Communique #1 – Community Life

August 20, 2021

National Chairperson of Community Life Faith Anderson, August 20, 2021.


The issue of residential schools is on the radar of many since the discovery of bodies at the former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. As chairpersons, we have an opportunity to learn and obtain information on this pressing issue.

The federal government recently passed legislation to make September 30th a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, commencing this year. With the designation of this statutory holiday, the federal government “is committed to reconciliation and ensuring that the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools is never forgotten.” The day will provide public servants with an opportunity to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools. It is suggested that this be a day of quiet reflection or participation in a community event—a day to pray for reconciliation and the healing of Indigenous peoples and to recognize in some way the significant effect the residential schools have had. Please forward this information to your diocesan counterparts requesting the information be distributed to parish councils promptly.

Please note national office will be closed on September 30th in observance of this federal statutory holiday.

September 30th is also the unofficial Orange Shirt Day which has been observed since 2013. Orange Shirt Day began as a project to commemorate the residential school experience, honour the healing journey of survivors and commit to ongoing reconciliation. It was named in honour of six-year-old Phyllis Webstat, who had a piece of clothing taken from her on her first day at a residential school in 1973.

I urge you to ask your diocesan counterparts to encourage members to take some form of action in observance of this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. May Our Lady of Good Counsel carry our prayers to God the Father.

Faith Anderson
National Chairperson of Community Life