Thousands of Indigenous people converged Monday on Maskwacis’ First Nations Reservation to hear and respond to Pope Francis’ long-awaited message of “pilgrimage of penance’ for Indigenous abuses…and Amramp was there to help.
Amramp Edmonton worked closely with Encore event management to design and install a safe sturdy ramp and platform for Pope Francis’ access to the stage in a dignified way.
Organizers of the papal visit say the 85-year-old pontiff will use a wheelchair during most of his Canadian visit due to his “advanced age and physical limitations.”
Pope Francis’ willingness to deliver his message despite knee pain that has made walking nearly impossible shows other older adults that they have wisdom and experience to offer younger generations, a top Vatican cardinal said last week.
Francis is struggling to cope with strained ligaments in his right knee that have greatly limited his mobility. This was his first time he’s been in Canada using a wheelchair. He recently said he can no longer walk and must rest his knee on doctors’ orders.
Cardinal Farrell, 74, the head of the Vatican’s office for laity and a trusted papal adviser, said that Francis’ willingness to acknowledge and display his limitations while continuing to hold audiences could encourage others to continue contributing as they age.
“We should not hide the fact that with age comes a lessening of our ability to play an active part in the life of the world today,” the Ireland-born American cardinal said. “He sends a message to all of us that we all have to carry on. We may have limitations in old age, but we carry on and we do our best.”
First Nations leaders in Alberta said they expect the Pope’s presence to open old wounds for Indigenous people and that mental health counsellors will be at the sites. But they also hope the visit will be a step toward reconciliation.
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