215 Children - The Residential School Tragedy

Faith and Justice Statement

Faith and Justice Statement

We the people of St. Monica’s Parish, state our position on the vital issues of our First Nations.

  • We stand with them in solidarity as brothers and sisters in this our common home.
  • We acknowledge that we are on ancestral, traditional, unceded land.
  • We acknowledge the part played by our government and church in the horrific treatment in the establishing of residential schools.
  • We acknowledge that the findings of Truth and Reconciliation Commission have not yet been fully implemented.
  • We acknowledge that we are in need of education.
  • We vow to listen to your voices.
  • We vow to educate ourselves.
  • We vow to pressure our church to take responsibility and to apologize.
  • We vow to take action to right the wrongs.
  • We vow to continuously keep these issues in the forefront.
  • We pray to our Creator God for guidance, strength and courage to stand by this statement.

A Letter to Our First Nations People

A Letter to Our First Nations People

June 8, 2021

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation
200-330 Chief Alex Thomas Way
Kamloops, BC V2H 1H1


To Our First Nations People,

We the parishioners and pastoral team of St. Monica’s Parish in Montreal join with our neighboring communities of faith, to express our deepest sorrow and remorse at the discovery of 215 graves of innocent children at the former Indian Residential School in Kamloops. This suffering is profound, almost incomprehensible.

The travesty of residential schools brought to light when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was instituted, continues to call us to deep repentance and conversion.

There is still so much left to do to address the many injustices of this system which marked not only the survivors but all of their descendants as well.

As brothers and sisters, we can no longer stand by in silence. It is our obligation to raise our voices in solidarity as one people.

We pledge to actively promote Indigenous rights and speak out whenever we encounter systemic racism.

We offer our profound apology and ask forgiveness for our church and for all who contributed to these atrocities: those who committed the crimes, those who stood by and did nothing, and we who stayed on the sidelines because we thought it did not concern us.

We pray for your healing. We pray for ourselves, that we may never again avert our eyes in the face of such grave injustice.


Yours in Solidarity,
The People of St. Monica’s Church

A Letter to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

A Letter to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

June 8, 2021

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
Msgr. Frank Leo, Jr.
Office of the General Secretary
2500 Don Reid Drive
Ottawa, ON K1H 2J2


On behalf of the Social Justice Committee, the Parish Council and the parishioners of St. Monica’s Parish Montreal, we write in sadness and great disappointment at the lack of an outright apology to our First Nation people (regarding the Kamloops tragedy) from the Council of Canadian Bishops.

We do thank Cardinal Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, for his public apology this past Sunday.  It is the obligation of the leadership of our church to give witness to the Gospel message, a message of love and truth.

Bernard Lonergan suggests that we are all born with the first principles imprinted in our souls. One of these is truth. Therefore, we innately know the truth which is, many Indigenous people have been deeply scarred by wrongs committed by people of our Church. A sincere apology is mandatory, and it is vital to the healing of the Indigenous People.

There is no need to write a lengthy discourse stating the obvious reasons why an apology is necessary. Can we not be secure enough in our faith to take responsibility no matter the consequences? Remember the words of Jesus, “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers you do it to me.” Is this what we want to do to Jesus the Christ?

We will pray for the Holy Spirit to touch your hearts and lead you to act accordingly.

Yours in Faith and Justice,

Sharon Di Fruscia – Chair
Faith and Justice / Parish Council

Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

June 10, 2021

The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau,

We, the Faith and Justice Committee of St. Monica’s Parish, in Montreal, write with concern regarding the latest tragedy affecting our First Nations People. It is time, after so many decades, to right the wrongs.

Both the church and government bear responsibility in the atrocities committed in residential schools. The government wanted cultural genocide and engaged the church in carrying it out.

Canada has long been known as a country much concerned with human rights and global humanitarian needs and issues. We also are considered as people who are kind, caring and giving. We must now live up to this reputation.

We ask that all parties involved, stop passing on the blame and take ownership in the part they have played.

We ask that all undocumented deaths at residential schools be addressed.

We ask that the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission be fully implemented.

We ask that you strive to abolish systemic racism.

We ask that the bureaucracy and red tape be bypassed so that our First Nations people are finally treated with respect and dignity. Hence we can be a proud country that stands by our words and convictions.

Yours in Faith and Justice,

Sr. Beverley Wattling SNJM
Sharon Di Fruscia
Faith and Justice Committee

A Letter to the Holy Father

A Letter to the Holy Father

June 14, 2021


Most Holy Father,

We write to you out of deep faith in the Gospel message of Jesus and your genuine concern for the poor and oppressed. Your commitment to Social Justice as seen in your writings is such an important teaching tool, not only for Catholics but for all people.

We believe you are as devastated as we are over the latest tragedy of our Canadian Indigenous people. It is just one more atrocity suffered over hundreds of years. There have been many groups and individuals responsible for the horrible treatment they have endured and still do endure. Our Church has been responsible for some of their suffering.

Our First Nations brothers and sisters need healing. In great sorrow, they have asked that our Church offer a public apology. Our Church has apologized to many other hurt and wounded people and that is what they need.

Holy Father, we humbly implore you to respond as we believe Jesus would have. In His infinite love and compassion, would Jesus not have embraced these people, wept with them and told them he was sorry? Would he not also have told us we were forgiven? Can we forgo all the bureaucracy, apologize, and commit ourselves to do better in the future? Then, with sincerity, as a Church, we might each be able to say, “I am blessed to be a part of this compassionate church.”


Yours in Faith and Justice,

Sharon Di Fruscia
Sr. Beverley Wattling SNJM
Co-Chairs of the Faith and Justice Committee