January 31, 2017 -- Jesuits joined Canadian Catholic organizations to form the Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle to strengthen and foster relations with Indigenous people.
The coalition brings together Indigenous people, Bishops, clergy, lay movements and institutes of consecrated life, engaged in renewing and fostering relationships between the Catholic Church and Indigenous people in Canada. The new initiative has a fourfold mission:
Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle held its first official meeting at the offices of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) on December 5, 2016. Its institutional members are the Canadian Catholic Aboriginal Council (CCAC), CCCB, Canadian Religious Conference (CRC), Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace / Caritas Canada (CCODP), Saint Vincent de Paul Society, Knights of Columbus, and The Catholic Women’s League of Canada. Along with two CCAC representatives -- its Chair Deacon Rennie Nahanee and Vice-Chair Mr. Irving Papineau -- the Indigenous members are Mrs. Rosella Kinoshameg, the Honourable Graydon Nicholas and Sister Priscilla Solomon, C.S.J.
Our Lady of Guadalupe was proclaimed patroness of the Americas by Pope Pius XII in 1946. The devotion dates to 1531 when the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared as a young Aztec woman to Juan Diego, a convert to Christianity whose Indigenous name is Cuauhtlatoatzin (“Eagle Who Speaks”). The site of the apparition was called the Hill of Tepeyac, which eventually became part of Villa de Guadalupe, a suburb of Mexico City, where today is an international Marian shrine. Some 20 million pilgrims and other visitors each year come to the shrine, which brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous Catholics from all the Americas. Authentic devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe shows how the Catholic faith finds expression in Indigenous cultures. In 2002 Juan Diego was declared a Saint by the Catholic Church.