A small delegation of CAPP-Canada members made a pilgrimage to Rome recently to join CAPP chapters from around the world for the Foundation’s 29th annual conference on the theme of "Inclusive growth to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development and peace." The delegation included one of our two coordinators, Dr. Cecil Chabot, two fellow Canadian CAPP members, Marc and April St. Martin, and their friend, a special non-Catholic guest delegate: Pakesso Mukash, a former candidate for Grand Chief of the Cree Nation of Eeyou Istchee. Pakesso translated the Holy Father's words into Cree this past July. Cecil shared the following message from Rome on October 8:
"I had the privilege of addressing an international audience in Rome on Thursday for a conference on “Inclusive growth to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development and peace.” I gave a brief reflection on the recent “Papal Penitential Pilgrimage” in light of Catholic Social Teaching principles of Human Dignity, Solidarity and Subsidiarity (the full reflection is available here; shorter versions were published this September in English and French media in Canada).
My key point was that when you see people only in terms of their perceived or real deficits you violate their human dignity, make solidarity meaningless and invite violations of the principle of subsidiarity (roughly translatable as self-determination, but much richer in meaning). This is one key lesson from Canada for those who want to fight poverty anywhere, and was echoed by another speaker who said that you cannot fight poverty if you do not first respect the dignity of people themselves, who are never reducible to their poverty. Among the many impressive people we met was Heidi Kuhn, a mother and grandmother who is turning mines to vines (minefields into vineyards and gardens) in Afghanistan and other countries, and whose work with locals on the ground has saved an estimated million lives in the last 25 years: www.rootsofpeace.org
It was a also great privilege to attend this event with Pakesso Mukash, who translated Pope Francis’ messages into Cree this summer and with whom I will meet Pope Francis in a few hours, along with Pak’s close friends, Marc and April St. Martin, who are part of the Canadian delegation at this conference of the CAPP Foundation."
Following this audience, Pakesso shared the following message:
"Today was the day.
The entire week spent in Rome culminated with this. Meeting Pope Francis.
I gave him a tobacco pouch and asked him to put it on the land and pray on behalf of, and for our people. That they may find peace, and with a most sincere smile he said "I will".
I also learned that this Pope is the first in a long time that speaks of the land. So the timing of my visit as a guest of the Canadian Chapter (historic since this is the 1st time Canada attends) was perfect.
Many thanks to my friends Marc and his lovely wife April Lee, along with the amazing Cecil Chabot for providing this incredible opportunity. May the dialog begin...
Official picture to come.
All My Relations"