompany you, the Indigenous Peoples of this land, on the journey of healing and reconciliation. I realize that there is much more work to do in our Diocese, but I know that ‘we look forward to listening and learning from you as we walk in solidarity”
Bishop Fabbro (27 September 2021)
To do this work, Bishop Fabbro has set out a plan in five parts. The plan calls for dialogue with local Indigenous Peoples, educating ourselves on these issues in order to learn how we can move forward, exploring the possibility of a “service of reparation”, participating in the fundraising campaign announced by the Bishops of Canada, and, finally, setting up a committee to oversee the plan.
Diocesean Truth and Reconciliation Committee
Taking its name from the original Truth and Reconciliation Commission, our “Truth and Reconciliation Committee” includes people from across the Diocese, some of whom identify as Indigenous and others who have been allies working in various settings with Indigenous Peoples.
The Committee will be co-chaired by Mrs. Kathy Furlong and Father Michael Béchard. They will share the work with:
- Ms Sarah Donohue, J.D.
- Mr. Paul Gilpin
- Ms Christine Maracle
- Ms Melissa Philips
- Father Dan Vere
- Dr. Valerie Waboose
- Mrs. Gwen Waeijen
Current Actions Planned or Underway In The Diocese
As guided by our own Truth and Reconciliation Committee, they are currently:
- Our Truth and Reconciliation Committee will assist the bishop in reviewing requests made by individuals or groups to fund healing and reconciliation work in the Diocese. We have committed $1,800,000 to be raised over the next five years as our contribution to the $30 million Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF).
- On May 5 all priests, deacons, lay ministers, and staff were invited to the first of several monthly presentations designed and hosted by our Truth and Reconciliation Committee to raise awareness about issues facing both Indigenous and non-indigenous persons. The second presentation is scheduled for June 9.
- Compiling a list of resources for parishes and faith communities to better understand the legacy of Canada’s residential school system.
- The week of May 23-27 the book “21 Things you may not know about the Indian Act” was distributed to all staff and clergy.
- Developing resources for distribution to parishes and other opportunities for both education and formation and how our parishes might cooperate as agents of reconciliation.
The Truth and Reconciliation Fund
The Diocese of London has committed to $1.8-million over the next five years.
There are different ways in which you can participate: prayer, the ongoing education opportunities offered by our Diocese, taking part this summer in local events and activities so as to better understand Indigenous people in this region, and contributing to our Diocese of London Truth and Reconciliation Fund.
To make a tax-deductible donation in support of our truth and reconciliation efforts, you can do one of the following:
- Write a cheque payable to your parish indicating that it is for the “Truth and Reconciliation Fund”.
- Make an online donation through your parish website.
- Use the Diocese of London’s online giving website https://dol.pllenty.com For online donations, please select “Truth and Reconciliation Fund” from the available options or add it as a comment, so that your gift can be allocated properly. I thank you in advance for your support of this worthy cause