The 10 hour flight will put the Holy Father in Edmonton shortly before noon, local time.
Pope Francis took off at 9:17 a.m. on July 24, 2022, for Canada, his 37th apostolic journey. This is his second trip of 2022 outside of Italy; it will be centered around the Church’s process of penance and reconciliation with the indigenous populations of Canada.
The papal plane, an Airbus A330-202 fitted by the Italian company ITA, will allow the Pontiff to make all of his trips in conditions adapted to his mobility problems – he is expected to appear most of the time in a wheelchair because of his knee pain.
To reach the first destination, the Alberta capital of Edmonton, the papal plane will make a flight of about 10 hours and 20 minutes over 8,430 kilometers.
The plane carries 120 passengers, including 76 journalists accredited by the Vatican. Thirty-five of the Pontiff’s staff – including medical and security teams – are also making the trip.
Accompanying the Pope on this trip are Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin; Substitute Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra; and the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.
Two Canadian Cardinals from the Curia are also part of the papal entourage: Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, and Michael Czerny, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development.
The papal plane is scheduled to land at 11:20 a.m. (UTC-6) at Edmonton International Airport.
Welcoming Pope Francis
He will be welcomed by the Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, and then by Governor General of Canada Mary Simon and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Two people harmed by the residential school system will accompany George Arcand, Grand Chief of the Six Nations Treaty Confederacy, RoseAnne Archibald, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Gerald Antoine, Provincial Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Natan Obed, President of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta.
Also present will be Archbishop Raymond Poisson, President of the Canadian Conference of Bishops, Archbishop Richard William Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton and coordinator of the papal trip, and Cardinals Gérald Cyprien Lacroix, Archbishop of Quebec, and Thomas Christopher Collins, Archbishop of Toronto. The four men will accompany the Pope for the remainder of his trip.
First speech is Monday at a residential school
After a brief private meeting with the heads of state and government in the airport’s VIP lounge, the Pope will head to St. Joseph’s Seminary, where he will stay during his three-day stay in Edmonton.
No public events are planned for Sunday, as the Pope has chosen to address his first official words to the First Nations people at the Maskwacis residential school where he will visit the following day.
His seven-day journey will take him to Quebec City and to Iqaluit, capital of Nunavut, the land of the Inuit. In total, from July 24 to 30, the Pope will deliver four homilies and four speeches.