In a message to Catholics and Indigenous Peoples of the province Sept. 28, 2021, the five Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan provided additional information about fund-raising for the provincial Catholic TRC Healing Response — which will now be part of a national $30-million pledge announced this week by the Catholic bishops of Canada.
In the days ahead, each diocese/eparchy will provide more information on how this appeal will be approached in their particular region, given their particular circumstances and abilities — watch for more information from Bishop Mark Hagemoen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.
“To all Catholics of Saskatchewan and the Indigenous Peoples of this land:
Warm greetings. As the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan, we begin by joining with Bishops from across the country in the September 24, 2021 statement which offered an unequivocal apology to the Indigenous Peoples of this land.
Two months ago, as we began a new Truth and Reconciliation Healing Response Appeal, we indicated that we would provide more information in September. As an expression of our commitment to fostering healing relationships with Indigenous peoples, the Appeal offers a way to respond to current needs, provide ongoing support for residential school survivors and their communities, and engage more deeply in our own ongoing commitment and response to the truth and reconciliation process.
Our financial commitments, which will form a part of the $30 million financial commitment of the Catholic Bishops of Canada, will focus on three areas: healing and reconciliation, cemeteries on the sites of former residential schools, and education and cultural support. Together, we hold at the heart of all of our steps the TRC Call to Action #61, which has been an ongoing guiding principle for all of us on this path, as it calls upon churches to establish funding for projects related to healing, culture and language revitalization, education and relationship-building. Our Catholic TRC Healing Response is a continuation of efforts and initiatives over the past few decades in journeying with Indigenous communities, listening to the voices of survivors, and those who have been impacted by the legacy of residential schools and the effects of colonization. We recognize that consultation and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples are vital, and we are committed to continuing these essential dialogues.
Catholics in Saskatchewan can anticipate statements in the near future from each diocese and eparchy on how this appeal will be approached in their particular region, given their particular circumstances and abilities. See our eparchial/diocesan statements on the following websites: www.skeparchy.org, www.padiocese.ca, www.rcdos.ca, www.archregina.sk.ca, www.archdioceseofkeewatinlepas.ca.
May we continue to learn to walk together and to dwell peacefully on this land that the Creator has given us, in the words of treaties signed long ago, for ‘as long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and waters flow.’
Sincerely yours in a spirit of humility and respect,
Most Rev. Donald Bolen, Archbishop of Regina
Most Rev. Bryan Bayda, Ukrainian Eparchial Bishop of Saskatoon
Most Rev. Murray Chatlain, Archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas
Most Rev. Mark Hagemoen, Bishop of Saskatoon
Most Rev. Stephen Hero, Bishop of Prince Albert”