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Kiply Lukan Yaworski

Simbang Gabi 2023

By Enriching faith

Simbang Gabi 2023 – The Filipino Catholic community will gather for the Novena of Masses before Christmas known as Simbang Gabi. Everyone is welcome!

This year’s celebrations Dec. 15-23 will be held at three parishes in Saskatoon – the Cathedral of the Holy Family, 123 Nelson Road; St. Patrick Parish, 3339 Centennial Drive; and St. Peter the Apostle Parish, 1121 Northumberland Ave (next to Bishop Klein School).


  • Friday, Dec. 15 –6 p.m. at St. Peter the Apostle / 7 p.m. at the Holy Family / 7 p.m. at St. Patrick
  • Saturday, Dec. 16 – 5 p.m. at St. Patrick / 6:30 p.m. at St. Peter the Apostle / 7 p.m. at Holy Family
  • Sunday, Dec. 17 – 11 a.m. at St. Peter the Apostle / 6:30 p.m. at Holy Family / 7 p.m. at St. Patrick
  • Monday, Dec. 18 – 6 p.m. at St. Peter the Apostle / 7 p.m. at Holy Family / 7 p.m. at St. Patrick
  • Tuesday, Dec. 19 – 6 p.m. at St. Peter the Apostle / 7 p.m. at Holy Family / 7 p.m. at St. Patrick
  • Wednesday, Dec. 20 – 6 p.m. at St. Peter the Apostle / 7 p.m. at Holy Family / 7 p.m. at St. Patrick
  • Thursday, Dec. 21 – 6 p.m. at St. Peter the Apostle / 7 p.m. at Holy Family / 7 p.m. at St. Patrick
  • Friday, Dec. 22 – 6 p.m. at St. Peter the Apostle / 7 p.m. at Holy Family / 7 p.m. at St. Patrick
  • Saturday, Dec. 23 – 5 p.m. at St. Patrick / 6:30 p.m. at St. Peter the Apostle / 7 p.m. at the Holy Family


Red Wednesday ecumenical service to pray for persecuted Christians

By Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog

Bishop Mark Hagemoen was one of the leaders who gathered to pray for persecuted Christians on Red Wednesday

The front of Holy Covenant Evangelical Orthodox Church on Alexandra Avenue in Saskatoon was bathed in red light Nov. 22, 2023, for Red Wednesday, a day of prayer, awareness, and advocacy about the persecution of Christians.

Inside, an ecumenical gathering featured prayers, information and reflections on the plight of followers of Christ who face persecution, discrimination, violence, and death because of their faith.

Holy Covenant Evangelical Orthodox Church in Saskatoon on Red Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023. (Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News)

Red Wednesday is an initiative of Aid to the Church in Need, an international Catholic aid organization founded in 1947, and recognized as a Pontifical Foundation since 2011.

The Red Wednesday event began in 2016 in the United Kingdom, with a number of high-profile buildings bathed in red light to bring awareness to the issue of Christian persecution, said Myron Rogal, who emceed the Saskatoon event. “Red, of course, is the colour of the blood of martyrs.”

Myron Rogal, coordinator of Justice and Peace in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon. (Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News)

Rogal, who coordinates the Office of Justice and Peace in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, said that while religious freedom is a reality in Canada, that is not the reality for an estimated 327 million Christians who live in countries where they are persecuted, excluded, and attacked for their faith.

“It is estimated that 75 percent of all acts of violence for religious reasons are perpetrated against Christians,” he said. “Instead of the situation getting better, it is getting worse. In 47 countries since 2021 the situation has worsened.”

“We gather together tonight in a spirit of solidarity,” Rogal said.

The Red Wednesday event began with a welcome from Evangelical Orthodox Bishop Jakob Palm, who also provided a reflection on the ecumenism of martyrdom.

Bishop Jakob Palm of Holy Covenant Evangelical Orthodox Church. (Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News)

“The way in and to unity in the Church really is the way of suffering,” he said. “The witness of the church and its growth is and has been watered by the blood of the martyrs throughout the centuries.”

Those who persecute Christians do not ask which denomination or confession that they belong to – rather they are persecuted simply as followers of Christ, observed Palm.

“Christian unity in such cases is de facto realized in persecution and blood: an ecumenism of martyrdom. To be called Christian ultimately means to be called to the cross.”

The service continued with the proclamation of scripture, hymns, and prayers, as well as testimony from Rubina Bhatti, a Catholic Christian from Pakistan, and Bishop Emeritus Albert Thévenot, MAfr, former missionary and retired bishop of Prince Albert, both of whom are members of the Saskatchewan-based charity Canadian Aid to Persecuted Christians (CAPC).

Rubina Bhatti of Canadian Aid to Persecuted Christians. (Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News)

Christians are at risk in Pakistan, as well as in other countries around the world, such as North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, Nigeria, and India. Since its inception in 2019, CAPC has been providing legal and survival support to the families suffering minor girls’ abduction and forceful conversion and marriages, victims of blasphemy laws, and refugees fleeing persecution, as well as helping Christians denied aid during natural disasters and the pandemic.

Bhatti described examples of persecution and violence in Pakistan, highlighting the misuse of blasphemy laws, and summarizing a number of cases and events, including the mob attack in the Christian community of Jaranwala in August 2023. “Houses and churches were burned.. families displaced… homes looted, vandalized, and set on fire,” because of an accusation of blasphemy, she said.

Bishop Emeritus Albert Thévenot, former misssionary and retired bishop of Prince Albert diocese. (Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News)

Bishop Emeritus Thévenot recalled his time serving in Tanzania, where different faith groups – Christians, Muslims, and traditional African religious — lived in peace and friendship. A group from Sudan came into the community and wanted to change that relationship, but the local Muslim population refused to disrupt the harmony. “In some societies you always have fanatics, who want to go overboard.”

However, in some parts of the world, division, persecution and violence are directed against Christians today – it is not something that only happened long ago, Thévenot said. “It still exists today…while I am taken up with the idea of all these people dying for their faith, do I stay indifferent… or do I feel touched?”

He noted that even North American society is becoming increasingly anti-Christian, with secularism even pushing against the celebration of Christian holidays such as Christmas.

He also described the work of CAPC to provide help and support to Christians in peril “They are not forgotten, and we give witness that Christ is with them always,” he said, also urging action: “not only to talk about them, but to try and find ways to help them: let us be involved in this; let us not be spectators.”

Bishops Palm and Hagemoen lead prayers during the ecumenical service. (Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News)

Roman Catholic Bishop Mark Hagemoen joined Evangelical Orthodox Bishop Jakob Palm in leading prayers before a time of silent prayer and candle lighting.

In closing remarks, Hagemoen said that in the face of the plight and suffering of persecuted Christians, “we come back to the Word of God, which sustains us: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’…God’s grace is so powerful that he can bring light even to the darkness.”

Hagemoen said the challenge is responding to the plight of the persecuted, given the way of the Gospel. “There is no easy answer to this,” the bishop said, calling for a response that is faithful to he way of Jesus Christ who is the Saviour. “It does mean to respond to hate not only with love, but with engagement, and not to give in to indifference.

The celebration concluded with the Lord’s prayer and a blessing.


(Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News)


Advent-Christmas Schedules

By News

Advent 2023 confession opportunities / Christmas Mass times

Click on boxes below to see schedules submitted by parishes in the diocese of Saskatoon – Watch for updates as more come in!

Contact list for all parishes in our diocese: LINK

Parishes OUTSIDE City of Saskatoon

Parishes WITHIN City of Saskatoon

Advent Confession Times

(Check with your parish for other opportunities)


Bishop celebrates pastor installation of Fr. Daniel Louh, SMA, during celebration in Vonda

By Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog

Bishop Mark Hagemoen celebrated the Eucharist with the faith community of hSt. Philippe Neri Parish in Vonda, SK, Nov. 18, 2023, offering special prayers to officially install Fr. Daniel Louh, SMA, as pastor of the parishes at Vonda, Prud’homme, and St. Denis.

Louh was appointed pastor of the Trinite parishes earlier this year. He is also serving as pastor of Sts-Martyrs-Canadiens Francophone Parish in Saskatoon. Originally from the diocese of Man, Côte d’Ivoire, Louh assisted at St. Paul Co-Cathedral when he first arrived in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon in 2021. A member of the Society of African Missions, Louh also served for a time as associate pastor at St. Mary Parish in Saskatoon.

Fr. Daniel Louh, SMA, proclaims the Gospel during celebration of the Eucharist Nov. 18 in Vonda. Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News)

The installation prayers by Bishop Hagemoen offered an opportunity to reflect prayerfully on the role of the pastor, highlighting the priest’s sacramental ministry through a series of prayers at different spots throughout the church building: the altar, the ambo, the tabernacle, the baptismal font, the entrance of the church, the confessional, and so on.

Bishop Hagemoen will continue travelling to parishes in the diocese to install other recently-appointed pastors in the weeks ahead.

“This isn’t a required ritual, but it is something that is an option, and we have chosen to do that because of its simple but rich symbolism about the relationship of the pastor — the priest — with the people of God,” explains Bishop Hagemoen.

Photo gallery: LINK

Other pastor installations by Bishop Hagemoen:


  • Fr. Paul Oshin – St. Peter  Cathedral, Muenster – Nov. 19, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Fr. Daniel Yasinski – Our Lady of Lourdes, Saskatoon – Nov. 26, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.


(Kiply Lukan Yaworski is the coordinator of communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon:



Clergy gather with Bishop Hagemoen for Priest Study Days

By Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog

Priests from across the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon gathered for Priest Study Days Nov. 13-16 at Elk Ridge, SK. (Photo by Fr. Darryl Millette)

Information, inspiration, fellowship, and renewal were features of an annual Priest Study Days gathering Nov. 13-16, 2023 for clergy from across the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.

Priest Study Days 2023 was held Nov. 13-16 at Elk Ridge. (Submitted photo)

Some 45 priests gathered with Bishop Mark Hagemoen for a program that included an opening session featuring a presentation by Cardinal Thomas Collins, about “how to be refreshed spiritually amid the stresses of ministry.” In his online presentation Cardinal Collins’ took his theme from Isaiah 12:3 “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

Coordinator of Hospital Chaplaincy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, Jackie Saretsky (front, left) was one of the speakers addressing the topic of medically-provided death during Priest Study Days. (Submitted photo)


Dr. Mary Heiilman, St. Paul’s Hospital / CHAS ethicist, spoke at Priest Study Days. (Submitted photo)

Study Days continued with reflections on medically-provided euthanasia in Canada – known as Medical Assistance in Dying or MAiD. Speakers included Hazel Markwell — who gave a a presentation on current statutes and pastoral response by clergy — as well as St. Paul’s Hospital/CHAS Ethicist Mary Heilman and diocesan Hospital Chaplaincy Coordinator Jacqueline Saretsky.

Tom Hickey, a superintendent with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, spoke about clergy support for Catholic schools, while diocesan Director of Administration and Finance Greg Chatlain spoke about “Supporting Pastoral Action with Good Administration.”

Health and wellness sessions were presented by Dr. Eran Talitman and Rev. Dr. Innocent Okozi.

Prayer, fellowship, and meals together were also part of the annual event.


Awaken adult faith series: Bishop Mark Hagemoen discusses Pope Benedict’s 2007 encyclical on hope “Spe Salve”

By Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog

The Church of the New Evangelization series Part 3: reflecting on the 2007 encyclical “Spe Salvi” by Pope Benedict XVI

In a presentation Nov. 8 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon, Bishop Mark Hagemoen lauded the late Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Spe Salvi (Saved in Hope) for its lasting and timely theme in a world filled with despair.

Hagemoen was the speaker for the third instalment of a five-part diocesan Awaken adult faith formation fall series on “The Church of the New Evangelization.”

Saskatoon’s bishop discussed Spe Salvi, the second of three encyclicals written by Pope Benedict – who was a brilliant theologian and philosopher – in which the pope reflected deeply on hope, saying one can grow through prayer, action, and suffering.

“If you have had the chance to go through [Spe Salvi], you can see the many ways that Pope Benedict weaves through historical, biblical, and philosophical developments: (weaving them) into how he approaches the topic of a progressive understanding for the people of God about hope,” said Hagemoen.

(Photo by Jon Perez, Catholic Saskatoon News)

“We need the greater and lesser hopes that keep us going day by day. But these are not enough without the great hope, which must surpass everything else. This great hope can only be God, who encompasses the whole of reality and who can bestow upon us what we, by ourselves, cannot attain. The fact that it comes to us as a gift is actually part of hope. God is the foundation of hope: not any god, but the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end, each one of us and humanity in its entirety. His Kingdom is not an imaginary hereafter, situated in a future that will never arrive; his Kingdom is present wherever he is loved and wherever his love reaches us.”Spe Salvi #31

Hagemoen shared the observation by Montreal Archbishop Christian Lepine that a “crisis of hope” is one of the greatest challenges that society is facing. “Hope sets a real challenge these days. Especially as one looks around, not just the larger worldwide and social context but challenges for the church community,” Hagemoen said.

The bishop began his reflection citing what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says about the virtue of hope, and pointing to its connection to evangelization, pointing to the passage in the First Letter of Peter 3:15: “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you.”

Spe Salvi is divided into sections: “Faith is hope,” “The concept of faith-based hope in the New Testament and the early Church,” “Eternal life—what is it?,” “Is Christian hope individualistic?,” “The transformation of Christian faith-hope in the modern age,” “The true shape of Christian hope,” “Settings for learning and practicing hope,” and finally “Mary, Star of Hope,” a prayer invoking the intercession of Our Lady.

The encyclical is filled with philosophical wisdom and tackles figures and teaching from throughout human history, noted Hagemoen.

Hagemoen shared how the encyclical answered a personal spiritual and psychological crisis he experienced studying the history and brutality of the First and Second World Wars.

Bishop Mark Hagemoen (Photo by Jon Perez, Catholic Saskatoon News)

“[World War I] featured trench warfare and mustard gas. Then a mere 20 years later, we did it all again, but it was even worse because we had developed the technology. As a young man reflecting on our common history, this broke my heart, and it left me in sort of a spiritual psychological crisis,” he said. “So, to have Pope Benedict brilliantly critique the historical and philosophical development of hope, and then to look at some of the modern manifestations of the problem of the lack of Christian hope today – this answers such a crisis of history and faith.”

Salvation is offered to us, stresses Benedict, and that is certain and real, said Hagemoen, citing Spe Salvi #2: “The Christian message is not only ‘informative’ but ‘performative.’ That means: the Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known—it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing. The dark door of time, of the future, has been thrown open. The one who has hope lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life.”

In a discussion session, Bishop Hagemoen asked his listeners to reflect on their own experiences of hope, and how they have experienced the “settings and contexts to learn hope” that Pope Benedict explores, namely: prayer, service, and suffering – as well as the judgment of God.

Series information:

 The Awaken series on “The Church of the New Evangelization” opened Oct. 25 with a presentation about the Second Vatican Council by Sr. Mirasol Abala of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity (article).

The Nov. 1 session featured a presentation on Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (Evangelization in the Modern World) by Marilyn Jackson, diocesan Director of Ministry Services (article) and on Nov. 15, Sr. Malou Tibayan of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity explored Pope St. John Paull II’s Christefideles Laici (The Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful).

Fr. David Tumback will present the final session of the adult faith Awaken series on Nov. 22 with a presentation about Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel).

Awaken adult faith programs in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon are supported by gifts to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.



Search youth retreat held Nov. 10-12 in Saskatoon

By Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog

A Search retreat for high school youth was held Nov. 10-12 in the diocese of Saskatoon.

Bishop Mark Hagemoen joined participants, leaders, volunteers and past “Searchers” for a closing Mass Nov. 12 at E.D. Feehan Catholic high school.

The next live-in Search retreat in the diocese will be held Feb. 23-25, 2024, offering youth an encounter with Jesus Christ, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and surrounded by the love of God. Watch for updates and information.

Thanks to all the many volunteers and witnesses, families and donors, leaders and Searchers who make this experience possible.




Red Wednesday – prayers for persecuted Christians Nov. 22

By News

An ecumenical “Red Wednesday” service to pray for persecuted Christians, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, at Holy Covenant Evangelical Orthodox Church, 1426 Alexandra Avenue, Saskatoon.

Everyone is welcome.

Evangelical Orthodox Bishop Jakob Palm and Roman Catholic Bishop Mark Hagemoen are among those participating in prayer and reflection during the service.

Red Wednesday is a day of prayer, action and awareness about the persecution of Christians around the world.

Background: Be RED, Wear RED, Light RED – With establishment of Red Wednesday, the international Catholic aid organization Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has drawn attention to the fate of millions of persecuted, oppressed and threatened Christians worldwide. Since Red Wednesday was established, many countries around the world, cathedrals, churches, monasteries, monuments, and public buildings are illuminated in blood red around this day. Make a statement and take part by wearing red, learning more, and praying for those who are persecuted for their faith. Find more information at:

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) supports over 5,000 projects every year in around 140 countries, helping Christians to live their faith in situations where they are oppressed, or lack the necessary means to cover their pastoral needs.

If you have questions about the Saskatoon event, please contact Myron Rogal in the diocesan Office of Justice and Peace at the Catholic Pastoral Centre: or (306) 659-5841.

Justice and Peace is supported by gifts to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.

Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan meet in Saskatoon

By Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog

Bishops from four Roman Catholic Dioceses in Saskatchewan gathered Nov. 7-9 in Saskatoon for an annual fall meeting. Bishop Stephen Hero of Prince Albert, Bishop Mark Hagemoen of Saskatoon, Archbishop Murray Chatlain of Keewatin-Le Pas, and Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina discussed areas of common concern and joint action.

Left to right: Bishop Stephen Hero of Prince Albert, Bishop Donald Bolen of Regina, Bishop Murray Chatlain of Keewatin-Le Pas, and Bishop Mark Hagemoen of Saskatoon. (Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News)

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