Bishop Mark Hagemoen’s blog

Bishop Mark Hagemoen Blog – February 2019

By | Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog

Visit to Black Lake First Nation, SK with FacetoFace Ministries

By Bishop Mark Hagemoen, Bishop of Saskatoon

At the invitation of Archbishop Murray Chatlain of Keewatin-Le Pas, several young adults led by FacetoFace Ministries travelled to Black Lake, SK in the Athabasca region of northern Saskatchewan, from February 16 to 22, 2019. The purpose of the trip was to learn about the Dene community, and to assist the local parish in helping prepare several candidates for the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation. (The candidates were not able to participate in the summer celebration of Confirmation earlier in the summer at the Pine Channel Spiritual Pilgrimage.)

Chief Coreen Sayazie and Father Cornelius Ngurukwem, SMMM, graciously received us to the parish and the Black Lake community.


The FacetoFace E3 Ministry Team: Matthias Steiner; Paul Bentler; Fr. Cornelius Ngurukwem (pastor of Athabasca region); Jon Courchene; Bishop Mark Hagemoen; Daniel Pashula; Jerome Montpetit; Matthew Witzaney; Benjamin Gerwing.

Jon Courchene led the Face-to-Face Ministry team (below, left), with the capable assistance of Daniel Pashula (below, right):

The week began with getting involved in the communities activities. As it was the spring break and the Winter Carnival, school was closed, and thus the young people of the community played various sports in the school gym. Men of the community also provided for the group an opportunity to enjoy “ice-fishing” on Black Lake, and experience the ‘chill’ of high speed ski-doo travel.

A competitive evening game of volleyball.



Jerome Montpetit (top, left), Paul Bentler (top, right), and Benjamin Gerwing (bottom, centre) get dressed for the ski-doo and ice fishing excursion on Black Lake.


Bishop Mark poses for a pic before the ice-fishing expedition: Matthias Steiner (far right) came from Fraser Lake, BC to join the trip to Black Lake.



Preparing a “dinner fish fry” with the catch following the day on the lake.

The moon sets during the morning dawn!


The team enjoys breakfast with Fr. Cornelius.

Jerome Montpetit enjoys an unorthodox breakfast of oatmeal with mustard!

Celebration of BAPTISMS

Unexpectedly, there was a request to celebrate several Baptisms. Along with the Pastor, Fr. Cornelius, these were celebrated on Tuesday evening, February 19. The candidates included several new-borns and children. Confirmation celebrations continued into the early summer. One of the families came in from nearby Fond-du-Lac, about two hours away by winter road.

The homily before the celebration of the Baptisms at Our Lady of the Cape Church, Black Lake.

Celebration of the Holy Eucharist for the families during the Baptism ceremony.

Families gather for a group picture following the celebration of the baptisms.


Daniel Pashula seems to have the greatest difficulty with this“Oreo Cookie” ice-breaker activity with the youth (above). Paul Bentler is quite capable at the game – not surprising given his cookie consumption during the week!

The team provides testimonial, skits, and other presentations to prepare the candidates for the Sacrament of Reconciliation before their Confirmation celebration.

Four young people were confirmed the evening of Wednesday February 20:  Gracie, Tenea, Branthany, Jayvian.

Opening Ceremonies, Black Lake Winter Carnival 2019

Following the Confirmation ceremony, the Black Lake Winter Carnival opening ceremonies were held at the band hall. The carnival is held annually during the school winter break, and features programs for both children and adults. It is an opportunity during the harsh and long winter season for the communities in the area to gather for games, cultural festivities, indoor and outdoor activities, and other community events.


Bishop Mark is greeted by a group of Dene men from Black Lake, Fond du Lac, and Stony Rapids – all communities in the Athabasca region.


Chief Coreen Sayazie gives a welcome and opening address to the community to the Winter Carnival opening ceremonies.

The opening ceremonies includes elders and representatives from the band leadership in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Young people from the community perform in a display of talented and energetic jigging, accompanied by the local band.


Daniel Pashula takes in the carnival festivities (left). Matthias Steiner is remarkably wide-eyed during the opening ceremonies  (right).


Matthew Witzaney shows his jigging ability (left), while Benjamin Gerwing (right) shows his stuff during the ‘orange dance’.



The FacetoFace E3 Team for Black Lake were a real blessing. However, all team members said that they received far more than they gave from the generousity, hospitality, and kindness of the Dene community. It will be an experience that will provide much ‘food for thought and soul’ for a long time, including for the FacetoFace leadership and the Bishop of Saskatoon!

In Christ,       

+Mark Hagemoen

Ministry and Events in Summer 2018

By | Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog

Meeting and Settling into the Diocese of Saskatoon – July-August 2018

By Bishop Mark Hagemoen

My summer season in the Saskatoon Diocese continues to feature meeting diocesan and community groups, visiting parishes, and attending special summer devotional celebrations. It was also a time to enjoy many of the youth and community activities typical of summer time, including youth and family programs. I continue to be amazed by the great faith and zeal of the people of the Diocese of Saskatoon. Evidence of the missionary apostolate of the laity abound!


Vatican, June 17-22, 2018

Deacon Rennie Nahanee of the Archdiocese of Vancouver and I represented the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops at this year’s conference at the Vatican, which aims to develop awareness and best practices for Catholic dioceses and organizations regarding ‘safeguaurding’ in relation to all ministries and activities run by Catholic organizations. The aim of the conference is to improve all protocols in ensure the safety of young people and of vulnerable adults. Deacon Nahanee and I were chosen in our capacity as co-chairs of the Canadian Catholic Indigenous Commission. I believe it is hoped by the CCCB that our experience at the conference may provide us with further insights as we continue to repond to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission here in Canada.

The format of the conference featured opportunities for conference members to respond to presentations given their own diocesan-regional context. Discussion groups also facilitated follow-up and discussion on related topics.

The quality of the presentations was very good, and provided insights regarding issues and possible areas for development in diocesan policies and pastoral practices.

Some of the insights and learnings included the following:

  • Safeguarding of children is becoming an increasingly complex and urgent issue, especially due to the expansion of technology;
  • The expansion of human trafficking and pornography industry is greatly impacting the safety of children and young people;
  • Church culture and the challenges for effective safeguarding;
  • Implementing and overseeing consistent ‘best practices’ among various diocesan and religious entities.

Conference participants post for a picture outside the site of the conference: the Gregorian University, Rome.




Confirmation celebrations continued into the early summer. Here are groups from St. Mary’s, Lanigan (above) and St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral, Saskatoon (below), celebrated on the weekend of June 30-July 1.


Catholic Students from Ontario come through Saskatoon during their MINISTRY PROJECT trip to the Athabasca Region, northern Saskatchewan.

Catholic students and Vince MacDonald, Director of Education, Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board in southern Ontario, came through Saskatoon on Friday July 20. The student group undertook 2 weeks of service learning work in the communities of Fond du Lac and Black Lake. The purpose of their project they described as follows: “Working with the guidance of Chief Louie Mercredi in Fond du Lac, SK, and Chief Coreen Sayazie in Black Lake, SK, the group seek to learn from the Dene Nation and celebrate our common calling by God to a life of service.” As is often the case with northern air travel, the opportunity to carry out follow-up activities here in Saskatoon was cut short by late flight arrivals due to forest fires. However, I very much enjoyed the brief time sharing common significant experiences and learnings given our mutual experiences with the Dene people of the Athabasca region.

100thAnniversary Celebration of St. Denis Church

On Sunday, July 22, the communities of the Trinity area came together to celebrate the 100thAnniversay of St. Denis Church. Following the mid-afternoon Sunday Eucharistic celebration, the community held a Marian procession to the community cemetery, where prayers where offered for the deceased past members of the community, and the graves were blessed. A community meal followed in the community hall.

Present for the celebrations were current Pastor Fr. Stephen Morrisey, CSsR, and former pastors, Fr. Bernard de Margerie, and Fr Emile April.


Marian procession and Rosary following the Sunday Eucharistic celebration to the community cemetery for blessing of the grave-sites and prayer for all community members who have passed.



Visit to Poundmaker & Sweetgrass communities for summer Sunday Liturgies.

On Sunday July 29, I had the privilege of visiting the Cree First Nation communities of Poundmaker and Sweetgrass. Deacon Daniel Lamoureux and Deacon Ghislain Bellavance serve the communities on behalf of the Prince Albert Diocese, offering Sunday liturgies and various pastoral programs at their respective churches and community centers. This particular Sunday also featured chuckwagon races at the rodeo track in Sweetgrass.

Deacon Daniel Lamoureux and his wife Janice outside of St. Thomas Catholic Church, Poundmaker Cree First Nation.

Deacons Dan and Ghislain Bellavance preparing for Sunday liturgy at Ste Angele Church, Sweetgrass Cree First Nation.




On July 19 and 31, I had the opportunity to celebrate the Mass for the leaders and campers at Blackstrap Camp, run by the Knights of Columbus at Blackstrap Lake south of Saskatoon. The Camp Coordinator was Julien Dale.

In early August, I had the privilege of celebrating Eucharist and sharing a “men’s talk” at Ignite sponsored by Face-to-Face Ministries at St Therese in Bruno. Some 108 Catholic teens gather for a week of fellowship, prayer, instruction and reflection, and recreation. It was a powerful experience for me as a new bishop to the diocese. Celebrating exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was especially powerful.


BISHOP’S TRAIL Men’s Canoe Trip & Pilgrimage

From August 10-13, I had the privilege of journeying part of the ‘Bishop’s Trail’ by canoe with several men from our diocese, including members of the Emmanuel community, and a Quebec priest and community member, Father Brice Petitjean. We accessed the area near Missinipe, where we launched our canoes. The weather began very hot, and then became cold and wet quickly. This meant that appetites soared! Thus, it was such a blessing to catch many pike! The days featured daily Mass and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as time for prayer and sharing. This of course was in addition to many hours paddling and portaging between lake systems.

The largest skillet in the world – very necessary when feeding 12 hungry men in the wilderness!!


Members from the parish community of St. Joseph’s, Saskatoon, gathered for supper following the Sunday evening Mass on September 2 at the rectory/pastoral center (above).

Getting ready on Saturday evening Sept. 8 for celebration of confirmation at Sacred Heart Parish, Denzil (above).


Last of confirmations for the year were celebrated in Denzil and Macklin.


Residents of St. Joseph’s care facility in Macklin (above).


The Diocese of Saskatoon has a very active Catholic Filipino community. The community sponsors several programs and events throughout the diocese, but especially through St. Patrick’s, St. Mary’s, and St. Paul’s parishes. Key activities are supported by Couples for Christ, Youth for Christ, and ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor) Ministries.

 Marriage renewal weekend at St. Mary’s, Saskatoon, with the Catholic Filipino community and Couples for Christ.


Rise Up Men’s Retreat, sponsored by Couples for Christ on Sept. 22 at St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral Parish, Saskatoon.


The fall season has been a time a renewed visits and celebrations at our various Catholic Schools throughout the Diocese. On Sept. 14 I had my first opportunity to visit the two St. Francis School sites.

Cree spiritual wisdom and teachings as seen in the hallway at St. Francis Cree School (above)


The summer season has been a time of activity, blessing, and renewal in the Diocese of Saskatoon. Now, ‘bring on the Fall season!!’

In Christ,       +Mark Hagemoen, Bishop of Saskatoon

Meeting and Settling into the Diocese of Saskatoon

By | Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog

My first spring season in the Saskatoon diocese has featured meeting with diocesan and community groups, visiting parishes and Catholic schools, and getting to know the great people of this amazing diocese. I continue to be amazed by peoples’ great faith and energy which is directed into so many activities of prayer, discipleship, and service.

The procession getting ready to celebrate at Holy Spirit Parish, Saskatoon.

Celebrating a Baptism with Fr. Marvin Lishchynsky and the Cote family at St. John Bosco Parish

“Well, I’ll try to get better at this!!”

“Well, I’ll try to get better at this!!”

Gathering for Children’s Liturgy of the Word at St. Theresa’s Parish in Asquith.

Gathering for Children’s Liturgy of the Word at St. Theresa’s Parish in Asquith.

Inspecting the Church at Tramping Lake with Fr. Greg

Inspecting St. Michael’s Church at Tramping Lake with Fr. Greg Roth.

Visit with Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark

On February 8 I was warmly welcomed by Mayor Clark at his Saskatoon City Hall office. I appreciated his knowledge of a great variety of issues and his hopes for the people of Saskatoon and the province. He has a heart for persons dealing with speciall challenges. He is also a humble servant leader.

Visits to our Catholic Schools

Grade 6 class at Mother Theresa Elementary School in Saskatoon.

Visit to the Grade 9 class at E.D. Feehan Catholic High School in Saskatoon.

St. Gerard’s Elementary School in Saskatoon.

‘Question & Answer’ time at the French High Schools’ Student Retreat at held at Sts-Martyrs- Canadiens parish in Saskatoon. 

Getting ready for Ash Wednesday Mass at Bethlehem Catholic High School in Saskatoon.

Presentation from St. Thomas More (STM) College’s student delegates to recent justice conference.

Children lead the choir at STM Sunday morning Mass.

Visiting with Students at St. Therese Institute in Bruno.

Posing after serious game of ‘Dodge Ball’ in Bruno.

Celebrating with the Vietnamese community Feb. 18 at St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Saskatoon.

Clergy Study Days 2018

This year’s Clergy Study Days featured Fr. Robert Christian, OP, who led the clergy of the Diocese through a theological and pastoral reflection on the Ministerial and Common Priesthood: the fullness and clergy and lay engagement in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.

Surprising news came to our diocese following the conclusion of our Study Days – our presenter, Fr. Christian, was named the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Congratulations and God’s blessings on you, Bishop Elect Christian.

Fr. Ken Beck addresses the clergy during the business portion of our gathering.

Celebration of First Communion and Confirmation at Davidson, with Fr. Godwin Aghedo, OP and the 3 Suderman brothers: Stan, Robert, and Aiden

Confirmation/ First Eucharist at Little Flower Parish in Leader with Pastor, Fr. Joseph Thazhathemuriyil, VC on May 5, 2018.

One of two large groups of candidates at St. Ann’s Parish in Saskatoon.

St Mary’s Parish in Wynard and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Wyshart with Fr. Augustine.

An intriguing poster about ‘healing & recovery’ drew my attention as I attended a meeting of STR8UP – a healing and recovery program for people drawn into gang life. Str8UP founder, Fr. André Poilièvre invited me to the group meeting.

The Pure Witness Ministries Team at St. Michael’s School doing a primary students retreat. The students loved the high energy and sincere faith sharing!!

The graduating class of St. Therese Institute, following the Mass and Commissioning celebration held on Saturday May 19 at St. Bruno’s Parish, with Fr. Pius Schroh.

On May 22 the St. Thomas More College community bid farewell to its President, Dr. Terrence Downey. Under Dr. Downey’s leadership, the College benefited directly, both academically and in terms of the physical expansion and upgrading of the college facility. He will be missed immensely! Here Dr Downey addresses College members and supporters after a many presentations from community members expressing thanks and appreciation for his generous leadership.

The spring season has been a very full time in the Diocese of Saskatoon. What a vibrant and faith-filled diocese!

In Christ, +Mark Hagemoen

From Mackenzie-Fort Smith to SASKATOON

By | Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog

Move & Installation

The journey from the Mackenzie-Fort Smith Diocese to the Saskatoon Diocese began with a phone call from His Excellency Luigi Bonazzi, while enroute to facilitate the Grouard-McLennen Clergy Retreat in Edmonton September 2017. Subsequently, the fall time featured pastoral visits to the various communities in the NWT in order to say goodbye, and to pray for the Holy Spirit’s continued work and blessing on the Diocese as it awaits the appointment of its new Bishop.

After knocking at the front entrance, Bishop Mark symbolically enters the Holy Family Cathedral through its main front doors at the beginning of the installation ceremony. (Photo above by Liam Richards, The Star Phoenix)

Archbishop Donald Bolan passes the crozier to Bishop Mark at the installation ceremony. The crozier is the symbol of the Bishop’s role and office as diocesan shepherd and pastor.

Bishop Mark greets family members at the Saskatoon Airport: his brother Dan, and nephew Matthew and niece Alana.

Celebration of “Vietnamese Martyrs” feast day at St. Peter The Apostle Parish in Saskatoon. The event featured the gathering of the Vietnamese clergy from both Saskatoon and Prince Albert Dioceses. The clergy also ‘showed their metal’ as they performed for the gathering.

Dynamic and Faith-filled Youth & Young Adult Education and Movements!!

The early days in the Diocese has featured attendance at the Face-to-Face Ministries  “United Conference” on November 18 at Holy Family Cathedral. On December 15, I was able to visit Saint Therese Institute on its last day before students departed for their Christmas break. Wow, what faith-filled, talented, and vibrant young people. I am excited for the present and future of the Diocese of Saskatoon!!!

When I served at Corpus Christi in Vancouver as its President a number of years ago, we dreamed of the kind of 2 year program that is well established at St. Peter’s College. Building on its affiliation with the University of Saskatchewan, the College has a full two-year program that fully tracks students into virtually any degree program in Sciences, Arts, and Business. The College features on-site facilities, including completely modern classrooms, full science labs, and recreational facilities that rival any small independent college in North America! Of course, the College has built its success on its strong relationship with Saint Peter’s Benedictine Monastery.

Abbot Peter Novecosky, OSB beside the printing press for the Prairie Messenger newspaper. The paper will print its last edition in April 2018. ST. Peter’s College will take over the facility for use within its 2 yearundergraduate program.

The Benedictine community welcomes Bishop Mark to Saskatoon with a special cake.

Youth & Young Adults serving the Saskatoon Community

The Greystone Singers, from the Department of Music at the University of Saskatechewan – perform before a packed audience at the Queen’s House Retreat Center Gala Event on November 21.

Students from the various Catholic schools throughout the Diocese perform at the 60th Anniversary of the Knights of Columbus sponsored “CAROL FEST” at TCU Place.  Indeed, the schools showed their stuff. The Knights themselves also had a singing group who concluded the presentation.

Staff at the Saskatoon Diocese Pastoral Center get into the Christmas spirit as they serve the mid-day meal at “Friendship Inn.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass at OLG Parish

On Sunday December 10 Bishops Hagemoen and Bayda, with Archbishop Murray Chatlain of Keewatin-Le Pas, celebrated with Pastor Graham Hill, CSsR and the parish community its Feast Day. Following the Mass, +Bayda gave a presentation on the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, which was followed by a ‘great feast.’

Celebration of Final Simbang Gabi Mass at St. Patrick’s Parish, Saskatoon before Christmas 2017

 I had the honour of celebrating with the Filipino community of Saskatoon the conclusion of its nine-day Christmas novena celebration of Simbang Gabi on Saturday December 23 at St. Patrick’s Parish. I quickly discovered that this is also a dynamic and enthusiastic community, that knows how to pray AND celebrate!!!

Congregation and Choir enthusiastically celbration together at St. Patrick’s Church


Father Gerard Cooper, Pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish –  and members of the Philipino community at the feast following the final Mass.

A wonderful gift of the Knights of Columbus of their famous outdoor “Holy Family Christmas scene” suddenly appeared on the front lawn of my house during the days before Christmas.

The Diocese of Saskatoon receives from and gives to the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith!!

On December 15, 2017, Pope Francis appointed the new Bishop for the Mackenzie-Fort Smith Diocese: REVEREND JON HANSEN, CSSR. This is very good news for the MFS Diocese. Bishop-elect Hansen had served the Arctic region of the Diocese for 2 years, after carefully discerning a call to Canada’s far north for several years previous. He had previously served as Pastor at ST. Mary’s Parish in Saskatoon – a parish pastored by the Redemptorists for many years, and featuring a special inner-city ministry.

Bishop Mark and then Fr. Jon Hansen, CSsR, during his time as Pastor of the Arctic region, celebrate Confirmations at Sacred Heart of Mary Parish in the Gwitchin community of Tsiigitchic in August 2016.

Bishop Mark at the December 2017 meeting of the Alberta-NWT Bishops Assembly. +Mark will serve as a member of the Assembly until Bishop Jon Hansen’s ordination and installation as the new Bishop of Mackenzie-Fort Smith Diocese in March 2018.

Wishing everyone in the Diocese of Saskatoon a blessed and Joy-fill Christmas and New Year’s time. Looking forward to the journey together!!

In Christ,    




+Mark Hagemoen