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Enriching faith

Horizons of Hope – palliative care toolkit

By Enriching faith

Horizons of Hope: A Toolkit about Palliative Care for Catholic Parishes is available in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon – the goal is to have all parishes use the four-module program.

Jacqueline Saretsky, coordinator of Hospital Chaplaincy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon says: “Horizons of Hope is an inspiring and engaging resource, with theological, ethical, medical, and practical perspectives presented together in an accessible way – on a subject that touches us all.”

For more information, contact Jacqueline Saretsky at jsaretsky@rcdos.ca or (306) 659-5839.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) launched the toolkit prepared for parishes in November 2021 to address questions surrounding palliative care, dying, death, suffering, accompaniment, and bereavement, noting: “Our faith in Jesus Christ has much to teach us about living and dying well.”

Designed to help participants learn more about how to respond to the Christian call to provide compassionate care for loved ones at the end of life, the program offers reflection and support to anyone seeking to learn more about palliative care and the Catholic Church’s teaching on end-of-life; caregivers; those who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness;  and family members who need resources and guidance as they journey with a loved one who is seriously or terminally ill; and parishioners and pastoral care teams.

“I am very excited about this resource for our parishes,” said Saretsky. “It is very well done, and it won’t overwhelm people, but will really encourage and inspire them.”

 

Four modules of the CCCB Horizons of Hope Toolkit for Catholic Parishes on Palliative Care. (Screen capture image from CCCB promo video)

The resource is presented over four learning modules. Themes include: understanding the human experience of dying and death, discerning and making decisions at the end of life, accompanying those on the journey and supporting and integrating within the wider community.

Each module features two videos. One short film tackles the topic from a medical perspective, while the other explores ethical and theological teachings.

Horizons of Hope video promotion:

Saskatchewan Catholic Bishops – letter about recent violence at James Smith First Nation

By Enriching faith

Saskatoon Bishop Mark Hagemoen joined with brother bishops Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina; Archbishop Murray Chatlain of Keewatin Le Pas; Bishop Stephen Hero of Prince Albert and Archbishop Lawrence Huculak, apostolic administrator of the Eparchy of Saskatoon to send a message of condolences, prayer and support to all those affected by the recent tragic events at James Smith First Nation and Weldon, SK.

Saskatchewan Catholic Bishops – “Joining in Prayer in this Time of Grief” (Click here for PDF)

“As the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan, we extend our deepest condolences to all those affected by the acts of violence that took place at James Smith Cree Nation and the village of Weldon on Sept. 4.

“We join all those in our province who are expressing support and solidarity for individuals, families and communities in the wake of this tragedy.

“Mourning those whose lives have been lost, those who have been injured and those whose peace and security has been shattered by these horrific events, we invite all to join in prayer, turning to God for comfort and healing.

“We also pray for all those across Saskatchewan who have been reaching out to provide assistance, including first responders, health care workers and everyone offering help and support to those affected by this tragedy.”

Sts. Benedict and Scholastica Formation Program accepting applications

By Enriching faith

Sts. Benedict & Scholastica Formation Program has been established for candidates who have made a decision to pursue an academic and vocational pathway that seeks ordained ministry, religious life, or professional lay ecclesial ministry.

The program consists of two fundamental components:

  1. Pursuit of a B.A. with a major in philosophy through St. Thomas More College (STM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) or another approved academic program.
  2. A program of personal and spiritual formation offered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon while living in community, known as the Sts. Benedict & Scholastica Formation Program. 

Deadline to apply for the next  Sts. Benedict & Scholastica Formation Program  (2022-2023) is Aug. 15, 2022. For more information contact Sr. Malou Tibayan at mtibayan@rcdos.ca

Letter from Bishop Mark Hagemoen: PDF

Information BROCHURE: PDF

Video intro by participant Jerome Montpetit:

Indigenous Pastoral and Lay Leader Ministry Education begins again in fall: registration is now open

By Enriching faith

The next round of four courses begins in September 2022, offered online from 4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoons

Introduction to First Nations Studies – Course #1 – Sept. 20 to Nov. 15, 2022 – REGISTRATION NOW OPEN (Click here)

Or find more information (Click here)

Reflections from program participants (Click here)

 

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, St. Thomas More College and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools present:

 

Indigenous Pastoral & Lay Leader Ministry Education is a continuing education program for Catholic Indigenous and non-Indigenous clergy and lay ministers, led by teams of Indigenous and non-Indigenous instructors, modelling respectful and reconciling relationships. The program is jointly sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, St. Thomas More College and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools.

The Indigenous Pastoral & Lay Leader Ministry Education 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 the relationships in the present day.
  • Provide mutual sharing and hope for a respectful and harmonious future as children of God, who together seek beauty and good of all.

Why take the program?

  • To participate in a concerted effort to answer the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action.
  • To learn about the history of the interaction between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples including the impact of Roman Catholic missionaries on Indigenous communities.
  • To discuss areas of culture convergence/divergence.
  • To further Catholic social and moral teachings.
  • ​To support the building of right relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Catholics in Western Canada.

Who should take this program?

  • Clergy
  • Lay ecclesial ministers
  • Catechists
  • Catholic school teachers
  • Youth
  • Family ministry leaders

Schedule and Registration:

NOTE:  Participants completing all four courses will earn an Indigenous Pastoral & Lay Leader Ministry Certificate.

The program sessions for each of the four courses will be offered online only from 4:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (SK time) on Tuesday afternoons. Participants will receive log-in information before the first session.

Each course is 18 hours including out-of-class time commitment to additional reading and course work.

Course 1 (Introduction to First Nations Studies)  – Sept. 20 to Nov. 15, 2022 –  REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

Course 2 (Indigenous-Settler Relationship) – Jan. 10 to March 7, 2023

Course 3 (Introduction to Contemporary Effects of Colonization)  – March 28 to May 23, 2023

Course 4 (Introduction to Reconciliation: The Church and Indigenous Peoples) – Sept. 26 to Nov. 21, 2023

 

The fee is $200 for each course.

Funding assistance and bursaries may be available: Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools staff can check with GSCS administration; in the diocese of Saskatoon bursaries for both clergy and laity are available – diocesan residents can apply for support through the diocesan Education of Laity Fund: LINK.

For further information, please contact programs@rcdos.ca or 306-659-5831.

Catholic Education Week May 22-29

By Enriching faith

“Rebuild, Restore, Renew Together” is the theme of Catholic Education Week 2022.

The five Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan May 4 released a message for the week to be marked in Saskatchewan from May 22 to 29, 2022, including the observation of World Catholic Education Day on Ascension Thursday, May 26.

“In joy and thanksgiving, we, the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan, invite you to join us in recognizing the gift and the impact of Catholic education,” states the message, signed by Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina, Archbishop Murray Chatlain of Keewtin-LePas, Bishop Stephen Hero of Prince Albert, Bishop Mark Hagemoen of Saskatoon, and Archbishop Lawrence Huculak, Apostolic Administrator for the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon.

Message from Saskatchewan Catholic bishops for Catholic Education Week – PDF

Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (GSCS) Catholic Education Week resources – PAGE

“We join together in giving thanks to God for the gift of Catholic education and its unique contribution to our province and our communities. We pray in thanksgiving for the continuing existence and protection of publicly-funded Catholic education in Saskatchewan, and for God’s abundant wisdom and blessings on educators, students and families as we continue to live the identity and mission of Catholic faith-based education in our province.” – Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan

Catholic Education Week Prayer

God of Grace,
Help us to rediscover how to be side by side
in rebuilding our communities of faith and learning.
Help us restore harmony and balance in our relationships,
and renew our desire to approach challenges confidently and with peaceful hearts.
May we always rejoice in recognizing the blessings our lives hold.
Amen. +

_____________________________

 

NOTE – Education Property Tax Declaration

To ensure the education portion of your municipal property taxes are supporting your Catholic school, please make sure your school support is shown as “Separate” on your annual property tax notice. If you are Catholic and your school support is not shown as “Separate”, please fill out a tax declaration form and submit it to the office of your municipality. Also, if you have recently moved, you will need to complete a declaration form for your new residence; declarations from previous properties do not carry over. You must reside within the boundaries of the school division in order to designate taxes to Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. Links to property tax declaration forms can be found on our website at https://www.gscs.ca/page/59/property-taxation-and-mill-rate, or you can contact your municipality directly.

Support GSCS Foundation:

Special collection for Education Week – Please support Catholic Education Week May 22-29 including a Special Collection in all Saskatoon parishes on Sunday, May 29 to fund full-day kindergarten in community schools. Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Foundation has proudly partnered with the Saskatoon diocese and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools to request your on-going prayers and generous donations, ensuring all children are successful in those crucial early years, while celebrating the unique identity and distinctive contributions of Catholic Education in our lives. Thank you for your support, now and throughout the year. For more information and to donate, please go to: https://foundation.gscs.ca/DONATE/

Outdoor Way of the Cross

By Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog, Enriching faith

Three young adults enacted the scenes of Christ’s passion from the traditional Stations of the Cross prayer in a Good Friday outdoor service under the large cross placed on the grounds of the Cathedral of the Holy Family, led by Bishop Mark Hagemoen.

Video live-stream archive of Outdoor Stations of the Cross:

Please note – due to technical difficulties, the First Station is missed on the video:

Related: “Crucifix raised on cathedral grounds during Holy Week”

Related: Easter message from Bishop Mark Hagemoen

Related: Easter weekend services at city of Saskatoon Parishes

 

 

Diocese joins in prayer for Indigenous delegation meeting with Pope Francis – Holy Father apologizes for Church’s role

By Enriching faith

Indigenous Peoples and the Church: Walking Together Toward Healing & Reconciliation

Pope Francis meets with with Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers, abuse survivors and youth from Canada, along with representatives of Canada’s Catholic bishops in the Vatican’s Clementine Hall April 1, 2022. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

We pray in thanksgiving for the meeting of the delegation of Indigenous representatives with Pope Francis March 28 to April 1, 2022 in Rome.

During the final audience, April 1, 2022, the Holy Father apologized for the Church’s role in harming Indigenous peoples and promised to visit CanadaLINK to Article

“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.” – Pope Francis

Following ongoing dialogue with the Assembly of First Nations, Métis, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and other Indigenous partners, this group of residential school survivors, Elders, knowledge keepers and young people shared their experiences directly with the Holy Father. The delegation, organized by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, represents a significant moment in the ongoing journey of healing and reconciliation while also serving as an important foundation for the future visit of the Holy Father to Canada.

Text of Holy Father’s message at final audience with delegations April 1 – LINK

Letter from Bishop Mark Hagemoen on the occasion of the Holy Father’s apology – LINK

Local prayers and initiatives:

An opening Mass led by Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Saskatoon, was held at Queen’s House March 27: LINK to article

Prayers continued March 28 during a diocesan Day of Prayer for the Indigenous delegation meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican March 28-April 1.

Letter from Bishop Mark Hagemoen calling for a Day of Prayer for Indigenous Delegation – LINK to PDF

Drop-In Vigil and Personal Prayer at Queen’s House:

  • Tuesday March 29, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday March 30, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday March 31, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday April 1, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. (Closing Prayer)

.

Find more information on the Canadian Catholic Bishops’ website about the March 28-April 1 meeting of Indigenous leaders, elders and Residential School Survivors with Pope Francis in Rome, a time of listening and sharing in preparaton for the Pope’s upcoming pilgrimage to Canada in response to the TRC Calls to Action:  Link to CCCB site

Prayer resources from the national Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle: Link to resources

Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle is a Catholic coalition of Indigenous people, bishops, clergy, lay movements and institutes of consecrated life, engaged in renewing and fostering relationships between the Catholic Church and Indigenous Peoples in Canada: ourladyofguadalupecircle.ca

O Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Guadalupe
Intercede for us with your Son

That we who live in this land,

Indigenous and non-Indigenous together

may experience healing and

reconciliation,

on a renewed journey for justice

and peace for our children.

Mother of the Church, pray for us.

 

 

Prayers for peace in Ukraine – Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to Mary on March 25

By Enriching faith

Bishop Mark Hagemoen is calling for prayers for peace, joining others around the globe praying in unity with Pope Francis who intends to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Blessed Virgin Mary on Friday, March 25, 2022, the Feast of the Assumption.

Bishop Hagemoen: Diocese to unite in prayer as Pope Francis consecrates Russia and Ukraine to Immaculate Heart of Mary – LETTER

A consecration ceremony will be held in Saskatoon at the 12:15 p.m. Mass Friday, March 25 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family, 123 Nelson Road, and live-streamed at saskatoonmass.com.

Later that evening, Mary’s accompaniment of Jesus on the way to the cross will be the focus of prayers during Stations of the Cross, 7 p.m. March 25, also at the Cathedral of the Holy Family.

“Also, as announced today by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), all our parishes and faithful of the diocese are invited to join in the Novena Prayer for Peace, as developed by Ukrainian Catholic leaders, commencing today, March 17, and concluding on Friday, March 25, 2022, the day of the consecration by Pope Francis,” said Bishop Mark Hagemoen in his letter to the diocese.

“I invite all our parishes to unite in prayer at this time for the intention of the peace for Ukraine, Russia, and all of the world at this extraordinary time of needed grace and blessing.”

CCCB announces Novena from March 17-25:

“In response to Pope Francis’ decision to consecrate both Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Ukrainian Catholic leaders will prepare beforehand with a novena that will start on 17 March 2022. They expressed the hope that all Catholic faithful from around the world will join them. In view of this appeal, the Catholic Bishops of Canada, united with the Holy Father, invite the faithful and all people of good will to participate in the novena March 17 – March 25.” stated the CCCB’s March 17, in a message that included  the following prayer:

God of реасе and justice,
We pray for the реорlе of Ukraine today.
We pray for реaсе and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for аll those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or реасе,
for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions.
Above аll, we pray for аll your precious children, at-risk and in fear,
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Реасе.
Amen.

Related links:

Help for Ukraine:

Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) – The Ukrainian bishops of Canada are working together with their churches to join CNEWA’s campaign to provide humanitarian relief in Ukraine.

Help the people survive:  Click here to DONATE

CCCB Statement on the invasion of Ukraine

[Ottawa – CCCB] – The Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops (CCCB) executive committee released a statement Feb. 24, 2022, condemning the escalation of tensions and violence in Ukraine, marked by Russia’s invasion, militarization and bombing in various Ukrainian cities.

“In solidarity with the Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, in unison with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with the people of Ukraine as well as with Canadians of Ukrainian origin and descent, we encourage the faithful and all people of good will to pray for the imminent restoration of peace, dialogue, and human fraternity,” urges the CCCB statement.

“Conscious of the regrettable lessons about violence which we have all learned throughout human history, we implore all involved to pursue non-violent means to resolve disputes and disagreements. The use of military force does not favour dialogue and peace; rather, it endangers innocent human life, the dignity of the human person and the security and safety of all the people caught up in this conflict.”

The CCCB statement concludes: “Jesus came to bring the gift of peace, and it is through Him that new pathways of dialogue can be opened, even when all other avenues appear closed. With Pope Francis, who has entrusted this situation to the intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, we ask Our Lady, through her powerful intercession, to open hearts so that anger, resentment, and division may start to be healed and that any further escalation of unnecessary violence may be avoided.”

-30-

 

CCCB announces new Indigenous Reconciliation Fund

By Enriching faith

Catholic TRC Healing Response: CLICK HERE for info or to donate

Feb. 2, 2022 – UPDATE – In a message to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, Bishop Mark Hagemoen has announced the diocesan five-year goal of $1.25 million to support healing and reconciliation initiatives for residential school survivors and their communities. Funds raised in our diocese will be part of a national $30-million fund-raising pledge announced by the Catholic bishops of Canada, following their apology to the Indigenous Peoples of this land. – PDF of Feb. 2 letter from Bishop Hagemoen

Feb. 2 , 2022 – UPDATE – The Archdiocese of Regina Truth and Reconciliation Committee announced more details about the  creation and support of reconciliation initiatives, including announcement of a $2-million fund-raising goal, which is well on its way to being met. – PDF of message from Truth and Reconciliation Committee co-chairs Archbishop Don Bolen and Susan Beaudin

Jan. 28, 2022:  Canada’s Catholic Bishops have agreed to establish a new registered charity to support and advance healing and reconciliation initiatives

News release from CCCB Communications with additional files from Catholic Saskatoon News

[OTTAWA – January 28, 2022] – Canada’s Catholic Bishops have agreed to establish a new registered charity to support and advance healing and reconciliation initiatives.

The charity will manage the newly-established Indigenous Reconciliation Fund, which will accept contributions from 73 dioceses across Canada in order to fulfill the $30-million voluntary financial commitment made by Canada’s Catholic bishops in September to support healing and reconciliation initiatives for residential school survivors and their communities.

“The bishops of Canada are fully committed to addressing the historical and ongoing trauma caused by the residential school system,” said Bishop Raymond Poisson, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). “In moving forward with our collective financial commitment, we will continue to be guided by the experience and wisdom of Indigenous peoples across the country.”

CCCB News Release (click here for PDF) – English / French

The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund will be managed with financial measures in place to ensure transparency and good governance. Board directors and members of the corporation will collectively bring a strong financial acumen and deep commitment to the healing and reconciliation journey.

The directors of the board include:

  • Chief Wilton Littlechild, Ph.D, a Cree chief, residential school survivor, and lawyer who served as a Commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Chief Littlechild has been a Member of Parliament, Vice-President of the Indigenous Parliament of the Americas, North American Representative to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and a Chairperson for the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Commission on First Nations and Métis Peoples and Justice Reform.
  • Giselle Marion, who holds a law degree from the University of British Columbia and was called to the Bar in the Northwest Territories in 2008. During her articles Ms. Marion worked for the Department of Justice. She is a Tłı̨ chǫ Citizen and was born and raised in Behchokǫ̀, NT. She is the Director of Client Services with the Tłı̨chǫ Government out of the Behchokǫ̀ office.
  • Rosella Kinoshameg, an Odawa/Ojibway woman from the Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation Territory. She is a Registered Nurse with over 50 years of nursing experience, mostly working with First Nations communities doing community health, maternal child health, immunizations, home and community Care. She was one of the original members of the CCCB’s Indigenous Council and continues to serve as a member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Circle.

The members of the corporation include:

  • Natale Gallo, a former Supreme Director of the Knights of Columbus, where he represented Canada on the International Board of Directors.
  • Claude Bédard, National President of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Canada.
  • Barbara Dowding, former National President of the Catholic Women’s League of Canada.

The Indigenous Reconciliation Fund will publish annual reports and will be subject to an audit by an independent accounting firm each year.

Any administrative costs will be on top of the $30 million being raised and will not be deducted from this principal amount.

Funding priorities

While specific disbursement guidelines will be informed by additional input from Indigenous partners, the intention is to contribute funds to the following priorities:

  • Healing and reconciliation for communities and families;
  • Culture and language revitalization;
  • Education and community building; and
  • Dialogues for promoting indigenous spirituality and culture.

Regional and/or diocesan granting committees will be established across the country to identify projects that further the fund’s priorities, review applications and request funds to support such projects. These committees will include Indigenous and Catholic membership and it is recommended that they be chaired by local Indigenous partners.

The establishment of the new national framework builds on existing voluntary fundraising efforts already underway by local Catholic entities, including the Archdioceses of Winnipeg and St. Boniface, the Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan, and the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

Diocese of Saskatoon efforts

In the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, where Catholic TRC Healing Response fund-raising initiated by the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan was launched in July 2021, Bishop Mark Hagemoen welcomed the news from the CCCB about the structure being set in place for the $30-million national fund-raising pledge.

“I am grateful and excited to hear the news from the CCCB regarding the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund and the plan to implement diocesan and/or regional granting committees,” Hagemoen said Jan. 28.

“The Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan are meeting, and I look forward to making further information available about our own diocesan process and goal early next week,” he added.

“I am grateful to all those who have already supported this important initiative with donations and prayers. As Catholics, and as brothers and sisters of a much larger human community – we know that we must all take responsibility for amends and healing for past sins. We now enter this new time of opportunity and responsibility,” Hagemoen said.

Related: Saskatchewan bishops launch Catholic TRC Healing Response (LINK)

Previous fund-raising tied to Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement

In its media statement about the fund-raising structure for the $30-million campaign, the Catholic bishops of Canada state that they recognize that there has been considerable disappointment with a previous Catholic fundraising campaign tied to the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement (IRSSA). “While the CCCB was not party to the agreement, the bishops have recognized the shortcomings of that campaign and learned critically important lessons to ensure that the Indigenous Reconciliation Fund is fully funded and well managed with appropriate oversight,” states the release.

Additional information on the “best efforts” campaign led by the Catholic Entities Party to the Indian Residential School Settlement can be found at: https://www.cccb.ca/indigenous-peoples/indian-residential-schools-and-trc/.

The CCCB will continue to provide regular public updates on this work, including on the appointment of directors, as part of the ongoing journey towards healing and reconciliation.

-30-

About the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is the national assembly of the Bishops of Canada. It was founded in 1943 and officially recognized by the Holy See in 1948.

 

UPDATE from Bishop Hagemoen about Catholic TRC Healing Response

By Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog, Enriching faith

Bishop Mark Hagemoen provided the diocese with an update Dec, 29 about fund-raising to support healing and reconciliation for residential school survivors, their families and communities.

Bishop Hagemoen’s Dec. 29 Letter – Link to PDF

APPEAL for the support of TRC Healing Response:  Residential School Survivors and their Families and Communities 

Dear Clergy, Religious, Lay Faithful – Sisters and Brothers of the Diocese of Saskatoon:

I wish to update you regarding the status of our efforts here in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon to raise and assign $30 million collectively in support of regionally-based Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Healing Response projects.  These efforts are in conjunction with the commitment by dioceses and eparchies throughout Canada.

Our diocese looks forward to a larger announcement by the Catholic Bishops of Canada regarding the structure for collecting funds and discerning projects. As previously indicated, projects will be allocated to localand national initiatives responding to the TRC’s Calls to Action, as guided by Indigenous representatives ofcommunities and organizations (cf. Calls to Action #58-61, #73-76; #82). This includes consultation with Indigenous organizations that is underway here in Saskatchewan.

In order to most appropriately allocate these funds, we plan to engage Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners in establishing a “discernment circle” and eventual board to discern, allocate, and distribute funds. At this point it is envisaged that this process would be engaged over a multi-year time-frame, as funds are raised and available.

As previously outlined, the general funding priorities are as follows:

  • Healing and reconciliation
  • Cemeteries on the sites of former residential schools
  • Education and cultural support

The Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan announced their province-wide fund-raising effort on July 13, 2021. A Canada-wide campaign by all dioceses across the country was subsequently announced by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) in late September, with the aim that details regarding raising and disbursing funds would be complete by late November. The CCCB  has now indicated that establishing the framework for the national diocese-by-diocese effort has turned out to be more complicated than anticipated – as many issues must be clearly addressed, including: engaging local Indigenous partners; decision-making; transparency and accountability with funds raised; and assignment of funds to projects. (Find a news article at: Catholic Saskatoon News LINK)

As part of the province-wide appeal, I affirm our own ongoing efforts here in the diocese of Saskatoon tofully participate in this collective effort. The Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan have already launched this appeal online with the support of the Diocese of Saskatoon Catholic Foundation. Further details and information about the Catholic TRC Healing Response can be found on the Foundation website at: dscf.ca/catholic-trc-healing-response. I am grateful to all those who have already supported this important initiative with donations and prayers. For those of you awaiting more details, be assured that our diocese is fully committed to providing information and to further promoting the campaign in the days and weeks ahead. It is important that this work be done with due diligence and care – both in our own diocese and in the five-year national campaign.

As Catholics, and as brothers and sisters of a much larger human community – we know that we must all take responsibility for amends and healing for past sins. We now enter this new time of opportunity and responsibility. I am aware that there is much excitement and anticipation about moving forward with this Catholic TRC Healing Response initiative, and especially with engaging Indigenous partners to carry out important helpful projects. I am also hearing from many Indigenous and non-Indigenous people a renewed sense of excitement about facilitating healing, and relationship-building as a response to the legacy of the residential school history, and to fulfill the vision given to us by God our Creator for “right relationship” – with God, other people, and all Creation. Let us continue to journey together on a path of reconciliation and healing, actively building “right relationship” through dialogue, awareness and action.

Yours in Christ,

Bishop Mark Hagemoen

 

 

Rooted in Christ