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(LifeSiteNews) – As many hastily attack the Catholic Church for its role in the controversial residential schools in Canada, it is important to remember the early contributions by the Catholic Church to care for and educate Aboriginal girls.
In May 1639, six nuns set out from France to serve the Aboriginal people in Canada, three to build a hospital and three to build a school. In July, three Ursuline sisters arrived in Quebec, led by Mother Marie of the Incarnation, to set about establishing a school for girls.
According to Inuk: Au Dos De La Terre, by Father Roger Buliard O.M.I, Inuit tribes often killed, or left to die, newborn girls as they struggled to survive Canadian winters. The tribes valued boys since they were stronger for hunting. The more mouths they had to feed, the harder it was to survive. Girls were viewed as less desirable than boys. Therefore, the nuns’ establishing of schools provided an important opportunity for young, Aboriginal girls to learn skills to flourish.
The early Catholic nuns received no compensation but freely and lovingly taught, washed, dressed, and fed the young Aboriginal female students. Mother Marie studied the Algonquin, Huron, and Iroquois languages and then wrote dictionaries and catechisms to better educate her students.
A private donor first lent the sisters a small house with only two rooms where they established the first Canadian school for both French and Aboriginal girls. By 1641, the school had grown, and the nuns required a new building to house the ever-increasing number of students.
One night, a fire broke out in the monastery, destroying nearly ten years of work in only a few hours. However, the sisters determined to rebuild the school.
Mother Marie recalled: “We are in the dark here, and we must grope around for our way. We consult wise persons, but things do not turn out as foreseen. We roll along, however, and when we think we are at the bottom of the precipice; we find ourselves standing upright.”
This time last year, Justin Trudeau and his media allies were at the forefront of falsely accusing Catholic institutions of having buried Indigenous children in mass graves at various residential schools across Canada.
There was and is no credible evidence to support these wild accusations, but many Canadians are still unaware of the facts.
SIGN to demand an apology from Justin Trudeau for promoting the "mass grave" smear
The anger generated by the media at home and abroad saw over twenty Canadian churches burned, and extensive damage done to many more, but the record has never been set straight in what amounts to a disinformation campaign.
Terry Glavin at the National Post recently wrote a masterful piece that may go down in history as the definitive “debunking” of the assertions about the mass graves that never were.
Glavin points out that “nothing new was added to the public record” concerning the history of residential schools in Canada.
“The legacy of the schools had already been exhaustively explored in the testimony of hundreds of elders and a series of inquiries, public hearings, criminal cases, settlements and federal investigations going back decades. Most important of these efforts were the widely publicized undertakings of the 2008-2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), and the content of its voluminous findings,” Glavin wrote.
“…[N]ot a single mass grave was discovered in Canada last year,” he added.
“The several sites of unmarked graves that captured international headlines were either already-known cemeteries, or they remain sites of speculation even now, unverified as genuine grave sites.”
“Not a single child” accounted for during the extensively researched commission “was located in any of these places,” Glavin underscored.
“In none of these places were any human remains unearthed.”
SIGN and SHARE the petition calling on Justin Trudeau to set the record straight.
Even Trudeau's kneeling at what was reported upon as a just-discovered residential school burial ground was a lie - it was actually a well-known Catholic cemetery, but the media didn't let these details get in the way of reinforcing their narrative.
Trudeau also called on Pope Francis to come to Canada and apologize for what had happened, as outlets like Reuters, the New York Times and scores more told the world that “nearly 1000 bodies” had been found in two mass graves.
Those online articles were quietly edited from "mass graves" to "unmarked graves", but we still have the Twitter posts from major outlets like Reuters to prove the staggering level of misinformation.
SIGN: Justin Trudeau must tell Canadians the truth - there were no mass graves
According to an extensive investigation by Professor Emeritus Jacques Rouillard from the Université de Montréal: “The ‘discovery’ was first reported last May 27 (2021) by Tk’emlúps te secwépemc First Nation Chief Rosanne Casimir after an anthropologist, Sarah Beaulieu, used ground-penetrating radar in a search for the remains of children alleged by some to be buried there.”
“Her preliminary report is actually based on depressions and abnormalities in the soil of an apple orchard near the school – not on exhumed remains.”
Professor Rouillard opined that the unverifiable narrative of what could have amounted to child-murder has led to the false assertion of genocide, an assertion without any supporting evidence.
“By never pointing out that it is only a matter of speculation or potentiality, and that no remains have yet been found, governments and the media are simply granting credence to what is really a thesis: the thesis of the ‘disappearance’ of children from residential schools,” Rouillard wrote.
“And all of this is based only on soil abnormalities that could easily be caused by root movements, as the anthropologist herself cautioned in the July 15 press conference.”
The vast majority of Canadians have been misled by the media and Mr. Trudeau, believing the most incredible smears imaginable, leading to scores of attacks on churches around the country.
It's time we heard the truth.
Please sign the petition today.
We are also cc'ing Canada's Catholic bishops on this petition - they must also demand the record be corrected, lest Canadians continue believing the mainstream media's disinformation.
For More Information:
How the world's media got it wrong on residential school graves - National Post
Trudeau lied about the bogus mass grave story - LifeSiteNews
Trudeau's narrative was a hoax - LifeSiteNews
**Photo: St. Jean Baptiste Church in Morinville burned to the ground on June 30, 2021**
The love of the Ursuline Sisters for Aboriginal children
Recounting the devotion of the sisters in the New World, Jesuit Recollections recorded: “Difficult as it is to find, among the laity, girls provided with good endowments to maintain the Seminary for Savages established at Kebec, under the management of the Ursuline mothers, it would be as easy to find professed Nuns quite willing to cross the Ocean to devote their lives to the salvation of these poor children.”
“And if as great a number were required as that of the Virgins whom Saint Ursula led into Brittany, I think that France could supply them, such are the zeal and ardor that prevail in all their houses,” the account continued. “Not only the Ursulines, but a great many other Nuns, of various orders, burn with a most pure desire to come and consecrate their labors to Jesus Christ in this new world, and to consume their lives on the Altar of the Cross.”
“Having chosen her to establish the Ursulines in Canada,” the Bishop of Quebec wrote of Mother Marie, “God gave her the full spirit of her Institute. She was a perfect superior, an excellent Mistress of novices, capable of undertaking any religious enterprise. Her exterior life, simple and well-disciplined, was animated by an intense interior life, so that she was a living Rule for all her Community.”
“Her zeal for the salvation of souls, and especially for the conversion of the Indians, was great and so universal that she seemed to carry them all in her heart,” he added. “We cannot doubt that, by her prayers, she greatly called down God’s many blessings upon this new-born Church.”
Students’ experiences at the Ursuline schools
According to the Jesuit Relations, the Mother Superior recalled: “We frequently hear with pleasure (…) chanting a motet in the Nuns’ Choir, during the elevation of the Blessed Sacrament, and even singing with them sometimes during their Vespers.”
Even before education, the goal of the Mother Superior was “to write upon their hearts the Love and fear of him whom they now know. It is to that end that the efforts of these good mothers are directed, to whom our Lord seems to have given his blessing.”
She recalled that two Aboriginal children left the school to accompany their families on “their great hunt.” The two girls taught their families to pray and sing “the hymns that the mothers had taught them in the Algonquin tongue.”
“The leisure that they had from their slight occupations, they spent in reading and writing,” she continued. “The (students) are so passionately fond of writing that sometimes, when they are refused permission to go out walking, they ask to be at least allowed to write.”
“These two poor little girls, who were out hunting with their people, felt so keen regret at being so long deprived of the Sacraments of Confession and Communion, that they manifested their sorrow by means of letters replete with affection and piety, which they wrote while away in the woods,” she added.
One time, an Aboriginal girl decided to leave the school and return to her family as the girls had the freedom to leave if they so desired. However, this girl soon regretted her decision and “begs to be (re)admitted.”
“I was solicited to leave you,” she said; “I did wrong. I will never run away again; I will be obedient. I really wish to be taught.” The girl was readmitted into the school and allowed to continue her education.
Another Aboriginal girl expressed gratitude to the sisters for her education, writing, “[m]y good Mother, I am about to leave. I thank you for having taken such care of me, and for having taught me to serve God well. Do I thank you for a trifling matter? I shall never forget it.”