Canadian Bishops express sympathy after Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples fire

In a letter to Archbishop Richard Smith, the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has expressed sympathy to the Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples in Edmonton following the devastating fire August 30. The text follows: 

The Most Rev. Richard Smith
Archbishop of Edmonton
8421 – 101 Avenue NW
Edmonton, AB T6A 0L1

Your Excellency,

On behalf of your brother Bishops, I would like to express my deepest sorrow following the recent fire at the Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples in Edmonton.

We understand that Sacred Heart was not only a unique place of worship. As the first designated national parish for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people in Canada, it was a gathering place where our Indigenous brothers and sisters celebrate their faith, heritage, and traditions and likewise find kinship, as well as spiritual and emotional support in times of need.

We give thanks to God that no one was hurt by this unfortunate accident and we pray that the parishioners of Sacred Heart may find strength in these difficult times through God’s grace.

Sacred Heart is indeed a living testament of true reconciliation in our great land. Know that we walk beside you as you and your collaborators in ministry lead the parish community in rebuilding and restoring this spiritually, historically and culturally significant sacred place to its full glory.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

+Richard Gagnon
Archbishop of Winnipeg
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops