Pope Francis to carry mass at one of Quebec’s basilicas, Indigenous pilgrim site

First person site mass In Quebec during that time Of the pope week-long visit to Canada for revision First NationsThe Metis and Inuit community is a popular pilgrimage destination that merges Native culture and Catholicism.

For more than 300 years, Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre The basilica, about 30 kilometers northeast of Quebec City, has been visited by thousands of pilgrims, and Saint Anne – revered in Christianity as the grandmother of Jesus – holds a place unique in some indigenous cultures.

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Support is available for residential school survivors to visit the pope

Support available for residential school survivors visiting the pope – July 15, 2022

“I think Saint Anne has always been a part of the Indigenous spiritual life. Innu prays for her a lot,” said Tania Courtois, an Innu health coordinator for the Ekuanithit community, on Quebec’s Lower North Shore, in a recent interview.

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Courtois will be among hundreds of people from her community, including several residential school survivors, to attend Pope Francis’ mass on Thursday.

The event comes amid tension between the Roman Catholic Church and indigenous peoples, who have been subjected to years of abuse in residential schools across Canada. But Ghislain Picard, head of the Quebec-Labrador Council of First Nations, says there is no hatred or doubt about people’s personal religious choices.

“There is a recapture of our traditional values, including spirituality, without actually abandoning the Catholic religion in many cases,” Picard said in a recent interview. . “I’m not an expert, but there are many people who have probably learned to combine the two.”

Denis Gagnon, professor of anthropology at the University of Saint-Boniface in Winnipeg, has researched the origins of Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre and devotion to Saint Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary, in of the Innu in northeastern Quebec.

In the late 1990s, Gagnon met with several indigenous communities in the area to observe rituals and practices. Gagnon said indigenous people were attracted to Saint Anne because of her healing abilities and status as a powerful woman. He points out that grandmothers play an important role in many indigenous cultures.

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Missionaries, he said, used her story to convert Indigenous Peoples to Catholicism. “Jesus doesn’t mean much to them,” Gagnon said in a recent interview. “(St. Anne) is a character for whom one can ask for favors: health, a good hunt, a large family.”

Louis Rousseau, a professor in the department of religion at the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, echoed Gagnon’s observations.

Rousseau said in a recent interview: “Her position as a grandmother allowed the natives to understand her as a protector, because in their worldview, grandpa and grandma, real or virtual, both hold that function.

For Jeannette Vollant, an Innu woman in her 70s from the Uashat mak Mani-Utenam community, love and respect for her people more than religious devotion will attract her to attend mass. on Thursday.

“I don’t have anything against the people who will go on to Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre who have a passion for St. Anne,” Vollant said in a recent interview. “It’s each person’s choice.”

Jay Launiere-Mathias, 28 years old Innu and Anishinaabe from the Mashteuiatsh community, said he respects those who find healing in Catholicism even when he feels alienated from the religion.

Launiere-Mathias said in a recent interview: “As a young native, what happens after that will interest me more. “What will the reciprocal gestures look like? It’s not because the Pope apologized that people were healed.”

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© 2022 Canadian Press

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