Enriching faith

Update from the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan about fund-raising for healing and reconciliation

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In a message to Catholics and Indigenous Peoples of the province Sept. 28, the five Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan provided additional information about fund-raising for the provincial Catholic TRC Healing Response — which will now be part of a national $30-million pledge announced this week by the Catholic bishops of Canada.

In the days ahead, each diocese/eparchy will provide more information on how this appeal will be approached in their particular region, given their particular circumstances and abilities — watch for more information from Bishop Mark Hagemoen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.

Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan Sept. 28 provincial message: PDF

Bishop Mark Hagemoen Oct. 12 diocesan message: PDF


“To all Catholics of Saskatchewan and the Indigenous Peoples of this land:

Warm greetings. As the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan, we begin by joining with Bishops from across the country in the September 24, 2021 statement which offered an unequivocal apology to the Indigenous Peoples of this land.

Two months ago, as we began a new Truth and Reconciliation Healing Response Appeal, we indicated that we would provide more information in September. As an expression of our commitment to fostering healing relationships with Indigenous peoples, the Appeal offers a way to respond to current needs, provide ongoing support for residential school survivors and their communities, and engage more deeply in our own ongoing commitment and response to the truth and reconciliation process.

Our financial commitments, which will form a part of the $30 million financial commitment of the Catholic Bishops of Canada, will focus on three areas: healing and reconciliation, cemeteries on the sites of former residential schools, and education and cultural support. Together, we hold at the heart of all of our steps the TRC Call to Action #61, which has been an ongoing guiding principle for all of us on this path, as it calls upon churches to establish funding for projects related to healing, culture and language revitalization, education and relationship-building. Our Catholic TRC Healing Response is a continuation of efforts and initiatives over the past few decades in journeying with Indigenous communities, listening to the voices of survivors, and those who have been impacted by the legacy of residential schools and the effects of colonization. We recognize that consultation and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples are vital, and we are committed to continuing these essential dialogues.

Catholics in Saskatchewan can anticipate statements in the near future from each diocese and eparchy on how this appeal will be approached in their particular region, given their particular circumstances and abilities. See our eparchial/diocesan statements on the following websites:,,,,

May we continue to learn to walk together and to dwell peacefully on this land that the Creator has given us, in the words of treaties signed long ago, for ‘as long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and waters flow.’

Sincerely yours in a spirit of humility and respect,

Most Rev. Donald Bolen, Archbishop of Regina

Most Rev. Bryan Bayda, Ukrainian Eparchial Bishop of Saskatoon

Most Rev. Murray Chatlain, Archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas

Most Rev. Mark Hagemoen, Bishop of Saskatoon

Most Rev. Stephen Hero, Bishop of Prince Albert”

 National Day for Reconciliation and Healing

Get involved: LINK

Related: Catholic bishops of Canada announce $30-million pledge to support healing and reconciliation initiatives

Related: Canadian Catholic bishops: apology to Indigenous Peoples


Saskatchewan bishops launch “Catholic TRC Healing Response” fund-raising appeal

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The five Catholic bishops of Saskatchewan July 13 released more details about a planned fund-raising appeal entitled “Catholic TRC healing response.”

 Letter from Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan – PDF (English) / PDF (French)

To donate immediately or make a long-term pledge, see the online giving options at:

The Sasktchewan bishops said that the appeal’s goal is “to support Residential School survivors and their communities and to engage more deeply in our own ongoing commitment and response to the Truth and Reconciliation process” with funds going to the priorities of healing and reconciliation; cemeteries on the sites of former residential schools; and education and cultural support.

“We are collaborating with potential participants, and consulting with Indigenous dialogue partners, including Survivors, Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Chiefs, and other community members. Out of these conversations, each diocese and eparchy will discern and communicate separately how they will proceed with the Appeal in their respective dioceses and communities,” said the letter, signed by Archbishop Donald Bolen of the Archdiocese of Regina, Bishop Bryan Bayda of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon, Archbishop Murray Chatlain of the Archdiocese of Keewatin-Le Pas, Bishop Mark Hagemoen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, and Bishop Stephen Hero of the Diocese of Prince Albert.

Video message from Archbishop Donald Bolen: “Launching appeal for survivors and their communities” – 


Bishop Hagemoen issues new directives in light of July 11 lifting of public health restrictions

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Bishop Mark Hagemoen released updated directives to the diocese July 9, for celebration of sacraments and for public worship in Roman Catholic churches in the diocese after the lifting of public health restrictions by the government of Saskatchewan on July 11.

Find all COVID-19 updates and resources – LINK

Bishop’s letter:

July 9, 2021:


Dear Pastors, Parishes, Parish Life Directors, and Faithful of the Diocese of Saskatoon:

I am pleased to provide this update to the diocese related to the Government of Saskatchewan’s plan to remove all Public Health Orders in place due to the Covid19 pandemic, after a very long and challenging time.

The general dispensation to the faithful from the obligation to attend Mass continues to remain in effect. However, those who are not elderly or health compromised are strongly encouraged to make the Sunday and holy days of obligation.

Profound gratitude is again expressed to all who persevered in faith and charity during these times of challenge offering the Sacraments, ministry, and support in the many creative ways you have reached out to your people.

Effective July 11, 2021, please note the following:

  1. Parishes will no longer have a restriction on capacity or be obliged to have parishioners sign up or register and contact tracing is not required.
  2. Masks are not required, with the exception of Paragraph 14 below for the distribution of Communion. Individuals may choose to wear a mask at their own discretion and in consideration of others.
  3. Baptisms can resume as they were pre-pandemic. Clergy may choose to mask and are asked to respect the wishes of the parents with regard to masking for baptisms.
  4. The delegation to all pastors/administrators to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for those baptized Catholic as infants or children whose Confirmation was postponed due to the pandemic has ended.
  5. Confessionals may again be used and alternative locations or arrangements may continue.
  6. Holy water fonts may again be filled.
  7. Hand sanitizer and/or alternate sanitizing options should be available throughout the church.
  8. Appropriate cleaning of high use areas within the church is still encouraged before and after each service.
  1. All hymnals and missalettes may be returned to the pews. Single-use materials can still be considered.
  2. Families are not required to maintain distance between their family and other families or individuals throughout the celebration of Mass.
  3. The procession at the Preparation of the Gifts may resume. Pastors may choose to have collection baskets (or any other materials) stationary and not to be passed from one family to another, however, the use or passing of the offertory basket is not prohibited.
  4. The Sign of Peace should continue to be omitted or done with a simple gesture, such as a reverent bow to avoid physical contact.
  5. Mass may be celebrated with the participation of altar servers.
  6. The priest, and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, must wear a mask and must sanitize his hands immediately before and after distributing Communion. Physical contact should be avoided when placing the host in the communicant’s hands. Sanitize intermittently as necessary.
  7. Distribution of the Holy Communion (Blood of Christ) from the chalice should continue to be omitted to the assembly. For those who are gluten intolerant, special arrangements are to be made with the pastor.
  8. Those who choose to receive on the tongue should continue to be the last to receive.
  9. Celebrations and ancillary events may resume as usual and food and drink may be served.
  10. The standard pre‐pandemic fire, health, privacy, and labour codes remain in effect.

Again, I thank pastors, parish communities and the faithful of the Diocese of Saskatoon for their patience and consideration throughout this time and for their support as we come out of the pandemic and move towards regular worship and parish activities.

Sincerely in Christ.

Most Reverend Mark A. Hagemoen

Bishop announces further pastoral appointments and clergy updates

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Bishop Mark Hagemoen June 25 announced further pastoral appointments and clergy updates, with most changes effective July 31, 2021.

“Please join us in welcoming the new priests to our diocese, continue to pray for those in transition, and for the international clergy as we await their arrival,” Bishop Hagemoen said in his announcement to the diocese.

The June 25 updates follows an earlier announcement about clergy appointments released May 21.

PDF – Bishop Hagemoen June 25 announcement – a second round of clergy appointments and updates

PDF – Bishop’s May 21 announcementfirst round of clergy appointments and updates


Fr. Prosper Abotsi

Fr. Prosper Abotsi is appointed Pastor at St. Anthony Parish, Lake Lenore; St. Ann Parish, Annaheim; and St Gregory Parish, St. Gregor. Fr. Abotsi has been serving as the Parochial Administrator of this cluster of parishes since January 2021, and has been serving as the Associate Pastor at St. Augustine, Humboldt since 2019.


Fr. Benjamin Ezekwudo

Fr. Benjamin Ezekwudo, is appointed Pastor at St. Michael Parish, Cudworth; Canadian Martyrs Parish, Middle Lake; and St. Benedict Parish, St. Benedict. SK. Fr. Ezekwudo is from the Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria, where he has worked in high-school administration and has been serving as a priest for 11 years. He is expected to arrive in the diocese and begin his appointment in August.

Fr. Daniel Louh, SMA

Fr. Daniel Louh, SMA, is appointed Pastor at Sts-Martyrs-Canadiens (La paroisse des Sts-Martyrs-Canadiens) in Saskatoon effective July 31; and Associate Pastor at St. Mary’s Parish, Saskatoon, effective Dec. 4, 2021, Fr. Louh will be assisting at St. Paul Co-Cathedral until December. He arrived in the diocese on May 9, 2021, and is from the Society of African Missions after serving as Pastor in several parishes and African countries of Niger, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Liberia.

Fr. Jean Baptist Murhumwa

Fr. Jean Baptiste Murhumwa, is appointed Pastor at Sts. Donatien et Rogatien, Prud’homme; St. Denis, St. Denis; and St. Philippe Neri, Vonda. Fr. Murhumwa will also provide sacramental ministry to St. Thomas More College. Fr. Murhumwa has served as Pastor of Sts. Martyrs- Canadiens, Saskatoon, since his arrival in the diocese in 2015.


Fr. Andrew Wychucki

Fr. Andrew Wychucki, who is returning from a one-year sabbatical, is appointed Pastor at St. Aloysius, Allan; St. Alphonse, Viscount; and St. Mary, Colonsay. Fr. Wychucki will also provide ministry to the prisons.


Fr. John Ezeoruonye

Fr. John Ezeoruonye is appointed Associate Pastor at St. Augustine Parish, Humboldt. Fr. Ezeoruonye is from the Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria, and has served as a priest for 19 years. He is expected to arrive in August.

Fr. Michael Magaji

Fr. Michael Magaji is appointed Associate Pastor at the Cathedral of the Holy Family, Saskatoon, effective Dec. 4, 2021, or later date of arrival. Fr. Magaji is from the Diocese of Kafanchan, Nigeria where he has served as a priest for 19 years in various assignments including Episcopal Vicar.


Fr. Alfredo Medina Ramos, CSsR

Fr. Alfredo Medina Ramos, CSsR, is appointed Associate Pastor at St. Mary Parish, Saskatoon upon arrival (anticipated in July) until December, 2021. Fr. Alfredo was ordained to the priesthood May 27, 2021, in Mexico, and exercised diaconal ministry at St. Mary Parish this past year.


Fr. Ken Beck

Fr. Ken Beck – Delegate for Retired Clergy


Fr. Gerard Cooper

Fr. Gerard Cooper – Delegate for Finance


Fr. Peter Ebidero

Fr. Peter Ebidero – Delegate for Fidei Donum  Priests


Fr. Joseph Salihu

Fr. Joseph Salihu – Delegate for Ecumenism and Interfaith


Fr. Binu Rathappillil, VC

Fr. Binu Rathappillil, VC – Delegate for Clergy Formation


Fr. Stefano Penna

Fr. Stefano Penna –

Delegate for GSCS Board, Teacher and Staff Support



Fr. Matthew Ramsay

Fr. Matthew Ramsay –

Delegate for GSCS Religious Curriculum and Spiritual Direction Support



Fr Martin Augustin (Manickanamparambil) SDB

Fr. Martin Augustin, SDB (Manickanamparambil) was appointed by his bishop to the Christ the King Syro-Malabar Catholic Community as of May 1, 2021, in place of Fr. Antony Plogen who was given a new assignment in London, Ontario. The Syro- Malabar Community worships out of St. Michael Parish, Saskatoon.


Message from Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan about discovery of graves at Cowessess First Nation

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In a letter addressed to “First Nations, Métis, Inuit communities; families and citizens” the five bishops of the Catholic dioceses in Saskatchewan June 24 responded to news of the discovery of 751 unmarked graves at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School at Cowesses First Nation.

Letter from the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan – PDF

Dear First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities; Families and Citizens:

With the news this morning of the location of 751 unmarked graves at the former Marieval Indian Residential School at Cowesses First Nation, the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan acknowledge that this experience is heartbreaking and devastating for all – and especially residential school survivors, their families and communities. We offer our condolences but we know that this is not enough and our words must move to concrete action.

We are here to listen to you as you communicate those ways we can walk with you in addressing the Calls to Action, rebuilding relations, addressing issues of justice, and working towards a more just society.

The discoveries of gravesites near former residential schools opens deep wounds and brings back terrible memories which re-traumatize. While we cannot imagine how difficult the process must be for survivors, intergenerational survivors and their communities, we honour and support the ongoing investigation of such grave-sites.

In the press conference this morning, Chief Cadmus Delorme stated, “the truth is there,” at the cemetery. We need to hear that truth. We have heard you telling us that healing and reconciliation can only come after the hard work of listening to the truth, a spirit of repentance, concrete acts of justice, and working with you to bring transformation and healing. Chief Delorme went on to say: “Everybody has to reset… Investment in healing from the core outwards has to happen. Once the truth has been given and told and accepted, then reconciliation will prevail.”

We are moved by and strongly support this vision, and commit ourselves to walk in solidarity with you, and to stand by you.

May the Creator guide us as we listen to and receive the truth, that we might together take the necessary steps.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Donald Bolen, Archbishop of Regina

Most Rev. Bryan Bayda, Ukrainian Eparchial Bishop of Saskatoon

Most Rev. Murray Chatlain, Archbishop of Keewatin-Le Pas

Most Rev. Mark Hagemoen, Bishop of Saskatoon

Most Rev. Stephen Hero, Bishop of Prince Albert

Prayer for National Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

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June 21 – Indigenous Peoples Day

O God, Creator and Father of all, with humility we your children acknowledge the relationship of all living things. For this we thank you, we praise you and we worship you.

We call on you, Great Mystery, the Word made Flesh. – our teacher, prophet and brother – to open our hearts to all our brothers and sisters, and with them to grow in the wisdom, honesty, courage and respectfulness shown in the Sacred Teachings.

Give us the vision and honesty to recognize that the we are all brothers and sisters of one human family, created and sustained by the One Creator.

As we deal with many challenges, may we never give way to fear and anger, which can be the source of division and threat amongst peoples.

We look to how God always gives to us a remedy for sins of prejudice and intolerance.

We see in God the Creator of all things, One who always provides and is generous – even given the abuses we have heaped on one another and on the earth.

We see in the Son, Jesus Christ – the innocent Victim who pours His life blood out from the Cross for all peoples.

We see how the Holy Spirit is God’s gift, alive in our world today – inspiring vision and hope that we can have the same mind and heart of God!

O Creator, show us the way to healing, forgiveness and reconciliation, and a renewed fellowship.



Bishop Hagemoen’s message for Indigenous Peoples Day: LINK

Diocese launches Youth and Young Adult Ministry with a renewed focus on discipleship and accompaniment

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After some two years of discernment, prayer and planning, a new Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office has been launched in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, with a renewed focus on discipleship and accompaniment.


Visit the website:

Read the news article: LINK

Bishop’s letter to the diocese: LINK


The June 8 launch included the introduction of “Project Timothy” a leadership development program led by diocesan Evangelization and Mission Leader John Hickey and Sr. Marta Piano of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity. The two leaders will recruit, mentor and accompany young adults who have a desire to share their faith and reach out to other youth and young adults.

Other priorities for diocesan Youth and Young Adult Ministry have also been established: providing support and trainingfor youth ministry in parishes across the diocese, and offering diocesan events “as a place of encounter” for youth and young adults.

“The focus is less on programming and more on discipleship and accompaniment,” describes Bishop Mark Hagemoen.

“The focus of Project Timothy is calling and supporting youth as ‘disciples’ through what Pope Francis calls ‘the art of accompaniment,’” the bishop writes in a June 8 letter to the diocese about the new direction for Youth and Young Adult Ministry in the diocese. “

“It has been a slow process, but we are excited to announce this shift in the way will be delivering Youth and Young Adult Ministry in the diocese of Saskatoon,” says Marilyn Jackson, diocesan Director of Pastoral Services. “We sure did not anticipate it would take two years.”

COVID-19 caused delays, she says, but adds that these delays “did not stop the Holy Spirit from moving gently through our time of discernment.… God revealed his plan, one piece at a time.”

The two-year discernment process started with the establishment of a task force to identify features and gaps in youth ministry. “It was a group of adults, young adults, single, married, teachers, ministry leaders and clergy. The data we collected was then shared with a consultant, who presented us with a model of making missionary disciples,” says Jackson.

“Our diocese has been ready to launch our youth ministry strategy for awhile,” notes Bishop Mark Hagemoen in a video released June 8 (above).


Sts. Benedict & Scholastica Formation Program

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In partnership with St. Thomas More College, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has launched a new program that combines academic and spiritual formation.

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. The completion of a B.A. with a major in philosophy (either as a 3-year or a 4-year degree)  through the philosophy program offered by St. Thomas More College (STM) at the University of Saskatchewan (USask).
  2. A program of personal and spiritual formation offered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon: the Sts. Benedict & Scholastica Formation Program. 

Deadline to apply for the  Sts. Benedict & Scholastica Formation Program is Aug. 6, 2021. For more information contact Sr. Malou Tibayan at

Letter from Bishop Mark Hagemoen: PDF

Video intro by participant Jerome Montpetit:

Support for Catholic Education – video and mailout

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A recent video and mail-out is highlighting the important work of Catholic education in nurturing faith, and requesting support for the ongoing work of GSCS Foundation. The video features Bishop Mark Hagemoen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, Bishop Bryan Bayda of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon, Diane Boyko and Greg Chatlain of Greater Saskatoon Schools, and Laurie Karwacki of GSCS Foundation.

“Catholic education is built on our commitment to that right of parents and relationship with God, and that strives for excellence in all things – academics, virtuous living, extra-curricular activities, service to others. These are the hallmarks and foundation of Catholic education,” describe Bishop Hagemoen and Bishop Bayda in the recently-released materials.

Bishop Hagemoen adds: “In all of this, our own Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, supported by their Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Foundation, need your support in order to move forward with this mission.”

“I ask you to please consider adding your gift to these efforts. Your contribution is a way to give flesh to your love and concern for God’s children,” says Bishop Hagemoen.

To learn more about the work of GSCS Foundation to support Catholic education, or to make a gift online, see the website: LINK


Catholic Education – Message from the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan

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A message from the Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan for Catholic Education Week: Download the PDF.

Catholic Schools throughout Saskatchewan will celebrate Catholic Education Week and the significant contribution of Catholic Education in our province during Catholic Education Week May 9-16.

The theme for this year’s Catholic Education Week is “Catholic Education: Nurturing Hope/L’éducation catholique: Cultiver l’espérance”.

This is a special week in our schools as we celebrate the joy and hope of Catholic Education.

There are five sub-themes, one for each day of Catholic Education Week, aimed at helping staff and students to reflect more fully on what Nurturing Hope means to them. The five sub-themes are:

  • Day 1: Preparing the Earth /  Préparer la terre
  • Day 2: Sowing Seeds of Gratitude /  Semer la gratitude
  • Day 3: Cultivating Relationships /  Cultiver nos relations
  • Day 4: Harvesting New Fruit /  Récolter de nouveaux fruits
  • Day 5: Marvelling in Wonder /  S’émerveiller

Catholic Education Week is marked by special activities such as prayer celebrations and service activities.

On Ascension Thursday, May 13, 2021, which is World Catholic Education Day, a live-stream liturgy with Bishop Mark Hagemoen will begin at 10:00 a.m. for all the faithful of Saskatchewan posted at and on the diocesan YouTube channel: LINK


Rooted in Christ