February 2, 2022 – The Archdiocese of Toronto is promising to be a major contributor toward the Catholic Bishops in Canada’s pledge to raise $30 million to support Indigenous reconciliation initiatives, after more details of the national fundraising effort were announced last week.
“Children were separated from their parents because of residential schools and for that reason alone Catholics should not have participated in that system,” said Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto. “I reiterate the apology of the Canadian bishops in September 2021 as we reflect on the harm and intergenerational trauma caused by residential schools.”
The Archdiocese of Toronto will contribute $6 million in funds over five years toward the national $30 million goal.
“Everything the archdiocese does is the result of generous gifts from our parishioners,” said Jim Milway, Chancellor of Temporal Affairs at the Archdiocese of Toronto. “Through the stewardship of these gifts, the archdiocese will ensure we meet our fundraising commitment.”
In addition to raising awareness and offering opportunities to support the healing and reconciliation fund financially throughout the year, the archdiocese will invite the faithful to participate in an annual special collection held in the fall, near the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The archdiocese will also draw on funds in existing operations and assets, ensuring the $6 million pledge is fulfilled.
A national charitable organization has been established to administer these funds, governed by a board of eminent Indigenous and Catholic representatives (to learn more, please click here). A local committee will determine funding priorities, but it is anticipated there will be a focus on supporting projects that further:
This fundraising commitment adds to the more than $55 million previously contributed by Catholic entities through the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, the apology by the Catholic Bishops in Canada and Pope Francis’ planned visit to Canada to meet with Indigenous people.