To: The Faithful of the Diocese of London
Re: Truth and Reconciliation Fund Annual Collection
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Just over a year ago on the ‘penitential pilgrimage’ that Pope Francis made to Canada, he said, “In a fraternal spirit, I encourage the Bishops and the Catholic community to continue taking steps towards the transparent search for truth and to foster healing and reconciliation.” This year I am pleased to announce an exciting initiative, an annual collection for the diocesan Truth and Reconciliation Fund.
In December 2021, I established a Truth and Reconciliation Committee for the Diocese of London. Over the last twenty months the Committee has initiated dialogue with local Indigenous and Métis Peoples and promoted educational opportunities for clergy and diocesan employees. In June, the Committee provided an update on their work (click here) and information on approved projects (click here).
They have already done a lot of good work but, in their own words, “there is much more work to be done” as we continue the journey on the path to healing and reconciliation. The Committee’s mandate includes promoting a fundraising campaign. The bishops of Canada have promised to raise $30-million for the national Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF). Over the next few years, the Diocese of London will be contributing $1.8-million towards that fund. The goal of the IRF is to support projects that advance healing and reconciliation initiatives, promote culture and language revitalization, foster education and community building and initiate dialogues involving Indigenous elders, spiritual leaders and youth focusing on Indigenous spirituality and culture.
Today I am writing to you, the faithful of the Diocese, inviting you to support this fund. Your contributions will help us to reach our $1.8-million commitment and to support local projects that are determined in collaboration with the First Nations and Métis people within the diocese and, as well, with other Indigenous organizations and service providers.
On the weekend of 23-24 September, the weekend before National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Saturday, September 30th, each parish will take up a special Truth and Reconciliation Fund collection. We are grateful for your financial support, and we ask that you pray that our Catholic community will continue taking steps that foster healing and reconciliation.
Some have already contributed to the fund. I thank them for their support. Others have asked how they can contribute online. You can make an online donation through your parish or use the Diocese of London’s online giving link (https://dol.pllenty.com). Please select “Truth and Reconciliation Fund” from the available options or add it as a comment, so that your gift can be allocated properly.
I thank you in advance for your support of this important work as we journey together with Indigenous people, seeking truth, reconciliation, healing, and justice.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Ronald P. Fabbro, CSB
Bishop of London