The Archdiocese of Toronto's 42nd annual Cardinal’s Dinner was held virtually on November 23, 2021. The Cardinal’s dinner raises funds each year for various charities. The theme of this year’s Dinner was A Journey Toward Healing and Reconciliation. This journey has been particularly relevant to Catholics across Canada in the wake of Indigenous communities announcing the uncovering of unmarked graves near residential schools containing the remains of Indigenous children. Residential schools were operated by several Christian denominations including the Roman Catholic Church and were part of Canada’s broader assimilation policy. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission described residential schools as cultural genocide.
The uncovering of unmarked graves near residential schools has brought Canada and the Catholic Church nationally and internationally to this collective awareness of the injustices committed against Indigenous peoples and that the Church has been complicit in. The history and legacy of residential schools has severely fractured the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the Church. Truth, understanding, and forgiveness is needed to restore trust and to foster reconciliation. To help in fostering reconciliation, ICRF members Graydon Nicholas and Maria Lucas joined other Indigenous Catholics in a discussion on healing and reconciliation that accompanied the Cardinal’s dinner.
Funds raised from the Cardinal’s Dinner will support both longstanding Cardinal’s Dinner charities and the Indigenous Healing and Reconciliation efforts of the Archdiocese of Toronto. Please join ICRF members in prayerful solidarity for the Reconciliation efforts being undertaken by both the Church and the Canadian state in attempt to redress the wrongs of the past.