The centrepiece of the visit would be a long-awaited residential school apology at Wanuskewin, located just north of Saskatoon.
That hasn't stopped the efforts of organizers such as Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Felix Thomas or Regina Archbishop Don Bolen, who served until recently as Bishop of the Saskatoon diocese. They've extended the invitation to 2018 or 2019.
"If it was up to us, it would have happened yesterday. We'd like to think it'll happen sooner rather than later," Thomas said.
"We need to heal and move on."
In 2009, Pope Benedict expressed regret for residential school sexual abuse to a Canadian delegation at the Vatican.
That was one step in the process, but Bolen said most former students need to hear an apology that addresses the broader damage caused by the school system.
Bolen said the church admits its role in this dark chapter of Canadian history, and they want to be a partner in the long healing process.
Efforts underway to bring Pope to Sask. for residential schools apology - Saskatoon - CBC News