Meeting and Settling into the Diocese of Saskatoon – July-August 2018
By Bishop Mark Hagemoen
My summer season in the Saskatoon Diocese continues to feature meeting diocesan and community groups, visiting parishes, and attending special summer devotional celebrations. It was also a time to enjoy many of the youth and community activities typical of summer time, including youth and family programs. I continue to be amazed by the great faith and zeal of the people of the Diocese of Saskatoon. Evidence of the missionary apostolate of the laity abound!
Anglophone SAFEGUARDING CONFERENCE
Vatican, June 17-22, 2018
Deacon Rennie Nahanee of the Archdiocese of Vancouver and I represented the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops at this year’s conference at the Vatican, which aims to develop awareness and best practices for Catholic dioceses and organizations regarding ‘safeguaurding’ in relation to all ministries and activities run by Catholic organizations. The aim of the conference is to improve all protocols in ensure the safety of young people and of vulnerable adults. Deacon Nahanee and I were chosen in our capacity as co-chairs of the Canadian Catholic Indigenous Commission. I believe it is hoped by the CCCB that our experience at the conference may provide us with further insights as we continue to repond to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission here in Canada.
The format of the conference featured opportunities for conference members to respond to presentations given their own diocesan-regional context. Discussion groups also facilitated follow-up and discussion on related topics.
The quality of the presentations was very good, and provided insights regarding issues and possible areas for development in diocesan policies and pastoral practices.
Some of the insights and learnings included the following:
- Safeguarding of children is becoming an increasingly complex and urgent issue, especially due to the expansion of technology;
- The expansion of human trafficking and pornography industry is greatly impacting the safety of children and young people;
- Church culture and the challenges for effective safeguarding;
- Implementing and overseeing consistent ‘best practices’ among various diocesan and religious entities.
Conference participants post for a picture outside the site of the conference: the Gregorian University, Rome.
Confirmation celebrations continued into the early summer. Here are groups from St. Mary’s, Lanigan (above) and St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral, Saskatoon (below), celebrated on the weekend of June 30-July 1.
Catholic Students from Ontario come through Saskatoon during their MINISTRY PROJECT trip to the Athabasca Region, northern Saskatchewan.
Catholic students and Vince MacDonald, Director of Education, Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board in southern Ontario, came through Saskatoon on Friday July 20. The student group undertook 2 weeks of service learning work in the communities of Fond du Lac and Black Lake. The purpose of their project they described as follows: “Working with the guidance of Chief Louie Mercredi in Fond du Lac, SK, and Chief Coreen Sayazie in Black Lake, SK, the group seek to learn from the Dene Nation and celebrate our common calling by God to a life of service.” As is often the case with northern air travel, the opportunity to carry out follow-up activities here in Saskatoon was cut short by late flight arrivals due to forest fires. However, I very much enjoyed the brief time sharing common significant experiences and learnings given our mutual experiences with the Dene people of the Athabasca region.
100thAnniversary Celebration of St. Denis Church
On Sunday, July 22, the communities of the Trinity area came together to celebrate the 100thAnniversay of St. Denis Church. Following the mid-afternoon Sunday Eucharistic celebration, the community held a Marian procession to the community cemetery, where prayers where offered for the deceased past members of the community, and the graves were blessed. A community meal followed in the community hall.
Present for the celebrations were current Pastor Fr. Stephen Morrisey, CSsR, and former pastors, Fr. Bernard de Margerie, and Fr Emile April.
Marian procession and Rosary following the Sunday Eucharistic celebration to the community cemetery for blessing of the grave-sites and prayer for all community members who have passed.
Visit to Poundmaker & Sweetgrass communities for summer Sunday Liturgies.
On Sunday July 29, I had the privilege of visiting the Cree First Nation communities of Poundmaker and Sweetgrass. Deacon Daniel Lamoureux and Deacon Ghislain Bellavance serve the communities on behalf of the Prince Albert Diocese, offering Sunday liturgies and various pastoral programs at their respective churches and community centers. This particular Sunday also featured chuckwagon races at the rodeo track in Sweetgrass.
Deacon Daniel Lamoureux and his wife Janice outside of St. Thomas Catholic Church, Poundmaker Cree First Nation.
Deacons Dan and Ghislain Bellavance preparing for Sunday liturgy at Ste Angele Church, Sweetgrass Cree First Nation.
Summer YOUTH MINISTRY Events
On July 19 and 31, I had the opportunity to celebrate the Mass for the leaders and campers at Blackstrap Camp, run by the Knights of Columbus at Blackstrap Lake south of Saskatoon. The Camp Coordinator was Julien Dale.
In early August, I had the privilege of celebrating Eucharist and sharing a “men’s talk” at Ignite sponsored by Face-to-Face Ministries at St Therese in Bruno. Some 108 Catholic teens gather for a week of fellowship, prayer, instruction and reflection, and recreation. It was a powerful experience for me as a new bishop to the diocese. Celebrating exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was especially powerful.
BISHOP’S TRAIL Men’s Canoe Trip & Pilgrimage
From August 10-13, I had the privilege of journeying part of the ‘Bishop’s Trail’ by canoe with several men from our diocese, including members of the Emmanuel community, and a Quebec priest and community member, Father Brice Petitjean. We accessed the area near Missinipe, where we launched our canoes. The weather began very hot, and then became cold and wet quickly. This meant that appetites soared! Thus, it was such a blessing to catch many pike! The days featured daily Mass and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as time for prayer and sharing. This of course was in addition to many hours paddling and portaging between lake systems.
The largest skillet in the world – very necessary when feeding 12 hungry men in the wilderness!!
Members from the parish community of St. Joseph’s, Saskatoon, gathered for supper following the Sunday evening Mass on September 2 at the rectory/pastoral center (above).
Getting ready on Saturday evening Sept. 8 for celebration of confirmation at Sacred Heart Parish, Denzil (above).
Last of confirmations for the year were celebrated in Denzil and Macklin.
Residents of St. Joseph’s care facility in Macklin (above).
CATHOLIC FILIPINO COMMUNITY
The Diocese of Saskatoon has a very active Catholic Filipino community. The community sponsors several programs and events throughout the diocese, but especially through St. Patrick’s, St. Mary’s, and St. Paul’s parishes. Key activities are supported by Couples for Christ, Youth for Christ, and ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor) Ministries.
Marriage renewal weekend at St. Mary’s, Saskatoon, with the Catholic Filipino community and Couples for Christ.
Rise Up Men’s Retreat, sponsored by Couples for Christ on Sept. 22 at St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral Parish, Saskatoon.
The fall season has been a time a renewed visits and celebrations at our various Catholic Schools throughout the Diocese. On Sept. 14 I had my first opportunity to visit the two St. Francis School sites.
Cree spiritual wisdom and teachings as seen in the hallway at St. Francis Cree School (above)
The summer season has been a time of activity, blessing, and renewal in the Diocese of Saskatoon. Now, ‘bring on the Fall season!!’
In Christ, +Mark Hagemoen, Bishop of Saskatoon