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Edmonton Church prepares for Pope's visit and grand reopens after fire in 2020

Invitation to visitChurch of the Sacred Hearts of Edmonton's First PeopleFather Susai Jess is accepted when he meetsPope FrancisI was hoping for that in April.

Now that the Pope has arrived, Jess and his parishioners are thrilled.

"My prayers and our prayers have been answered," Jess said.

However, this building is far from welcome to the head of the Catholic Church.

Since the building ignited in 2020, a major renovation of the building, which is over 100 years old, has been carried out.

Read more:Fire damage to Central Edmonton Church is fixed at $ 350,000

'Here When I was there and saw the parishioners, people were standing here in tears, "said Ron Martineau, a member of the congregation.

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Dirty ritual debris leads to a fire and destroys much of the interior.

Fire damage to Central Edmonton Church is $ 350,000 – September 1, 2020

"We are across the holy street I was in the gymnasium of the Heart Learning Center, "said Ron Martineau of Parisioner.

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Post-fire focus is not only to restore what was lost, but also to space Was to have a special meaning for the indigenous people.

To do that, the church has restored the spiritual symbols of the indigenous people and added teepees to the altar area. One is also engraved on the front door.

"The ability to incorporate these symbols into the prayer space is very special for the indigenous community, which brings the church closer to the community," said parishioner Bill Purdue.

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Rev. Jess said that this addition would be more welcoming to the indigenous people and help to show Pope Francis the uniqueness of the church. He said he wanted that.

Read more: Pope Francis: Vatican

"Visit the former Alberta Housing School while traveling to Canada" This is a renewal within the Church of the Sacred Heart of the First People, "Jess said.

The parishioners of spiritual renewal have longed for it.

"Our facility has a Pope, a reborn, a reborn facility ... I can't explain it in words. It's incredible," Perdue said.

"Returning to this church means the world not only for me, but for fellow parishioners," Martineau said.

Jess said work was also being done to ensure full access to the church. This includes accessible washrooms and elevators, which take place when the Pope arrives.

Construction was scheduled to be completed in October, but the Pope's visit accelerated the timeline and the church's grand renewal is now scheduled for July 17 — Pope's Just one week before the visit.

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