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.”

Bishop Mark Hagemoen

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

Bishop Mark Hagemoen meets the people following the 100th anniversary Mass in June 2022 at St. Michael Church in Tramping Lake.

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.

Our Deaneries:


  • 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,
    vocations support)
  • 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

A Synod Summit in the diocese of Saskatoon May 18, 2022 presented an overview of what was heard at sessions across the diocese. Find the diocesan synthesis at: rcdos.ca/synod

“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

Elder Gayle Weenie, Elder Irene Sharp, Bishop Mark Hagemoen, Elder Dianne Anderson, Fr. Graham Hill, CSsR, Elder Sharon Genaille, Elder Rod Stone, and Fr. Mick Fleming, CSsR (l-r) pray together June 6, 2021 at the closing Mass of a four-day memorial wake at St. Mary Church in Saskatoon after reports about 215 unmarked graves at a former Residential School on Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nation near Kamloops, BC.

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.”

Pope Francis, At meeting with representatives of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, April 1, 2022 – Link to full message

Praying on the grounds of St. Mary Church in Saskatoon during a 2021 memorial wake for children who died at residential schools.

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.”

Members of the Saskatoon delegation to papal visit events July 25-26 were among the pilgrims joining Pope Francis at Lac Ste. Anne – including Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Life Director Debbie Ledoux and parishioner Sandra Harper (at right).    – Photo by Bishop Mark Hagemoen

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.

At diocesan Administration Day 2022, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Life Director Debbie Ledoux spoke about the papal visit.

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.

Traditional drumming and singing was part of the grand entry that opened the program of a Walking and Healing Together event at St. Mary school in Saskatoon held during the papal visit in July 2022.

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

A ceremony was held in July 2022 in Saskatoon to launch a local covenant for the 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.
Indigenous Reconciliation Fund in our diocese - LINK

Discernment Circle members Deacon Harry Lafond and Cecile Smith (l-r) during a ceremony on the grounds of Queen’s House of Retreat and Renewal to launch the local covenant for the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund.

Bishop Mark Hagemoen and Discernment Circle Co-Chair Gordon Martell.


Grant application


Donate to Fund

Members of the Diocesan Council for Truth and Reconciliation (DCTR) meeting at the Catholic Pastoral Centre in 2021. Established a decade ago, after the Truth and Reconciliation National Event held in Saskatoon, this diocesan advisory group includes Indigenous and non-Indigenous representatives who continue to meet and discuss ways to further reconciliation and justice and to build relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the diocese.

Indigenous Reconciliation Fund local Discernment Circle Co-chair Dr. Gordon Martell (left) and BIshop Mark Hagemoen provided background information on the Fund at a Bishop’s Breakfast in May 2022.

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.

Indigenous Pastoral and Lay Leader (IPL) continuing education program graduates, leaders and facilitators gathered in November 2021 to mark the presentation of certificates to the first group to complete the course.

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.”

Among the leaders of the IPL course are MaryAnne Morrison and Adrienne Castellon (l-r).

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

Youth and Young Adult ministry focuses on creating disciples

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

Project Timothy inaugural participants Jaiden Christopher, Cascilla Taillon, Jillian Ramsay, Christina Denis, and Jonas Taillon, with leaders John Hickey and Sr. Marta Piano (l-r). (Missing from photo: Astrid Alas, Allison Karstens, Hannah McIntosh, and Michael Gibbs.)

“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

A second year of Project Timothy started in fall 2022, with young adults (above) gathering for formation and discernment that is led by leaders Sr. Marta Piano of the Verbum Dei Sisters and diocesan Evangelization and Mission Leader John Hickey. Launched as part of a new model of youth ministry in the diocese, Project Timothy focuses on discipleship and accompaniment.

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 (jhickey@rcdos.ca 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!

Participants in the Search Retreat for Grades 10-12 returned to the diocese of Saskatoon on the first weekend of Lent 2023.

Youth from Our Lady of LaVang Vietnamese Catholic community gather for a photo with Bishop Mark Hagemoen and Fr. Hoang Nguyen.

Youth played soccer against a clergy / consecrated religious team for the “Bishop’s Cup” at a June 2022 Family Fun Day, held to coincide with the World Meeting of Families in Rome. The soccer game was followed by families praying a “living rosary” outdoors.

Growing in Faith: Evangelization and Catechesis

St. Patrick Parish, Saskatoon

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.

Holy Spirit Parish, Saskatoon.

Holy Redeemer Parish, Elbow

Christ the King Parish, Rose Valley.


Vietnamese Catholic community at St. Peter the Apostle Parish, Saskatoon.

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Saskatoon.

“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.

Sts. Benedict and Scholastica inaugural participants Jerome Montpetit (left) and Huy Le (right) with Bishop Hagemoen at the residence that opened in 2021.

Vocations: Seminarian Luke Tran instituted as lector

Bishop Mark Hagemoen instituted seminarian Luke Van Tam Tran into the ministry of lector July 22 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon. Tran is studying at Christ the King seminary in Mission, BC.

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

Three candidates who are discerning the call to the Permanent Diaconate in the diocese of Saskatoon were officially installed as lectors of the Word of God by Bishop Mark Hagemoen Oct. 17, 2021 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family: (l-r) Paul Wheeler, Nicholas Blom, Fr. Kevin McGee, Ryan LeBlanc and Bishop Mark Hagemoen. As with other Holy Orders, the discernment process for Permanent Deacons involves both the candidate and the faith community.

Consecrated women and men from across the diocese gathered for celebration of the World Day of Consecrated Life on the Feast of the Presentation Feb. 2, 2022 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon, renewing their commitment to consecrated religious life. A celebration was also held in 2023.

St. Therese alumni /staff among those discerning religious life

Six young women currently discerning religious life with the Queenship of Mary Community in Ottawa have either studied or worked at St. Therese Institute of Faith and Mission, Bruno, SK (from left to right):
Sr. Micheline Thibault, canonical novice; Mikaila Sullivan, postulant; Sr. Kaitlyn Deck, apostolic novice; Katrina Beddoe, oblate; Sr. John Paul Marie of the Trinity (Nicole Mireau) who recently celebrated her perpetual vows; and Lorissa Hohmann, postulant.

Bishop Mark Hagemoen presided at a Rite of Consecration “to a life of virginity lived in the world” June 9, 2021 in a special celebration held at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon. After a long period of discernment, Consecrated Virgin Crystal Hampson of Saskatoon made the public resolution of chastity, pledging to live in the spirit of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience.

Sr. John Paul Marie of the Trinity (Nicole Mireau of Saskatoon, left) visited Saskatoon after making her perpetual vows with the Queenship of Mary community in Ottawa in the summer of 2022: she is greeted by her sister Sr. April Mireau, who made perpetual vows in June 2021 with the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary.

Brother Denys (Robert) Janiga professed temporary vows July 10, 2021 at St. Peter’s Benedictine Abbey in Muenster, SK.

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.

Three Verbum Dei sisters – Sr. Marta Piano, Sr. Mirasol Abala and Sr. Malou Tibayan (l-r) – are now serving in the diocese of Saskatoon, providing ministry and formation in a number of areas, including retreats, youth and young adult ministry, adult faith formation and the Sts. Benedict and Scholastica Formation program.

“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. Mirasol Abala leads prayer and reflection during Stations of the Cross at a diocesan prayer service for survivors and victims of abuse on the First Friday of Lent, along with Fr. Geoffrey Young (left), Fr. Gerard Cooper and Bishop Mark Hagemoen.

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.

Sr. Malou Tibayan of the Verbum Dei fraternity and Marilyn Jackson, Director of Ministry Services for the diocese (l-r) at diocesan Spring Congress 2022, which included a presentation on the “Called and Gifted” discernment process.

“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

Adult Faith formation

A diocesan Awaken workshop held in the fall of 2022 introduced the Catherine of Siena Institute’s Called and Gifted™ discernment process.

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.

Verbum Dei sisters led a “School of the Word” in 2021.

“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.

Fr. Geoffrey Young presented four sessions on “Catholic Liturgical and Sacramental Life” as an Adult Faith Awaken session at the start of 2022.

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.

The Kairos Blanket Excercise was presented in a diocesan Awaken Ministry Series on March 22, 2022 coordinated by the Office for Justice and Peace.

• 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.


Sr. Marta Piano of the Verbum Dei Sisters leads a session during a diocesan Encounter retreat held at Queen’s House in Lent 2022.

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.

Archbishop Donald Bolen, Chief Cadmus Delorme and Bishop Mark Hagemoen (l-r) reflected on truth and reconciliation at a diocesan Encounter event in April 2022.

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.

Families sing and dance to the faith-filled music of Cat.Chat during a Family Fun Day in June 2022.

A “living rosary” was part of Family Fun Day.

Among those coordinating ministry in the diocese of Saskatoon are (l-r): Justice and Peace Coordinator Myron Rogal, Evangelization and Mission Leader John Hickey, Hospital Chaplain Jaqueline Saretsky, Restorative Ministry Coordinator Dianne Anderson, Director of Ministry Services Marilyn Jackson and Sr. Marta Piano of the Verbum Dei missionaries.


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

Hospital chaplaincy

The new four-part resource “Horizons of Hope” about palliative care and end-of-life was piloted in the diocese at St. Paul Co-Cathedral in Saskatoon, led by Angela Penna (right) and Jackie Saretsky (back, centre). A number of other parishes in the diocese have also presented the program from the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops (CCCB).

Hospital visits, chaplaincy training and spiritual care education
By Jacqueline Saretsky, Hospital Chaplaincy
The past three years have been very challenging as a Hospital Chaplain. During the pandemic, visitors to all the hospitals were severely restricted.
Families were not allowed in hospitals at times unless a patient was gravely ill or at the end-of-life. Thankfully, Hospital Chaplains were considered an extension of the care team and could continue visiting the hospitals for the duration of the pandemic. It was difficult for the patients as they all experienced different isolation levels regardless of their illness. For many, the only connection to family was their phone.
During the pandemic, my usual duties as a Hospital Chaplain suddenly included ensuring patients’ phones were plugged in and charged, and assisting with Facetime calls.
Post-pandemic, visitors were still restricted to two family members, but the atmosphere changed. Patients receive more support, placing less onus on Hospital Chaplains to fill the gap.
Discussions are now underway for Hospital Chaplaincy volunteers to be permitted back in the hospitals, which will increase the number of patients receiving visits. Our trained volunteers provide a tangible connection to the Catholic community during a hospital stay, which so often includes uncertainty, stress and suffering.

Hospital Chaplain Jackie Saretsky speaks at Fall Congress 2021 about the impact of medically-provided euthanasia on the sick, the suffering, their families and those who care for them.


In the meantime I continue to visit and bring the Holy Eucharist to patients in the hospital, and to work with Chaplain Fr. Benedict Arakkal and other priests to ensure the sacraments are available.
Among other duties as a Hospital Chaplain is the education of the laity around health care, spiritual care, and related issues.
The Catholic bishops of Canada recently released a program available to all dioceses called Horizons of Hope: A Toolkit for Catholic Parishes on Palliative Care. This four-module workshop is designed for those interested in learning more about palliative care and the Church’s teaching. Horizons of Hope is also designed for persons diagnosed with a terminal illness, their caregivers and family members, and for parish pastoral care teams.
The four modules are: understanding the human experience of dying and death; discerning and making decisions at the end-of-life; accompanying those at the end-of-life; and supporting and integrating within the wider community.
The diocese’s goal is to have this workshop presented at all of our parishes. For more information, please contact the Hospital Chaplaincy office at the Catholic Pastoral Centre in Saskatoon at: jsaretsky@rcdos.ca or (306) 659-5839.

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.

Dianne Anderson with a team from the prison who helped at a “Walking and Healing Together” event in July 2022 held in Saskatoon in conjunction with the papal visit to Canada.

Restorative Ministry Coordinator Diane Anderson with hand-made sketchbooks prepared for men in prison by students at Bethlehem Catholic High School, Saskatoon.

Proclaiming Christ:  Justice and Peace

By Myron Rogal, Office of 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.
These objectives are achieved through connecting with parishes, ecumenical collaboration, and partnering for the common good to share the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Church.

Justice and Peace Coordinator Myron Rogal and committee member Carol Zubiak take time to walk and talk about truth and reconciliation during a Justice and Peace initiative for National TRC Day Sept. 30, 2021.

As the province entered swift lockdowns for COVID-19, the general feeling was one of preparedness. With many good online tools expanding video conferencing, we were in the midst of a 12-part online lunch-hour educational video series entitled “Caring Sustainably for Sask-atchewan” when the pandemic began. This series featured a cross-section of experts sharing practical and cost-reducing energy-saving actions for homes, farms, and businesses.
Piloting this series going into the pandemic opened a whole new world for future events where access to a wider range of speakers, partners, and the audience was available online with substantially lower costs. In spring 2021, a subsequent event was held entitled “Faithful Energy.”
While online opportunities expanded ecumenical cooperation, they also brought new perspectives to recent Catholic documents, such as a three-part event about the Apostolic Exhortation on the Amazon Synod and breaking open Pope Francis’ papal encyclical “Fratelli Tutti.”
New ways to expand the Catholic footprint locally included establishment of a new community partner at St. Thomas More College: The Irene and Doug Schmeiser Centre for Faith, Reason, Peace, and Justice.
Grow Hope Saskatchewan continues as an ecumenical partnership that sees farmers and donors join together to raise funds for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to tackle hunger around the world  Over $129,000 was raised in 2020-21, and through federal matching programs, the project empowered roughly 24,000 people to increase their food security. This support was surpassed in 2021-22.

Michelle and Brian Hergott on their farm near Bruno, SK: they have dedicated a portion of their crop to the Grow Hope Saskatchewan project, partnering with donors who cover input costs, with the crop eventually old and proceeds donated to Canadian Foodgrains Bank to feed the hungry around the world.

There has also been renewed efforts in parishes across our diocese to increase awareness and outreach to address poverty and homelessness in our local community.
Seeking to build community through relationships is at the heart of truth and reconciliation and a substantial part of the efforts of the Office of Justice and Peace.  Throughout the pandemic and beyond, the Diocesan Council for Truth and Reconciliation continued to meet, as did the Justice and Peace Diocesan Advisory Council.

Parishioners from Holy Spirit Catholic Church joined with leaders from Our Lady of Guadalupe Indigenous parish Sept. 30 for prayer, smudging and a late-afternoon walk on National Truth and Reconciliation Day Sept. 30, 2022. (Photo by Erin Gratton)

The papal visit, the apologies to Indigenous Peoples by Pope Francis and by the Catholic bishops of Canada, and the launch of a national $30-million Indigenous Reconciliation Fund are among recent major developments in our walk together.
This past year has seen a new focus on Human Trafficking through the lens of human dignity.  The first year focused on awareness and education, listening to those who are impacted. The second year features opportunities for advocacy and working towards systemic change. A new “Working Towards Freedom” resource has been developed to assist parishes with learning about this issue at the local level.

An hour of public witness calling for an end to abortion, Life Chain was held on the first Sunday of October 2022, in communities across Saskatchewan, including Humboldt, Unity and Saskatoon. Bishop Mark attended the event. The bishop has also named the last Sunday of January as a Day of Prayer for Reverence for Life, working with a diocesan committee.

Proclaiming Christ:  Welcoming Refugees

Office of Migration assists parishes and groups with sponsorships

Family members joyfully welcomed Lideta and her two adult sons, Hermon and Esiase who arrived in Saskatoon in February 2023.

By Dr. Jan Bigland-Pritchard, Office of Migration
The United Nations estimates that 100 million people in the world have been forced from their homes, with about 26 million of those having crossed a national border. This makes them ‘official’ refugees rather than internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Most refugees eventually go home, or settle down in their country of refuge, but some cannot.  They need resettlement to a third country. Less than five percent of the world’s refugees are resettled to a third country. Canada leads the world for numbers of permanently resettled refugees per year, although the United States is now catching up.
In 2018, Canada welcomed about 40,000 refugees by all program routes, and targets are even higher for 2023. The 2023 immigration levels targets for the Privately Sponsored Refugees stream alone is 27,505, with a similar number expected by other routes.
Refugees come to us by government choice (GAR) and by private sponsorship (PSR).  Others self-refer by crossing the Canadian border and claiming asylum (inland claimants). Not all who claim asylum will be accepted by Canada.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has been involved in helping resettle refugees for more than 40 years. We have helped hundreds of people start new lives. The diocesan Migration Office was established 11 years ago to support, train and supervise parishes and groups who sponsor refugees.
The diocese is a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) with the Canadian government, and is legally responsible for sponsored refugees for 12 months after they arrive. As a designated SAH, the diocese is allowed to apply for sponsorship of a set number of refugees each year.
Between August 2022 and February 2023, our diocese welcomed 61 refugee newcomer arrivals. This surge in arrivals helps to make up for the quieter COVID years of 2020 and 2021.
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
We are also undertaking a sponsorship through St. Mary Parish, with E D Feehan High School in Saskatoon.
As a SAH, the diocese is also assisting in sponsorships with St. Eugene Parish, Nipawin, and with an ecumenical group in Turtleford, by special arrangement with the Diocese of Prince Albert. The other six settlement teams are based at non-Catholic Christian congregations and one community group in Saskatoon.

Baby Amanuel was born in January to a recently-arrived family who was sponsored by a parish in the diocese of Saskatoon.

Recently the diocese has worked to achieve more diversity in the nationalities of those we sponsor. In 2021 and 2022, the cases applied for through the diocese included people from Eritrea, Ethiopia (Tigray), Afghanistan, Palestine, Somalia, Rwanda, India, and Iran.
There has been a surge of Afghan refugees since the Taliban take-over in August 2021. The Government of Canada made a large commitment to resettle recent Afghan refugees, and worked with SAHs to help make that happen.
So far the diocese has sponsored 18 refugees on the special program for Afghans, and work is ongoing on the final few applications under this program.
Overseas visa offices have faced many challenges due to Covid and to new political crises – which now includes those fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Tough new government monitoring practices (rolled out since 2018) mean that our settlement teams need to be very hands-on when refugee newcomers arrive and keep good written records. There is also pro-active (random) monitoring of settlement teams by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada), which requires a lot of extra work from the Office of Migration.
New financial guidelines and monitoring – updated again in 2022 – continue to make refugee sponsorship more costly, but these steps also protect refugees from exploitation, and protect the diocese and parishes from fraud and corruption.
Refugee sponsorship reflects Catholic values around the importance of the family, and is part of the gospel mandate to care for the poor and the stranger.  Sadly, we are only able to assist a small fraction of those who approach us for help, but “it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”
I extend my deep appreciation to our volunteer parish refugee coordinators and settlement teams for their faithfulness, compassion and hard work.
For further information about refugee sponsorship in our diocese contact Dr. Jan Bigland-Pritchard, Coordinator of the diocesan Office of Migration at migration@rcdos.ca

Former refugees Shewit and Denden have become Canadian citizens.

Proclaiming Christ: Christian Reconciliation and Unity

De Margerie Series 2022:


De Margerie Series for Christian Reconciliation and Unity 2022 guest speakers Catholic Archbishop Donald Bolen (left) and Anglican Bishop Chris Harper (right) stand with Fr. Bernard de Margerie for whom the series is named. Bolen and Harper shared their experiences of journeying toward truth and reconciliation.

“Do good, seek justice” (Isaiah 1:17)

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Participants in the 2023 closing service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity came forward to share their histories and background.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023

During the ecumenical service to conclude the 2023 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Saskatoon, representatives with roots in many nations and cultures came forward to place a stone at the front of the altar in recognition of the “beauty in our diversity and in our God-given birthright of unity.

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).

The closing service at Holy Spirit Parish concluded a week of activities organized by the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism.

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.

Marriage preparation teams and parish representatives from across the diocese gathered for a workshop about the new curriculum.

New marriage preparation curriculum launched

“Building Faith-Filled Families” was the theme of a workshop Nov. 19, 2022, which introduced a new marriage preparation and formation curriculum in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.
Attended by some 40 participants, including resource couples and clergy, the day-long event held at the Cathedral of the Holy Family offered “practical tools for meaningful discussions and an invitation to become life-long disciples together, united in Christ,” said Marilyn Jackson, diocesan Director of Ministry Services.
The event included a walk-through of the new curriculum, demonstrations of presenting themes, a chance to use the materials, discussion of adult learning principles and tips for creating an environment of  hospitality and safety.
Developed by a diocesan committee established by Bishop Mark Hagemoen, the new curriculum will be used by parishes across the diocese in forming couples who are preparing for marriage.
The vision for marriage formation in the diocese “seeks to provide practical tools to raise topics for meaningful  discussion and invite engaged couples into the life of a faith community.”
Themes in the new curriculum were explored during the work-shop including family of origin, communication, sexuality, Natural Family Planning, spirituality and prayer, stewardship and finances.
In the new guidelines, Bishop Mark Hagemoen notes: “The diocese of Saskatoon seeks to provide solid theological formation and practical tools to address and raise topics for meaningful teaching and discussion, as we invite engaged couples through their parish faith communities to discern this wonderful, God-given vocation.”

Marilyn Jackson, Director of Pastoral Services for the Diocese provided an overview of the new marriage preparation curriculum at a workshop Nov. 19, 2022 in Saskatoon.

Breathe Conference

A second Catholic marriage conference led by Gerald and Denise Montpetit of Cat.Chat (pictured with Bishop Mark, above), was held in the diocese of Saskatoon in September 2021. Breathe featured practical tips for strengthening marriage while deepening faith together.


Breathe marriage conference participants in September 2021.

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.


An annual Clergy Study Days was held in November 2022 with guest speaker Archbishop Emeritus Terrence Prendergast, SJ.

A program of orientation, formation and support is in place for international clergy serving in the diocese.

Fr. Benedict Arakkal of India was welcomed to Saskatoon in October 2022. He is now serving in hospital chaplaincy in the diocese.

Proclaiming Christ: Installation of Pastors in 2022

Fr. Kevin McGee was installed as pastor of St. Mary Parish in Saskatoon.

Fr. Kevin McGee was installed as pastor of St. Mary Parish in Saskatoon.

Fr. Joseph Salihu was installed as pastor of Holy Spirit , Saskatoon.

Fr. Colin Roy was installed as pastor for parishes in the Humboldt region.

Fr. Prosper Abbotsi was installed as pastor for parishes in the Lake Lenore region.

Fr. Darryl Millette was installed as pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Saskatoon.

Fr. Daniel Louh was installed as pastor at Sts-Martyrs-Canadiens parish in Saskatoon.

Diocesan Archives: Preserving Our History

By Margaret Sanche, Archivist
The Archives of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon collects, preserves and makes available for research the official records of the diocese of Saskatoon and those ancillary records which reflect the work of the Church within the diocese.

Sr. Phyllis Kapuscinski and Sr. Diane Willey of the Sisters of Sion join diocesan Archivist Margaret Sanche (l-r), working in the Archives at the Catholic Pastoral Centre in Saskatoon.

Under Canon Law, every Catholic diocese is required to maintain archives. The purpose of preserving archival records in a diocese is twofold.
First, records need to be kept as evidence of ecclesial and business activity, in order to comply with regulatory and legislative requirements, and to support accountability.
Second, records are kept for historical and cultural purposes. The materials preserved by the diocesan Archives serve as an illustration of the life of the diocese. Twenty-first century Catholics are able to feel a connection to the Catholics who came before; the larger community is able to see how the Church helped to shape the Saskatchewan they now know. Stories of yesterday can be powerful tools for evangelization today.

Archives Programs and Services

As an archives operating according to Canon Law and Canadian professional standards, the diocesan archives aims to fulfill the following core functions:
  • 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)



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 historical review did not address residential schools, since the diocese of Saskatoon did not operate any residential schools and no Indian Residential Schools were located within diocesan boundaries.
The Historical Case Review report has been posted on the diocesan website (LINK)  and was shared with parishes across the diocese.
A Safeguarding Advisory Committee established by Bishop Mark Hagemoen recommended a review of diocesan records as part of the release of a Safer Church, Safer Communities Safeguarding Action Plan in March 2020.
“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.
With that goal in mind, the Historical Case Review Process was primarily launched to determine what could be learned from past handling of cases to improve diocesan policies here and now, the bishop said. “We wished to determine how our current policies and practices can be improved, particularly in our commitment to support those who come forward with allegations of abuse or serious misconduct,” he said.

“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.

A diocesan prayer service was held on the First Friday of Lent 2023 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon to pray for victims and survivors of abuse. The service will be an annual event, as recommended by the diocesan Safeguarding Committee.

“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.
“In meeting with victims of sexual abuse, the Policy and Operations Review Committee repeatedly found that we must always remain victim/survivor-focused for the sake of respecting that person and their individual journey. This victim-centred approach must be reflected in every update to our safeguarding plan – and of any operation of the diocese,” she said.
The original diocesan Safeguarding Action Plan released in March 2020 was updated in several sections as part of the review released July 21, 2021. The action plan features 20 commitments in four categories:
  • Outreach and Healing;
  • Process of Reporting and Addressing Allegations;
  • Policies and Training;
  • Expanding Safeguarding Culture.
Safeguarding training for clergy, staff and volunteers continues, including access to online  training modules that are also being used by a number of partner groups in the diocese to train staff and volunteers.
On the First Friday of Lent 2023, a prayer service for all victims and survivors of abuse was held at the Cathedral of the Holy Family, with the bishop leading the Way Stations of the Cross in what will be an annual diocesan event.

Living Out Stewardship Through Planned Giving

Catholic Foundation joins Will Power

“Today salvation has come to this house”- Luke 19:9
A recent Environics Survey reveals a changing tide when it comes to wills, with younger Canadians aged 18-37 reporting they have already named a charity as a beneficiary of their registered funds (12 percent) – more than those in the Baby Boomer generation (three percent).
Similarly, 12 percent of Gen Z and Millennials (18-37 years) have already named a charitable donation in their will, versus six percent of Boomers (55-75). Almost half (46 percent) of Canadians support a cause or charity regularly; but the majority (69 percent) have not considered how they can continue that support after their death.
Will Power is a national public awareness campaign designed to inspire people to think differently about charitable giving by considering a gift to charity in their will.
Michael Swan, reporter for The Catholic Register newspaper writes how the Will Power campaign isn’t just aimed at individuals. A parish, a foundation, even a diocese can participate in the campaign.
“That provides them and their parish members with tools to start thinking about their parish as a gift in their will, adding their parish to their list (of beneficiaries), contacting their lawyer or their notary to start planning their gift,” said campaign director Laurie Fox, quoted by Michael Swan in a 2021 article.
“In the early going of the campaign, charities with Catholic connections who have secured a place on the Will Power website include St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, L’Arche Toronto, Covenant House, Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, Ont., and half a dozen hospital foundations.”

The Diocese of Saskatoon Catholic Foundation is also part of this Will Power campaign. See: www.willpower.ca/charities or contact us for more information at: admin@dscf.ca 

Support for the mission 

Rooted in Christ, the Diocese of Saskatoon Catholic Foundation inspires charitable giving and assists donors in providing for the long-term needs of the Catholic parishes, ministries, and non-profit organizations in the diocese.
These charitable gifts are used to strengthen families, improve faith formation for children and adults, assist youth, foster discipleship, reach out in service, and integrate the ministry work of our diverse Catholic community.
“Through good stewardship practices, the Catholic Foundation desires to provide the financial resources for current and future needs,” states the Foundation’s willpower web page. “This creates an opportunity for our diocesan family to be actively engaged and supported through their faith journey. We are supported and strengthened as a community when we work together.”

Find the complete Audited Financial Statment online:

2021-22 Financial Statements (PDF) – LINK

2020-21 Financial Statements (PDF) - LINK

Or contact (306) 242-1500 to request a printed copy of the Audited Financial Statements

Find the complete Audited Financial Statment online:

2021-22 Financial Statements (PDF) – LINK

2020-21 Financial Statements (PDF) - LINK

Or contact (306) 242-1500 to request a printed copy of the Audited Financial Statements

Find the complete Audited Financial Statment online:

2021-22 Financial Statements (PDF) – LINK

2020-21 Financial Statements (PDF) - LINK

Or contact (306) 242-1500 to request a printed copy of the Audited Financial Statements


“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)


Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon

Catholic Pastoral Centre, 2nd Floor, Cathedral of the Holy Family

123 Nelson Road, Saskatoon, SK S7S 1H1; phone 306-242-1500