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Walking Together in Pursuit of Healing and Reconciliation

Posted : Mar-28-2023

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Julia and Adam Kozak, a married couple, reflect on healing and repentance in light of the 2022 papal visit, Pope Francis’ ‘Pilgrimage of Penance.’ Adam, a Lay Pastoral Associate and musician, was the National Project Manager for the Programs Team for the Papal Visit to Canada. Julia, a member of the Nisga’a Nation, designer and artist and the Canadian Administrator of Alpha in a Catholic Context, became Catholic through the RCIA process; she was the Maskwacis Site Coordinator for the Programs Team on the Papal Visit to Canada. 

1. As Lent is a time to celebrate the reconciling love and healing grace the Lord offers us, can you share some ways Catholics can prepare for this season? What is the importance and significance of being Catholic especially at this time?

Lent is a time to celebrate the reconciling love and healing grace the Lord offers us. As Catholics it offers us a season to voluntarily step into a time of retreat in order to give us right perspective in seeing things.  The point is not to be lost or simply abstaining.  We are called to reflect and bring into sharper focus what draws us to Jesus, His Passion and the Resurrection.  We can do this daily during Lent by committing time in silence to active listening.  A quiet time during prayer, giving Jesus the platform in our heart to speak to us and through us. 

2. What has been the impact of the Papal visit, particularly in terms of promoting healing and reconciliation in the community and in our own relationships? How important is healing and reconciliation in the practice of our Catholic faith?

Part of the impact of Pope Francis’ 2022 ‘Pilgrimage of Penance’ in Canada is that it gives us a beautiful example of walking forward boldly and courageously in faith when the pursuit of healing and reconciliation seems far from being attainable. This example encourages us through reflection, prayer and repentance to not hesitate in casting off the shroud of sin, to pursue with haste reconciliation with God and with each other which ultimately leads to healing and to hope.

In this wilderness, there is a terrible mess that litters the past and the present. We are thankful for the good efforts put forward by women and men who have come before us and live amongst us, yet supremely to this we recognise all reconciliation between people involves God.

As followers of Jesus, we believe the Holy Spirit is active TODAY across these great lands, stirring renewal and redemption within individuals, families and communities. This is our HOPE and our JOY!

We invite you to join us on Thursday, April 20 as we dialogue further in pursuing understanding and reconciliation between the Church and Indigenous people in Canada. For more information, please visit https://bit.ly/ReflectionsonPapalVisit.