Pope to hold public event in Iqaluit outside Nakasuk School

Pope Francis is also scheduled to meet privately with Inuit residential school survivors while in Iqaluit.

By Nunatsiaq News - July 21, 2022
The public will have a chance to see the Pope when he visits Iqaluit on July 29 at an event in the square outside Nakasuk School. (Nunatsiaq News file photo)

Pope Francis will hold one public event when he visits Iqaluit on July 29, according to a schedule released by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday.

The public will be able to see the Pope at 5 p.m. in the square outside Nakasuk Elementary School, the schedule states. Tickets are not needed for the event.

Before that, at 4:15 p.m., Francis will meet privately with Inuit residential school survivors.

The Pope’s flight is expected to touch down at the Iqaluit airport at 3:50 p.m., arriving from meetings earlier in the day in Quebec City. A departure ceremony at the airport, closed to the public, is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. The Pope will fly back to Rome overnight.

According to an article in Vatican News published Wednesday, Francis will be joined by his papal entourage when he visits Canada, including two Canadian cardinals, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet and Cardinal Michael Czerny.

More than 60 journalists will also accompany the Pope on his plane, according to the article.

In March, When Francis met at the Vatican with delegations of Inuit, Métis and First Nations, he said he hoped to be able to visit Canada.

Toward the end of that visit, on April 1, Francis apologized for the role some Roman Catholic clergy played in abuses that occurred in the residential school system. It’s expected he will apologize again when he is in Canada.

A papal apology, in Canada, for the church’s role in the residential schools system is one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action that were published in 2015.

Francis is scheduled to start his Canadian trip in Edmonton on July 24 and spend the next three days with Indigenous groups there, including the celebration of a public mass at Commonwealth Stadium — normally home of the Edmonton Elks CFL football team — on July 26 where more than 60,000 people are expected, before flying to Quebec City.

While in Quebec City, Francis is scheduled to receive an official welcome from Gov. Gen. Mary Simon and will meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.