Monthly Archives

September 2021

Update from the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan about fund-raising for healing and reconciliation

By Enriching faith


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.

Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan Sept. 28 provincial message: PDF

Bishop Mark Hagemoen Oct. 12 diocesan message: PDF


“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:,,,,

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”

 National Day for Reconciliation and Healing

Get involved: LINK

Related: Catholic bishops of Canada announce $30-million pledge to support healing and reconciliation initiatives

Related: Canadian Catholic bishops: apology to Indigenous Peoples


The Catholic Bishops of Canada apologize to Indigenous Peoples

By News

Sept. 24, 2021 –  The Catholic Bishops of Canada, gathered in Plenary Sept. 20-24, took the opportunity to affirm and acknowledge to the Indigenous Peoples the suffering experienced in Canada’s Indian Residential Schools. 

Many Catholic religious communities and dioceses participated in this system, which led to the suppression of Indigenous languages, culture and spirituality, failing to respect the rich history, traditions and wisdom of Indigenous Peoples.

The Catholic Bishops of Canada acknowledged the grave abuses that were committed by some members of our Catholic community; physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, cultural, and sexual. They also sorrowfully acknowledged the historical and ongoing trauma and the legacy of suffering and challenges faced by Indigenous Peoples that continue to this day.

Along with those Catholic entities which were directly involved in the operation of the schools and which have already offered their own heartfelt apologies, the Catholic Bishops of Canada expressed their profound remorse and apologized unequivocally.

Together with the many pastoral initiatives already underway in dioceses across the country, the bishops pledged to undertake fundraising in each region of the country to support initiatives discerned locally with Indigenous partners.

They invited the Indigenous Peoples to journey with them into a new era of reconciliation, helping us to prioritize initiatives of healing, to listen to the experience of Indigenous Peoples, especially to the survivors of Indian Residential Schools, and to educate our clergy, consecrated men and women, and lay faithful, on Indigenous cultures and spirituality. The bishops further committed to continue the work of providing documentation or records that will assist in the memorialization of those buried in unmarked graves.

A delegation of Indigenous survivors, Elders/knowledge keepers, and youth will meet with the Holy Father in December 2021. Pope Francis will encounter and listen to the Indigenous Peoples, so as to discern how he can support our common desire to renew relationships and walk together along the path of hope in the coming years.

The Bishops of Canada have pledged to work with the Holy See and our Indigenous partners on the possibility of a pastoral visit by the Pope to Canada as part of this healing journey.

“We are committed to continue the journey with the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples of this land,” stated the bishops. For more information, please visit

Related: Catholic bishops of Canada announce $30-million pledge to support healing and reconciliation initiatives

Related: Saskatchewan Catholic bishops provide update about provincial Catholic TRC Healing Response

Related: National Day for Reconciliation and Healing

Les évêques du Canada offrent aux peuples autochtones des excuses sans équivoque

Les évêques catholiques du Canada, réunis en Assemblée plénière cette semaine, ont profité del’occasion pourconfirmer et reconnaître aux peuples autochtones les souffrances éprouvées dans les pensionnats indiens du Canada.

Beaucoup de communautés religieuses et de diocèses catholiques ont participé à ce système, qui a entraîné la suppression des langues, de la cultureet de la spiritualité autochtones et qui n’a pas respecté la riche histoire, les traditions et la sagesse des peuples autochtones. Elles ont reconnu les graves abus qui ont été commis par des membres de notre communauté catholique : des abus physiques, psychologiques, émotionnels, spirituels, culturels et sexuels. Elles ont aussi reconnu avec douleur les traumatismes passés et persistantset l’héritagedes souffrances et des difficultés vécues par les peuples autochtones, qui persistentjusqu’à ce jour.De concert avec les entités catholiques qui ont participé directement au fonctionnement des écoles et qui ont déjà présenté leurs sincères excuses, les évêques du Canada ont exprimé leurs profonds remords et ont présenté des excuses sans équivoque.

En plus des nombreuses initiatives pastorales déjà en cours dans les diocèses de tout le pays, les évêques se sont engagés à entreprendre une collecte de fonds dans chaque région du pays pour soutenir les initiatives discernées localement avec les partenaires autochtones. De plus, ils ont invité les peuples autochtones à cheminer avec nous vers une nouvelle ère de réconciliationen nous aidant à définir les priorités des initiatives de guérison, à écouter l’expérience des peuples autochtones, et particulièrement des survivants des pensionnats indiens, et d’instruirenotre clergé, les hommes et femmes consacrés, de même que les fidèles laïcs, sur les cultures et la spiritualité autochtones. Ils se sont également engagés à continuer le travail de communication de la documentation ou des dossiers qui aideront à commémorer ceux qui sont enterrés dans des sépultures anonymes.

Une délégation de survivants autochtones, d’aînés/de gardiens du savoir et de jeunes rencontrera le Saint-Père en décembre 2021. Le pape François rencontrera et écoutera les peuples autochtones afin de discerner comment il pourra appuyer notre désir commun de renouveler lesrelations et de marcher ensemble sur un chemin d’espoir dans les prochaines années.Les évêques du Canada ont promis de collaborer avec le Saint-Siège et nos partenaires autochtonesen vue de la possibilité d’une visite pastorale du pape au Canada dans le contexte de ce chemin de guérison.

<<Nous nous sommes engagés à continuer le chemin avec les peuples des Premières Nations, des Métis et des Inuits de notre pays.>> Pour de plus amples renseignements, visiter le site

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

By Uncategorised

Diocese of Saskatoon joins country in preparing to mark first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on “Orange Shirt Day” Sept 30, 2021

“Let’s walk and talk.”

The Diocesan Council for Truth and Reconciliation (DCTR) is encouraging parishes and individuals to take time to reflect together on the hurt and damage of the residential school system and Canada’s colonial history, as Canada marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Sept. 30.

The new federal holiday builds upon “Orange Shirt Day,” which has been marked on Sept. 30 in recent years, as a way to honour those who attended residential schools and to raise awareness about what was suffered and lost. Wearing orange was prompted by the experience of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, who as a six-year-old arriving at residential school in 1973 had her beloved orange shirt immediately taken away. “On Sept. 30, orange is worn to show that no child should have their culture and faith stripped from them,” summarizes Myron Rogal, coordinator of Justice and Peace in the diocese of Saskatoon and a member of the DCTR.

“Let’s walk and talk”

With that history in mind, the DCTR is suggesting to parishes and individuals that people find a partner or friend and go for a walk on that day, taking some time to reflect on three questions:

  • Were you ever rejected when going to school and how did that change you?
  • In what ways have you seen Indigenous people rejected in your life?
  • The next time you are tempted to judge instead of listening, what action will you take?

The DCTR’s mandate in the diocese of Saskatoon is  “to provide a forum for listening and sharing, through stories and prayer” and “to raise awareness throughout the diocese about injustice issues, and barriers to reconciliation, and to discern a way to walk together on a path of understanding, education and action, fostering relationships in the light of the Gospel.”

Established in 2012 as a result of a promise made by the Catholic diocese at the national Truth and Reconciliation event held in Saskatoon, the DCTR is a “sharing and consultative circle” of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people providing guidance to the bishop and the diocese.

Myron Rogal and Carol Zubiak take time to walk together and talk about truth and reconciliation. (Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News)


Resources and How to Get Involved: LINK

Message from the bishop:

In a Sept. 10 message, Bishop Mark Hagemoen encourages the diocese to prepare to observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Sept. 30, and to pray for residential school survivors and their communities. “I encourage all of our parishes and Catholic communities in our diocese to observe this day with prayer and solemnity.”

Bishop Hagemoen adds: “I again pledge that I and our diocese will continue to walk a path of reconciliation and healing. The Gospel inspires us to walk in love and friendship as sisters and brothers of our One Creator, in His Son, Jesus Christ our common Saviour and Redeemer. I again ask us all to renew our ongoing commitment to building relationships of honour and respect, and to continue to take concrete steps on this journey of healing that must involve all of us. “

The bishop will celebrate Mass at 9 a.m. on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Thursday, Sept. 30 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family, 123 Nelson Road Saskatoon, with the Mass also live-streamed at

Following Mass, priests from across the diocese will gather for a “Day of Recollection” with presentations by Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI.

“I hope that other parishes will plan to celebrate Mass or other form of devotion or prayer service for the intention of this day,” says Hagemoen in his message to the diocese.

“I encourage our parishes, deaneries, and other Catholic communities to be creative about other ways to honour this day, either through education and/or service opportunities, or by joining with other larger civil ceremonies being planned by the City of Saskatoon and various townships, and with the Saskatoon Tribal Council.”

Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action: LINK

Other initiatives:

The Saskatoon Tribal Council has organized a concert to coincide with the first National Truth and Reconciliation Day, to be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30 at Sasktel Centre, in honour of residential school survivors. The Every Child Matters Community Concert will include musical performances by Gord Bamford, Charlie Major and George Canyon as well as speakers, fiddle music and drum groups. Tickets are $35:

Resources from the SK Chamber of Commerce: LINK

Meanwhile, fund-raising efforts continue for the Catholic TRC Healing Response, launched earlier this summer by the five Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan in support of residential school survivors and their communities. Online giving can be directed to individual diocese or eparchy efforts at: raised will go to support residential school survivors and their communities, in light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and in consultation with Indigenous leaders, elders and groups.


O God, Creator and Father of all, with humility we your children acknowledge the relationship of all living things. For this we thank You, we praise You and we worship You.

We call on you, Great Mystery, the Word made Flesh – our Teacher, Prophet and Brother – to open our hearts to all our brothers and sisters, and with them to grow in the wisdom, honesty, courage and respectfulness shown in the Sacred Teachings.

Give us the vision and honesty to recognize that the we are all brothers and sisters of one human family, created and sustained by the One Creator.

As we deal with many challenges, may we never give way to fear and anger, which can be the source of division and threat amongst peoples.

We look to how God always gives to us a remedy for sins of prejudice and intolerance.

We see in God the Creator of all things, One who always provides and is generous – even given the abuses we have heaped on one another and on the earth.

We see in the Son, Jesus Christ – the innocent Victim who pours His life blood out from the Cross for all peoples.

We see how the Holy Spirit is God’s gift, alive in our world today – inspiring vision and hope that we can have the same mind and heart of God!

O Creator, show us the way to healing, forgiveness and reconciliation, and a renewed fellowship. +Amen

Rooted in Christ