The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon
Proclaim Christ and God’s Kingdom
A Message from Bishop Mark Hagemoen
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
This report highlights the variety of ways in which we are working together as a diocese to respond to the gospel call articulated in our pastoral plan: “To proclaim Christ and God’s Kingdom Today.”
In the midst of many challenges and transitions we have faced in recent years, God is faithful. In Christ Jesus we have a Saviour who walks with us, calls us to mission, and shows us the way. That great hope is the heart of all that we do together as a diocesan church — prayer, evangelization, outreach and service.
During the period covered by this report, major themes and initiatives for our diocese have included:
• Participation in the Synod on Synodality
• Truth and Reconciliation and Indigenous ministry
• Evangelization and formation
• Refugee sponsorship and ministry
• Outreach and ministry to those in need
• Hospital chaplaincy, palliative and end of life care
• Safeguarding the vulnerable
In all of this, I am profoundly grateful for the ongoing generous and faithful support of the people of God in this diocese. I continue to be inspired and grateful for the commitment of so many to proclaiming Christ and living the gospel in our families, parishes, communities and beyond.
For all these blessings, please join me in saying to our God every day: thank you, thank you, thank you!
+ Mark A. Hagemoen
Bishop of Saskatoon
Our Diocese: An overview
In 1933, the Vatican announced that a new Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon was to be established, and on March 19, 1934, the official proclamation establishing the new diocese was read, with Bishop Gerald Murray, CSsR, of Victoria serving as the first bishop from 1934-1944.
Other bishops serving our diocese have been: Bishop Philip Pocock (1944-1951), Bishop Francis Klein (1952-1967), Bishop James Mahoney (1967-1995), Bishop James Weisgerber (1996-2000), Bishop Albert LeGatt (2001-2009), and Bishop Donald Bolen (2010-2016). Bishop Mark Andrew Hagemoen was installed as the eighth bishop of Saskatoon on Nov. 23, 2017.
In September 1998, changes to the boundaries of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon came into effect, with the territory of St. Peter’s Abbacy, Muenster added to the diocese, along with a number of parishes that were previously in the Diocese of Gravelbourg and the Archdiocese of Regina.
Eatonia Deanery includes parishes located at Dodsland, Eatonia, Eston, Fox Valley, Kindersley, Lancer, Leader, Liebenthal, Marengo, and Richmound.
Humboldt Deanery includes parishes located at Annaheim, Bruno, Burr, Cudworth, Englefeld, Humboldt, Lake Lenore, Lanigan, LeRoy, Middle Lake, Muenster, Naicam, Peterson, Pilger, Quill Lake, St. Benedict, St. Gregor, Watrous, Watson, and Young.
Kerrobert Deanery includes parishes located at Biggar, Denzil, Handel, Kerrobert, Landis, Leipzig, Luseland, Macklin, Major, St. Donatus, Tramping Lake, Unity, and Wilkie.
Saskatoon City Deanery includes parishes located in the city of Saskatoon: Cathedral of the Holy Family, Holy Spirit, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Anne, St. Augustine, St. Francis Xavier, St. John Bosco, St. Joseph, St. Mary, St. Michael, St. Patrick, St. Paul Co-Cathedral, St. Peter the Apostle, St. Philip Neri, St. Thomas More Chapel, and Sts-Martyrs-Canadiens.
Saskatoon Rural Deanery includes parishes located at Allan, Asquith, Beechy, Colonsay, Davidson, Dundurn, Elbow, Elrose, Kenaston, Langham, Outlook, Martensville, Prud’homme, Rosetown, St. Denis, Vanscoy, Viscount, and Vonda.
Wadena Deanery includes parishes located at Archerwill, Foam Lake, Fosston, Kelvington, Lintlaw, Nobleville, Perigord, Rose Valley, St. Front, Wadena, Wishart, and Wynyard.
Pastoral Plan: Proclaim Christ and God’s Kingdom Today
The three-year Pastoral Plan for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon focused on the mission of proclaiming Jesus Christ was launched by Bishop Mark Hagemoen in the fall of 2019. A review and update of the pastoral plan is now underway by the Diocesan Pastoral Council and other diocesan leaders, taking into account feedback obtained through the 2022 Synod on Synodality process.
The mission statement “Proclaim Christ and God’s Kingdom Today” is the heart of the Pastoral Plan, which includes six priorities – beginning first and foremost with: “Draw People into a Deepening Intimacy with the Lord.”
“Evangelization must permeate everything we do – everything we do as a church proclaims Christ and God’s Kingdom,” notes Bishop Hagemoen, adding that the pastoral plan is offered as a way to reflect upon strengths, gaps, and new directions for the diocese and its parishes.
- Draw People into a Deepening Intimacy with the Lord
- Make Every Sunday Matter
- Embrace Your Priesthood (discerning God’s call to each person to share in the mission and life of the Lord)
- Build and Support Family and Community (strengthening and supporting families and marriages,
- Promote the Healing Journey in the Lord (healing, growth, serving, ongoing conversion)
- Move from Maintenance to Mission (helping parishes proclaim Christ in everything)
Diocesan Pastoral Council:
The Diocesan Pastoral Council gathered Nov. 30, 2022 with Bishop Mark Hagemoen to reflect, report and plan, meeting both in person at the Catholic Pastoral Centre and via Zoom.
The “DPC” is one of the major consultative bodies for Bishop Mark Hagemoen, with representatives from across the diocese from many parishes and partner organizations. The DPC is presently reviewing the diocesan Pastoral Plan and the recent diocesan Synod on Synodality.
“Whether it is a parish of five families, or 15,000, the task and the mission of Christ is fundamentally the same,” says Bishop Hagemoen. “Ultimately, everything must involve the call to evangelization.”
Diocese participates in Synod: meeting and listening
Presently in a “continental” phase leading up to the worldwide Synod of Bishops at the Vatican in October 2023, the world-wide Synod on Synodality was also taken up in the diocese of Saskatoon.
The diocesan Synod process was launched at a Mass Oct. 17, 2021, celebrated by Bishop Mark Hagemoen at the Cathedral of the Holy Family and live-streamed. A diocesan Synod committee worked on local materials, including introductory videos, a handbook, and training sessions for parish Synod leaders held in January and February of 2022.
Of 94 parishes in the diocese, 50 participated in the process to varying degrees and in a variety of ways.
Three groups of consecrated religious undertook the Synod process, as did the monastic community of St. Peter’s Abbey, Muenster.
Other non-parish participation included groups of seniors from St. Thomas More Chapel worshipping community and from Columbian Manor residence, as well as participation from the local Emmanuel Community and St Mary Parish’s Hispanic community. Student / youth participation came through St. Therese Institute of Faith and Mission at Bruno, as well as from some 100 high school students in the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools system, and from both St. Peter’s College and St. Thomas More College, led by campus ministry. There were also a number of individual online submissions.
A “Synod Summit” held May 18, 2022 provided an overview of responses and gathered further input. A final diocesan “synthesis” summary report was submitted to the next level of the Synod process by June 15, 2022 and can be found at: rcdos.ca/synod
Synod strives for “Participation, Communion, Mission”
“The purpose of the Synod is not to produce more documents. Rather it is intended to inspire people to dream about the Church we are called to be, to make people’s hope flourish, to stimulate trust, to bind up wounds, to weave new and deeper relationships, to learn from one another, to build bridges, to enlighten minds, warm hearts, and restore strength to our hands for our common mission. Thus the objective of this Synodal Process is not only a series of exercises that start and stop, but rather a journey of growing authentically towards the communion and mission that God calls the Church to live out in the third millennium.”
– Vademecum for the Synod on Synodality
“This Synod has indeed offered insights into a new way of connecting us with God and with the Church. It has offered a way of moving forward together as a Church and, therefore, many Synod participants would like to see much more consultative participation such as this in the Church,” concludes the diocesan synthesis report.
Growing in Faith: Journey of Truth and Reconciliation
Steps on the journey of truth and reconciliation have included growing awareness and responding to the TRC Calls to Action
With a May 2021 announcement about unmarked graves at a former Residential School site in British Columbia – followed by other sites reported in Saskatchewan and elsewhere – a new awareness grew across the country about Residential Schools, the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the need to continue to vigorously pursue the TRC Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Peoples.
In the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, Bishop Mark Hagemoen immediately expressed his sadness and sympathy to First Nations reporting the unmarked graves, and to “the many Residential School survivors and their families for whom this news is again the occasion for great mourning and grief.”
Our Lady of Guadalupe Indigenous Parish, leaders, elders, parishioners, friends and family gathered for a four-day Memorial Wake at St. Mary Parish in the heart of the city in June 2021 to remember, honour and pray for all the children lost to Residential Schools in this country, and for their families and communities.
Parish elders Irene Sharp, Sharon Genaille, Dianne Anderson, and Gayle Weenie joined Parish Life Director Debbie Ledoux, Our Lady of Guadalupe pastor Fr. Graham Hill, CSsR, Deacon Paul Labelle and St. Mary pastor Fr. Mick Fleming in praying with and listening to those who came forward to share their grief and their anger. (Our Lady of Guadalupe repeated the prayer event a year later, in June 2022).
In September 2021, the Catholic bishops of Canada issued an apology to the Indigenous Peoples and announced that an Indigenous delegation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis representatives would meet with Pope Francis in Rome.
After spending several days listening to the experiences and concerns from that delegation, Pope Francis apologized on April 1, 2022 for the role of Catholics in the Residential Schools.
The Holy Father also accepted the invitation of Indigenous Peoples to visit Canada in July 2022, where he again apologized on the former Residential School site at Maskwacis First Nation, south of Edmonton, and brought messages of reconciliation at every stop during the five-day “penitential pilgrimage.” A delegation of Residential School survivors from the diocese attended the events in Alberta. Prayers and a local event to witness the papal visit virtually online also happened in Saskatoon (see papal visit coverage, below).
In addition, following on the lead of the Saskatchewan Catholic bishops and others, the Catholic bishops of Canada joined together to pledge to raise $30-million over five years for reconciliation and healing projects.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Indigenous Parish held a memorial event in June 2021 and again in June 2022 for children who died at Residential Schools across Canada, offering prayers and presence to all those who passed by St. Mary Catholic Church in Saskatoon.
Apology from Pope Francis (excerpt)
Meeting with Indigenous delegation at Vatican, April 1, 2022
“Listening to your voices, I was able to enter into and be deeply grieved by the stories of the suffering, hardship, discrimination and various forms of abuse that some of you experienced, particularly in the Residential Schools. It is chilling to think of determined efforts to instill a sense of inferiority, to rob people of their cultural identity, to sever their roots, and to consider all the personal and social effects that this continues to entail: unresolved traumas that have become intergenerational traumas.
“All this has made me feel two things very strongly: indignation and shame. Indignation, because it is not right to accept evil and, even worse, to grow accustomed to evil, as if it were an inevitable part of the historical process. No! Without real indignation, without historical memory and without a commitment to learning from past mistakes, problems remain unresolved and keep coming back. We can see this these days in the case of war. The memory of the past must never be sacrificed at the altar of alleged progress.
“I also feel shame. I have said this to you and now I say it again. I feel shame – sorrow and shame – for the role that a number of Catholics, particularly those with educational responsibilities, have had in all these things that wounded you, in the abuses you suffered and in the lack of respect shown for your identity, your culture and even your spiritual values. All these things are contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For the deplorable conduct of those members of the Catholic Church, I ask for God’s forgiveness and I want to say to you with all my heart: I am very sorry. And I join my brothers, the Canadian bishops, in asking your pardon.”
Truth and Reconciliation: Penitential Pilgrimage of Pope Francis
Pope Francis made a pastoral visit to Canada from July 24-29, 2022 on a penitential pilgrimage “to listen and dialogue with Indigenous Peoples, to express his heartfelt closeness, and to address the impact of colonization and the participation of the Catholic Church in the operation of residential schools throughout Canada.” (LINK)
“On this first step of my journey,” Pope Francis said, “I have wanted to make space for memory. Here, today, I am with you to recall the past, to grieve with you, to bow our heads together in silence and to pray before the graves.”
Bishop Mark Hagemoen, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Life Director Debbie Ledoux, and a Saskatoon pilgrim group travelled to Alberta and were in attendance at Maskwacis First Nation, when the pope apologized for the harm to those who attended Catholic-run residential schools. The Saskatoon group also attended the papal visit event at the Lac Ste. Anne pilgrimage site the following day.
Pilgrims on the bus trip from Saskatoon included Residential School survivors, the children of survivors, victims of the “60s scoop,” and others affected by the multi-generational effects of the residential school system that took children away from their families and punished them for speaking their language, in a harsh environment that for many included sexual, physical and emotional abuse.
Some of the pilgrims were Catholic parishioners, but a number had no affiliation with the Church and are still struggling to come to terms with the effects of residential schools, racism, addictions, and colonialism, Debbie Ledoux said, noting that each person was on a different place in their journey, and every individual has been affected differently by the experience of hearing the papal apology. “Creator God was working through the Holy Spirit on this bus,” she affirmed during a diocesan Administration Day presentation.
Maskwacis was a “crying, emotional, heavy, heavy place to be,” she related, describing how it began to rain, with so many in the crowd also in tears. “I remember saying, ‘Creator God is blessing us, because we need that right now.’ And we really did.”
The long and painful journey of healing involves many “baby steps,” Debbie Ledoux stressed. “We can’t leap to reconciliation in big leaps, it can’t happen quickly.”
Myron Rogal, coordinator of the diocesan Office of Justice and Peace, also reported on a local “Walking and Healing Together” event held July 26, 2022 in Saskatoon for residential school survivors and their families, and for anyone interested in being together, to view video broadcasts of Pope Francis’ apology and other events.
The free day-long event at St. Mary Wellness and Education Centre in Saskatoon also had opportunities for prayer, beginning with a pipe ceremony, as well as a Mass at nearby St. Mary Parish, with a sacred fire burning throughout the day next to a tipi on the school grounds, with supports on site from elders and professional counsellors, and self-care stations set up, meals provided, as well as speakers, and a program of entertainment to conclude the day.
The event proved to be an opportunity for “conversations among people who really hadn’t talked about the residential school experience before… to open up, to talk to other survivors, other people in their community who wanted to hear what they were saying. There was a tremendous amount of learning that happened. It was truly a sacred place,” Rogal said. He also noted the great support the event had from Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and from the wider community.
Bishop Hagemoen said: “We continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us in our journey with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and that we will continue to be able to realize what it means, in the spirit of accompaniment, ‘not for us, but with us.’ And ultimately we know it is the Holy Spirit that calls us to walk with God as we continue the healing and reconciliation journey.”
Walking Together in Truth and Reconciliation Journey
Covenant commitments established for Indigenous Reconciliation Fund
In July 2021, the five Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan launched a fund-raising initiative for reconciliation and healing projects, which in September 2021 became part of a national $30-million, five-year pledge by all the Catholic dioceses of Canada.
The new national Indigenous Reconciliation Fund (IRF) is now in place with an Indigenous board of directors. The fund seeks to support projects that are determined locally, in collaboration with First Nations, Métis and Inuit partners.
Fundraising continues for this “TRC Healing Response” in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, with a pledge to raise $1.25 million over five years for the IRF. Local projects are also set to be discerned and funded through the national fund, with the application process overseen by a local Discernment Circle Granting Committee.
In a celebration at Queen’s House of Retreat and Renewal in Saskatoon on July 15, 2022, local Discernment Circle members unveiled a covenant statement that articulates the spirit, intent, and commitments of the initiative that will invite submissions of local reconciliation and healing projects to be supported by the fund.
The local covenant statement is grounded in the context of the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
It also references the ancient biblical concept of “right relationship” with the One God and Creator, with all peoples, with the Land and all Creation; as well as the Indigenous nehiyaw principle of miyo-wîcêhtowin, or “possessing good relations founded in relationship among people, the sacred laws, and the Creator.”
“We have great hope for the projects and initiatives that will eventually unfold,” said local Discernment Circle co-chair Dr. Gordon Martell.
Grant applications are now being accepted for projects related to:
- Healing and reconciliation for communities and families;
- Culture and language revitalization;
- Education and community building;
- Dialogues for promoting indigenous spirituality and culture.
Growing in Faith: Indigenous Pastoral and Lay Leader Ministry
Responding to the TRC Calls to Action:
The Indigenous Pastoral and Lay Leader Education Program (IPL) is a new online program offering encounter, conversation and learning about Indigenous-Church reconciliation, relationships and healing.
Grounded in the TRC Calls to Action, the course started in the fall of 2020 in the diocese of Saskatoon, with a group of clergy, religious, educators and parishioners completing the first round of four courses in November 2021. A second round of IPL courses started in fall 2022.
The program is a joint initiative of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and St. Thomas More College. Facilitators, teachers, and presenters for the IPL program include both Indigenous and non-Indigenous speakers and leaders who share knowledge, insights and experiences, while also modelling respectful and reconciling relationships.
Bishop Mark Hagemoen said that the inspiration for launching IPL “came from a real desire of different Catholic organizations to put wheels on the TRC Calls to Action. The education piece and the formation piece are so important.”
The IPL program includes:
• An overview of the features of Indigenous peoples in western Canada, with specific reference to the Saskatchewan context;
• An overview of the history and features of contact and relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples with specific reference to the Roman Catholic Church experience;
• Creation of a dialogue between Indigenous and Christian world views;
• Insight into the history that has shaped the complex nature of relationships in the present;
• Mutual sharing and hope for a respectful and harmonious future as children of God, who together seek beauty and good of all.
The four 18-hour courses that make up the IPL program are:
1. Introduction to First Nations Studies
2. Indigenous-Settler Relationship)
3. Contemporary Effects of Colonization
4. Introduction to Reconciliation: The Church and Indigenous Peoples
Among the 14 participants to complete all four courses to earn a certificate in the first round of the Indigenous Pastoral and Lay Leader Ministry Education (IPL) program were (above, l-r) Sr. Marta Piano of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity, Learning Services Coordinator Darcie Lich of Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, and Fr. Joseph Salihu, pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Saskatoon.
Growing in Faith: Deepening Intimacy with the Lord
Diocese of Saskatoon moves in new directions for Youth and Young Adult Ministry, Vocations, Adult Faith, and Preparation for Marriage
By John Hickey, Evangelization and Mission Leader
June 2021 saw the launch of Project Timothy, a new initiative from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon established to equip young adults to be able to see and seize opportunities for mission in their daily lives.
The first year, we were blessed to have a wonderful group of young adults who spent the year in formation as a group in the areas of personal holiness and mission. In fall 2022, another group started the program.
Project Timothy participants begin by taking the Called and Gifted series by the Saint Catherine of Siena Institute. They learn about many of the charisms (gifts) that God instills in his people for the sake of mission, and are given discernment tools to see how each might be uniquely gifted for the mission of sharing their faith with the world.
“Project Timothy provided me the opportunity to learn about my charisms and to test them out while also being with a supportive fellowship group doing the same thing. I felt the program helped me to feel more equipped to serve and volunteer in my parish in a way that makes use of my God-given gifts.”
– Jaiden Christopher
“After taking the Called and Gifted program, I felt called to view my work as a nurse as an opportunity to offer spiritual healing as well, through the charism of intercessory prayer. I made it my goal to have the courage to ask a patient at least once per shift if they would like someone to pray with. I was surprised to find out that many of the patients were not only open to the idea, but very grateful. I would often see my patients experience inner peace and spiritual healing through this new ministry of prayer and, pretty soon, I was getting frequent pages from patients asking for ‘the praying nurse’ to sit with them.”
– Hannah McIntosh, Project Timothy participant
As the year went on, participants received formation from speakers both locally and abroad on a variety of topics, including how to lead small groups, how to share one’s personal testimony, how to use evangelization opportunities in the workplace, and how to bring the mission to one’s parish.
Towards the end of the program, members of our team were encouraged to put into practice all they had learned and to find ministry opportunities to get involved in. Many of our young adults have since become involved in local youth ministry through involvement in other organizations such as FacetoFace Ministries, and through volunteering with their parish youth programs.
Many of our participants have decided to take leadership positions with the Search Retreats, aimed a high-school-aged teens. One of our members did not initially see any opportunity in her small-town parish, but decided to start a small group, with the blessing of her pastor.
In our inaugural year, we have been blown away by the immediate fruit that this small group of young adults is already producing. We believe that investing in this strategic age group will not only create future leaders for our parishes, but will be equipping a future generation of saints to have an impact on our society.
Please pray for Project Timothy, and consider referring any young adults who might be a good fit (email@example.com or 306-659-5847). Thanks to all who supported this important ministry through financial giving to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, and by sharing in the good news of what God has done in the lives of these young adults and those they are reaching. We hope that we can count on continued prayers and support as Project Timothy continues to grow.
– John Hickey, Evangelizaiton and Mission Leader
Proclaiming Christ: Youth and Young Adult Ministry
Search retreat for high school youth returns to diocese
After a break of several years, Search returned to the diocese of Saskatoon on the first weekend of Lent 2023, with 22 participants. A team of volunteers, young adults, Project Timothy participants and former “Searchers” assisted in offering the live-in experience of God’s love.
By Sr. Marta Piano
Verbum Dei Missionary & Project Timothy leader
I had the grace to be part of the back-up team on the Search Retreat held Feb 24-26, 2023 at E.D. Feehan Catholic School.
It was so beautiful to witness the love of God passing abundantly through the lives of the young adults and parents involved in the Search retreat.
There was amazing grace in that gift of praying and serving together so that the 22 teens who were able to attend could clearly experience the love of God in their lives and the unique capacity of loving that each one of them is called to nourish and take care of.
Deep gratitude to all who supported Search, in particular to E.D. Feehan School that provided the facilities.
We pray that we may continue to foster “little pieces of Heaven on earth,” as experienced during the Search Retreat!
Growing in Faith: Evangelization and Catechesis
Confirmation in transition
Bishop Mark Hagemoen celebrated Confirmation with youth in a number of parishes across the diocese in 2021-2022.
The diocese of Saskatoon is in the process of transitioning to an older age for the Sacrament of Confirmation, with Bishop Hagemoen moving the normative age from Grade 2 to Grade 6.
“The hope is that the decision to change the Confirmation age will encourage more young people to receive the sacrament at a time in their ongoing faith formation to better strengthen them spiritually and enrich the entire Body of Christ,” says the bishop.
In assisting parishes with sacramental preparation, the diocesan office of Evangelization and Catechesis stresses accompaniment and the formation of disciples, says Director of Ministry Services Marilyn Jackson.
“The hope is that the decision to change the Confirmation age will encourage more young people to receive the sacrament at a time in their ongoing faith formation to better strengthen them spiritually and enrich the entire Body of Christ.”
– Bishop Mark Hagemoen
Growing in Faith: Sts. Benedict and Scholastica Formation
A new vocation formation program in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon launched in September 2021 with the opening of the Sts. Benedict and Scholastica residence, the beginnings of a program of formation and discernment for participants.
Sts. Benedict and Scholastica Formation Program combines diocesan-led faith formation and vocation discernment with an academic path at St. Thomas More College – the federated Catholic college at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
The new program is designed for candidates who are pursuing “an academic and vocational pathway” – which includes men discerning ordained priesthood, as well as men or women discerning religious life or professional lay ecclesial ministry in the Church. Program participants live in community and study, while also discerning their life’s vocation: obtaining spiritual formation while they work toward an academic degree.
Sr. Malou Tibayan and Sr. Mirasol Abala are presently coordinating the diocesan side of the program, along with diocesan Vocation Co-Director Fr Daniel Yasinski, with input and planning also provided by Sr. Marta Piano of Verbum Dei, and Fr. Matthew Ramsay, pastor at Saint Anne Parish in Saskatoon.
Vocations: Seminarian Luke Tran instituted as lector
The ministry of lector “centres on the proclamation of the Word of God but also that the candidate would be transformed by the Word of God,” explained Fr. Colin Roy, who along with Fr. Daniel Yasinski is Co-Director of Vocations in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.
Proclaiming Christ: Vocations and discernment
Responding to God’s call
St. Therese alumni /staff among those discerning religious life
Proclaiming Christ: Verbum Dei Missionaries
Focused on God’s Word
In response to Bishop Mark Hagemoen’s invitation, the first of the Verbum Dei sisters arrived in Saskatoon in the fall of 2020.
The missionary fraternity’s name “Verbum Dei” is Latin for “Word of God” – reflecting its members’ dedication and zeal in praying, living and proclaiming God’s word in the world. The sisters serving in the diocese of Saskatoon are the first Canadian presence of Verbum Dei, which serves in 32 countries around the world.
“By God’s grace, on our arrival we were warmly welcomed in the house of the Presentation of Mary Sisters. We were delighted to be introduced to the Saskatchewan winter and the prairie’s beauty,” says Sr. Marta Piano, who is now serving in the diocese along with Sr. Malou Tibayan and Sr. Mirasol Abala.
As part of an ongoing process of inculturation and preparation for ministry in the diocese, Sr. Marta completed the inaugural two-year Indigenous Pastoral and Lay Leader Ministry online certificate course organized by the diocese, St. Thomas More College, and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools.
“With the alive desire and willingness to empower and accompany youth and young adults of the diocese to be missionary disciples,” Sr. Marta has been actively involved in the development and implementation of the new diocesan young adult formation and mentoring program, “Project Timothy.”
Together with John Hickey, diocesan Evangelization and Mission Leader, Sr. Marta Piano continues to coordinate youth and young adult ministry in the diocese in a number of ways. For instance, Sr. Marta was part of the Search youth retreat for Grades 9-12 that returned to the diocese in February 2023.
Upon her arrival in Saskatoon in December 2020, Sr. Malou Tibayan first took part in the final year of the two-year diocesan Adult Enrichment Program, accompanying participants in learning, prayer and community.
Sr. Malou continues to assist with the new diocesan Adult Faith program of “Proclaim-Awaken-Encounter,” along with her fellow Verbum Dei missionaries, offering formation sessions and retreats.
As a keynote speaker at Spring Congress 2021, Sr. Malou encouraged participants “to interpret the current moment through the lens of the hope that Jesus brings to our daily lives.”
Sr. Malou served on the diocesan Synod committee in 2022, and was part of the writing team that reviewed all submissions from parishes and groups, and prayerfully prepared a final synthesis to send to the next level of the Synod process.
Sr. Malou has also actively worked on the introduction of the Catherine of Siena Institute “Called and Gifted” discernment process to the diocese, with a major event held in 2022, and ongoing follow-up now underway with participants, parishes and small groups.
The entire Verbum Dei missionary team assisted in the development, launch and implementation of the diocese’s new Sts. Benedict and Scholastica human and spiritual formation program for young adults who are considering priesthood, religious life or lay vocation. Sr. Malou and Sr. Marta are both active in coordinating the program, working along with Sr. Claudia Vazquez Diaz, who also served for a time in the diocese.
After Sr. Claudia returned to Mexico, Sr. Mirasol Abala arrived in January 2023, joining the Verbum Dei team in the diocese of Saskatoon to assist with a range of ministries and evangelization, including the Sts. Benedict and Scholastica program.
“We hope the faith of the diocesan family in Saskatoon will continue to enrich our lives, and we pledge to carry out the initiatives and activities entrusted to us,” affirm the Verbum Dei missionaries.
Proclaiming Christ and Growing in Faith
Over the past three years, Adult Faith formation in the diocese of Saskatoon has evolved and adapted to changing conditions — including pandemic restrictions and new uses of technology – as well as seeking effective ways to meet the needs of adult Catholics who long to deepen their faith. The goal is to form and empower missionary disciples of Jesus Christ, equipped and enabled to live out their baptismal call in the world.
A two-year “Adult Faith Enrichment” program involving monthly weekend gatherings for participants ended in June 2021, and a new vision for Adult Faith formation was launched in the fall of 2021, with three elements “Proclaim – Awaken – Encounter.”
Proclaim is a movement focused on accompanying both parishes and individuals in a discipleship-making model. The diocesan Evangelization and Mission Leader John Hickey works with parishes in offering programs such as Alpha or “CCO Discovery,”, helping to develop and nurture small faith communities with the goal of empowering missionary disciples inspired and equipped to share their faith.
Awaken includes ongoing modules of faith-formation programming with instruction that is grounded in Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Awaken sessions have included programs available both in-person and online:
• A “School of the Word” with the Verbum Dei Missionary Sisters (Sr. Malou Tibayan, Sr. Marta Piano and Sr. Claudia Díaz, l-r) was held in the fall of 2021, focused on praying with the Word of God in a contemplative way.
• “Catholic Liturgical and Sacramental Life” with Fr. Geoffrey Young, the diocesan Director of Liturgy, was held Jan. 11 to Feb. 1, 2022 at the Catholic Pastoral Centre.
• A “Called and Gifted” program was introduced at a large diocesan event in September 2022. Follow-up and further formation is now underway, led by a diocesan team who are inviting parish participants to journey through the Catherine of Siena Institute’s Called and Gifted™ discernment process to determine how each baptized person is called by the Holy Spirit to use their gifts in the world.
• “The Eucharist – Christ our Strength and Sustainer” with Fr. Stefano Penna, rector of St. Paul Co-Cathedral was held in January 2023.
• A multi-week “Ministry Series” was offered in both the spring and the fall of 2022, addressing topics such as palliative care and end-of-life issues, how Catholics participate in evangelization and the mission of the Church, tips for evangelization in families, the impact of the criminal justice system and prison ministry, the Kairos Blanket Exercise about the impact of colonization on Indigenous peoples, human trafficking awareness, and refugee sponsorship.
Encounter features large group events to help create an environment for growth in discipleship and holiness.
Among the Encounter events in 2021-22 were a Transform Conference in fall 2021 about evangelization, a diocesan-wide Lenten retreat led by the Verbum Dei Sisters in 2022, and a “Truth and Reconciliation: Walking With Your Neighbour” dessert night with guest speakers Chief Cadmus Delorme of Cowessess First Nation and Archbishop Donald Bolen of the Archdiocese of Regina.
An Encounter Family Fun Day in June 2022 was organized as a local event to coincide with the World Meeting of Families in Rome. Held at St. Patrick Parish Centre and adjacent park, the diocesan event was filled with faith, fun, food, as well as games, music by Cat.Chat, youth versus clergy and religious in a soccer match, Mass and prayer.
Diocesan Congress – Days of Enrichment and Formation were Open to All
• Fall Congress 2020 with keynote speaker Andre Regnier
• Spring Congress 2021 “Light the Way” with Sr. Malou TIbayan, Sr. Marie-Claire Rolfe and Michael Dopp
• Fall Congress 2021 “Be The Light” RCIA leader and parish training / “Palliative Care and Moral Distress” for a deeper understanding of palliative care and the moral distress caused by medically-provided euthanasia/assisted suicide
• Spring Congress 2022 “Let Us Encounter the Lord and One Another” with keynote speakers Bishop Mark Hagemoen, Peter Baltutis and Brett Powell, as well as presentations on the Synod, on homelessness, on Called and Gifted discernment and on Edge youth ministry
• Fall Congress 2022, “Working Towards Freedom” with keynote speaker Nancy Brown and presentations from Hope Restored Canada and Nashi focused on the realities of human trafficking as part of launching a new resource
• Spring Congress 2023, ““Go Therefore and Make Disciples of All Nations” with speakers Michael Hall, Marc Cardaronella, John Hickey and Matthew Courchene
Proclaiming Christ: Ministries of Service and Outreach
Among other duties as a Hospital Chaplain is the education of the laity around health care, spiritual care, and related issues.
Proclaiming Christ: Outreach to those in prison
Ministry to men in prison and their families continued through-out pandemic lockdowns, despite the disruptions to in-person visits. In recent months, visiting has resumed.
Diocesan Coordinator of Restorative Ministry Dianne Anderson provides a range of outreach and ministry at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre, including listening circles, Returning to Spirit, a parenting course, and a “story book” program in which men are videotaped reading a children’s book, which is then delivered to their families along with a gift of donated pajamas for their children.
Thanks to donations, she also organizes delivery of small treats to all the men at Easter and Christmas to let them know they are not forgotten, and coordinates opportunities for prayer, the Rosary, Sacrament of Confession and Mass.
Proclaiming Christ: Justice and Peace
The Office of Justice and Peace exists to promote the Gospel values of justice and peace aligned with the Social Doctrine of the Church by providing the people of the diocese with information and opportunities to engage in activities that advance God’s Kingdom.
Proclaiming Christ: Welcoming Refugees
Office of Migration assists parishes and groups with sponsorships
The Migration Office is usually able to sponsor between 45 and 60 individuals per year. We currently work with 17 constituent groups/ settlement teams. Ten of them are Catholic parishes (one is outside of our diocese, at Nipawin), including these parishes in Saskatoon:• Holy Family• Holy Spirit• Our Lady of Lourdes• St. Anne• St. Augustine• St. Francis Xavier• St. Mary• St. Paul Co-Cathedral• St. Philip Neri
Proclaiming Christ: Christian Reconciliation and Unity
De Margerie Series 2022:
“Do good, seek justice” (Isaiah 1:17)
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023
A closing celebration for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was held Jan. 25, 2023 at Holy Spirit Church in Saskatoon, with participants joining Christians around the world in praying for unity and reconciliation.
Bishop Mark Hagemoen proclaimed the Gospel and Rev. Dr. Ali Tote of the Saskatchewan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) gave the homily.
There were in-person gatherings as well as online offerings Jan. 18-25, 2023 exploring the theme “Do good, seek justice” (Isaiah 1:17).
Growing in Faith: The Sacrament of Marriage
Marriage and Family Life
The diocese of Saskatoon established a Marriage Preparation Task Force to develop a new marriage preparation curriculum. The diocese also has a Marriage and Family committee to consider support and formation for marriage and family life.
New marriage preparation curriculum launched
Proclaiming Christ: Clergy Formation and Priestly Service
Formation and support
With the appointment of a Bishop’s Delegate for Clergy Formation, and also a Bishop’s Delegate for “Fidei Donum” international clergy, the diocese of Saskatoon has launched an “Ongoing Priestly Formation” plan for priests in the diocese.
Proclaiming Christ: Installation of Pastors in 2022
Diocesan Archives: Preserving Our History
Archives Programs and Services
- Acquisition and collection – acquiring records that meet our mandate;
- Appraisal and disposal – determining which records have enduring value;
- Arrangement and description – organizing and/or maintaining the order of the records; describing their context and contents and preparing appropriate finding aids in order to make them accessible;
- Preservation and storage – protecting the physical integrity of the records through proper housing and storage in ideal environmental conditions;
- Reference and access – assisting internal and external users in finding relevant information; determining access conditions according to privacy legislation and diocesan policy;
- Outreach activities:
- Raising awareness about the archives’ holdings and services
- Assisting with displays and exhibits;
- Providing promotional and communications material;
- Participating in community workshops, presentations and consultations on subjects relating to archives, records management and genealogy;
- Assisting religious congregations of women and men with the preservation and research use of their archival records;
- Participating in relevant archival organizations.
Communications: Staying Connected
Proclaiming Christ: Community, Celebration, Prayer
(Hover over images to view caption)
On the Solemnity of the Annunciation March 25, 2022, Bishop Mark Hagemoen joined with others across the world in praying with Pope Francis as the Holy Father consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary one month after the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russia. “I invite all our parishes to unite in prayer at this time for the intention of the peace for Ukraine, Russia, and all of the world, at this extraordinary time of needed grace and blessing,” said Bishop Hagemoen in a letter to the faithful.
Year of St. Joseph
A statue of St. Joseph stands near Leipzig, at the heart of “St. Joseph Colony,” which was established in 1905 by Catholic German immigrants from Russia. A “Year of St. Joseph” was declared by Pope Francis from Dec. 8, 2020 to Dec, 8, 2021, an occassion for special prayers and reflections about the patron saint of Canada and the Universal Church.
Bishop Mark Hagemoen visited Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Wishart during a pastoral visit to the Wynyard-Wishart-Foam Lake region in December 2022. The bishop celebrated Mass with pastor Fr. Augustine Osei-Bonsu, and joined in a potluck lunch afterwards that included discussion about the challenges that face the small rural parish.
With prayers of thanksgiving and words of farewell, parishioners marked the closing of St. Michael Catholic church at Burstall Oct. 9, 2022 at a Mass with Bishop Mark Hagemoen and pastor Fr. Francis Appiah-Kubi. he closure of the parish comes after a long period of discernment by the community. In his homily, the bishop acknowledged that closing the parish is a time of sadness, but also a moment to embrace the challenge of the change and the connection with a new parish community.
Farewell to the Redemptorists
Parishioners at St. Mary Parish in Saskatoon express thanks to Fr. Mark Miller, CSsR (left) and to the Redemptorist Order during a special Mass Dec. 5, 2021 marking the departure of the Redemptorists from the parish after more than 86 years of service. Saskatoon Bishop Mark Hagemoen joined St. Mary Parish to express thanks and bid farewell , along with incoming pastor, Fr. Kevin McGee, Vicar General for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.
Covenant of Care: Historical Case Review and Safeguarding Updates
On July 21, 2021, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon released results of an Historical Case Review Process that examined past cases of serious misconduct and sexual abuse in the diocese. In conjunction with those results, the diocese also announced updates to its Safeguarding Action Plan.
“The key goal of our plan was that our diocese and our churches be places of profound respect and safety for all peoples – especially the young and vulnerable,” said Bishop Hagemoen in a July 2021 letter to the diocese.
“This work is extremely important and valued. Although we have come a long way in our efforts, there is much more to do,” Hagemoen acknowledged.
“We have wrestled extensively with striking an appropriate balance between accountability and transparency, and sensitivity and responsibility, as every member of the Policy and Operations Committee deeply desires that the evil of sexual abuse be eradicated,” says Brenda Fitzgerald, chair of the Policy and Operations Committee, chair of the diocesan Safeguarding Committee and the interim diocesan Director of Administration and Finance.
- Outreach and Healing;
- Process of Reporting and Addressing Allegations;
- Policies and Training;
- Expanding Safeguarding Culture.
Living Out Stewardship Through Planned Giving
Support for the mission
“Thank you all so very much for showing what
it means to strive to have the same mind and heart
as that of Christ Jesus during difficult
and extraordinary times.
In this upcoming season, I encourage us all
to continue to care and pray for each other
during these challenging times, which
also can lead us – with God’s help –
to a new right relationship.”
(Excerpt from Bishop Mark Hagemoen’s 2022 Easter Message)
Catholic Pastoral Centre, 2nd Floor, Cathedral of the Holy Family
123 Nelson Road, Saskatoon, SK S7S 1H1; phone 306-242-1500