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Video highlights impact of retired priests

By News

During COVID-19, the annual collection for Priests’ Pension & Retirement Fund relies on mail and online promotion

A video featuring vocation reflections by two retirement-age priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon was launched April 16 as part of this year’s annual collection for a priests’ pension fund.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions on the number that can gather for worship, the Diocese of Saskatoon Catholic Foundation is relying on mail and electronic distribution — including the video — to raise awareness about the annual collection, and the need to support the Priests’ Pension & Retirement Fund.

View the video:

 

The video is currently being shared by the Catholic Foundation, by parishes in the diocese, through social media, and online – including at the end of the live-streaming of Sunday Mass April 18 celebrated by Bishop Mark Hagemoen at the Cathedral of the Holy Family.

Make a gift to the Priests’ Pension & Retirement Fund online – LINK

Fr. Emile April and Fr. Denis Phaneuf were interviewed for the video. Both of these diocesan priests continue to serve the diocese during their retirement years, with April currently serving as pastor of the Trinité/Trinity pastoral region that includes Vonda, Prud’homme and St. Denis, and Phaneuf assisting at St. Paul Co-Cathedral in Saskatoon — even during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The video includes reflections on the impact of long-serving priests by Fr. Geoffrey Young, a young priest who serves as pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes in Saskatoon, as well as a message from Bishop Mark Hagemoen.

“The priests of the diocese of Saskatoon depend on one key support source when they retire – and that is our Priest Pension & Retirement Fund which support the St. Joseph’s Mutual Aid Society for our clergy,” he explains. “In addition to this pension fund, our clergy also receive Old Age Pension and Canada Pension Plan amounts. This amount is reduced given that their regular income through their working years is far below the level that most laity earn.”

The bishop adds: “Priests are also encouraged to try to save for their retirement through RSP’s, but this will only be a small amount. By far the most significant contribution to their retirement support comes from the Priest Pension & Retirement Fund.”

In conclusion, the bishop expresses thanks for support and generosity for the 2021 collection for the pension fund. “I also ask you to join with me in prayer for support and healing, as many of our senior clergy – along with many of the elders throughout our province – have been very much affected by the circumstances and isolation caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.”

In a letter sent to Catholic parishioners across the diocese about the pension fund collection, Don Gorsalitz, Executive Director of the Diocese of Saskatoon Catholic Foundation notes: “The examples of people reaching out to support each other and to help our most vulnerable brothers and sisters in need during this challenging time have been profound and heartwarming. Despite the risk, our retired priests too continue to respond to various needs and serve among us, giving themselves generously with dedication and love as they continue to answer the calling of their hearts and life service.”

Gifts can be made online at dscf.ca/priest-pension-fund.  Gifts of cheques can be sent to the following address: Priests’ Pension & Retirement Fund, 123 Nelson Road, Saskatoon SK  S7S 1H1.

 

A message from the Diocese of Saskatoon Catholic Foundation:

Our retired priests have given their lives to us, the people of the Diocese of Saskatoon. They have faithfully led their parish communities, sharing God’s loving and sustaining word and celebrating the sacraments. We are blessed to have these dedicated and holy priests, and these blessings continue to this day. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our senior priests may be among the most vulnerable of all. By now parishioners should have received a letter regarding the 2021 Priests’ Pension & Retirement Fund. We ask that you prayerfully consider making a gift to the Priests’ Pension & Retirement Fund.

For those who prefer to make their gift online using their credit card, please go to dscf.ca/priest-pension-fund/

Gifts of cheques should be sent to the following address: Priests’ Pension & Retirement Fund, 123 Nelson Road, Saskatoon SK, S7S 1H1.

By making a gift online you help us lower administrative costs, and you will receive your charitable tax receipt immediately via a confirmation email. Simply click on the ‘eReceipt’ link embedded in the confirmation email to open your receipt. Please remember to print and save your receipt on your electronic device for your 2021 tax return.

Thank you for your support of our retired priests! 

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Diocesan safeguarding action plan – response to charges being laid against priest

By News

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon learned Dec. 16, 2020 that police have laid charges against a priest serving in the diocese, Fr. Anthony Atter, who had been serving as pastor of parishes at Lake Lenore, Annaheim and St. Gregor.  The charges relate to sexual abuse of a minor.

As soon as the diocese learned of these charges, Fr. Anthony Atter was removed from ministry, in accordance with diocesan policy.

The diocese will be cooperating fully with police on this matter, and is unable to respond to questions and comments on the case at this time, while it is under investigation and/or before the courts.

“I am sure like all of you, my heart sank upon hearing of another accusation of abuse by one of our priests. This despite all the work and the great steps we have taken over the last while to create safer church communities and eliminate all forms and threats of abuse,” said Bishop Mark Hagemoen in a message to the diocese Dec. 17.

“I realize that each time the terrible crime of sex abuse is reported, victims and their families are wounded again, the vast majority of faithful priests bow their heads in shame, and sincere Catholics, Christians and people of good will, experience shock, sorrow, anger and righteous indignation.

“I wish very much that I could say to you that because of our efforts there will be no more accusations. However, what I can and will say strongly is – as your bishop, I join with the many lay women and men who have contributed hard work and much time to developing our safeguarding action plan to continue our efforts at eliminating all forms of abuse!

“I also commit to honouring complainants, victims and their families, the accused, and in this case the parishes of the communities of Lake Lenore, Annahiem, and St. Gregor – as well as all of our clergy and lay faithful throughout our diocese and beyond – to not jump to conclusions and allow our legitimate frustration and anger to overwhelm the commitment to respect and support the investigative processes of the police and our own diocese to determine guilt or innocence, and the proper response.”

Bishop Hagemoen concluded: “This current allegation of another case of abuse involving one of our families is an occasion to again affirm our commitment to respond to all those who have been victimized and hurt by any person acting in the name of the Church. The Diocese of Saskatoon stands in solidarity with any and all victims and commits to being an instrument of reconciliation and healing. It also commits to building safer churches and stronger communities: the theme of our safeguarding action plan. I join with all our diocese in sharing both pain and strong resolution.”

Dec. 16 Media Release: PDF

Policies and commitments regarding safeguarding – including sexual abuse – can be found on the diocesan website at https://rcdos.ca/our-diocese/safe-environment/safer-church/

Safeguarding Action Plan

As part of an ongoing commitment to safeguarding children, youth and the vulnerable in its churches, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has published a Safer Church, Stronger Communities safeguarding action plan featuring 20 commitments aimed at preventing and responding to abuse by clergy or others in the church.

Download the Safer Churches, Stronger Communities safeguarding action plan: PDF

Reporting abuse: Contact information

The four-page Safer Churches, Stronger Communities action plan reflects the recent work of a diocesan Safeguarding Committee (consisting of eight lay Catholics and one diocesan priest), chaired by Brenda FitzGerald.

The Safeguarding Committee was established by Saskatoon Bishop Mark Hagemoen to review and update the diocese’s long-standing policies related to safeguarding and abuse.

As part of its work, the diocesan Safeguarding Committee has reviewed and updated diocesan policies for ensuring safe church environments, focused on increasing awareness about the impact of sexual abuse on survivors, and clearly outlined steps for handling allegations of serious misconduct — including sexual abuse – by clergy or others working in the church.

 

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Safeguarding Action Plan announced

By News

As part of an ongoing commitment to safeguarding children, youth and the vulnerable in its churches, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has published a Safer Church, Stronger Communities safeguarding action plan featuring 20 commitments aimed at preventing and responding to abuse by clergy or others in the church. Copies of the plan will be distributed to parishes beginning at the Cathedral of the Holy Family March 14-15 and will be handed out in parish bulletins at other parishes across the diocese in the weeks ahead.

Download the Safer Churches, Stronger Communities safeguarding action plan: PDF

Reporting abuse: Contact information

The four-page Safer Churches, Stronger Communities action plan reflects the recent work of a diocesan Safeguarding Committee (consisting of eight lay Catholics and one diocesan priest), chaired by Brenda FitzGerald.

The Safeguarding Committee was established by Saskatoon Bishop Mark Hagemoen two years ago, to review and update the diocese’s long-standing policies related to safeguarding and abuse.

“We have all seen the news articles about cases and allegations from around the world about sexual abuse by clergy, past and present — with this report we wanted to explain how our own local Catholic community is responding to this important issue,” says Safeguarding Committee Chair Brenda FitzGerald. “The bottom line is that we are committed to do all we can to make our churches safe for all, and to heal the hurt caused by the crime of sexual abuse.”

She adds: ““Our diocesan Safeguarding Committee is made up of members of our church community from all walks of life. Each and every one of us are committed to safeguarding children and vulnerable persons in our church environments, and to responding with compassion and sensitivity to anyone who comes forward with allegations of serious misconduct, including sexual abuse.”

In the new four-page action plan, as well as in video updates and elsewhere, Bishop Mark Hagemoen has invited anyone who has experienced abuse in the church to come forward, and has apologized for the hurt and trauma that survivors have experienced.

“The violation and victimization by any members of the church, and most specifically any of its clergy, of the young and vulnerable by leaders and pastors of the faithful whose priority is to embody by their lives the truth and way of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a tragedy,” says Hagemoen. “We must bring all of this to the light, and find our way forward finding the same mind, heart, and way as Christ Jesus.”

As part of its work, the diocesan Safeguarding Committee has reviewed and updated diocesan policies for ensuring safe church environments, focused on increasing awareness about the impact of sexual abuse on survivors, and clearly outlined steps for handling allegations of serious misconduct — including sexual abuse – by clergy or others working in the church.

Training and updates on the issue and on diocesan policies are being provided to leaders and parishioners across the diocese, and have included in-service sessions for clergy and parish leaders, video updates to the faithful about the policies by Bishop Hagemoen and Brenda FitzGerald, and training sessions open to all interested in November/December 2019. The 20-point safeguarding action plan  is the latest step in the diocesan effort to clearly inform the faithful and the community at large about  commitments to safeguarding children and vulnerable persons from abuse.

In addition, Bishop Hagemoen has recently launched an Historic Case Review Committee, chaired by Bob Loran, working independently of the bishop’s office. This committee will review historical cases involving the abuse of children and vulnerable adults by clergy in the dioceese, including those who have died, to determine whether such cases were handled appropriately. “I look forward to receiving the results of this new committee’s work, and to communicating their recommendations and our response in the near future,” said Hagemoen.

“It is my goal to hold the bar very high in assuring that all our churches are safe and respectful communities,” says the bishop. “We are taking this issue seriously.”

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Covenant of Care – Safeguarding and Healing from Abuse UPDATES

By News

VIDEO UPDATE Covenant of Care: Responding to the Sexual Abuse Crisis:

“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon is committed to providing safe and respectful church communities and to protecting people from abuse and harm that results from abuse.” – Brenda FitzGerald, Chair, Diocesan Committee for the Covenant of Care and Serious Misconduct Protocol.

Transcript – Brenda FitzGerald: CLICK for PDF

 

VIDEO UPDATE from Bishop Mark Hagemoen:

“We need to listen to and support victims and survivors. This is the perspective from which all our efforts begin.” Bishop Mark Hagemoen, Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.

Transcript of Update from Bishop Mark Hagemoen: CLICK for PDF

Other Updates:

Message from Bishop Mark Hagemoen about an episode of The Fifth Estate that aired on Nov. 17, 2019: UPDATE re: Covenant of Care and CBC program

Nov. 8, 2019 survey response from the Diocese of Saskatoon to The Fifth Estate television program about historical review of cases, and publication of names of persons who are “credibly accused” of sexual abuse: Diocesan RESPONSE

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has also posted an update on how the bishops are implementing guidelines on protecting minors from sexual abuse. The statement also addresses the question of publishing names of persons who have been “credibly accused” of sexual abuse, but not criminally charged and/or convicted: PDF of the CCCB Statement

PDF – Protecting Minors From Sexual Abuse – CCCB National Guidelines

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon is committed to providing safe and respectful church communities and creating healthy ministerial relationships, and to protecting people from abuse and the harm that results.

Training sessions

Training sessions related to diocesan Covenant of Care and safeguarding policies, abuse prevention and response were held at two locations: Tuesday, Nov. 26 at St. Augustine Parish in Humboldt and Tuesday, Dec. 3 at Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon.

Clergy, parish staff, Catholic Pastoral Centre staff, Parish Coordinators of Care, and volunteers working with children, youth or vulnerable adults were invited to attend one of the workshops, either in person, or via webinar conferencing. Other volunteers were also welcome to attend. There was no cost. The workshops were conducted by Theresa Campbell, Director of Operations at the Catholic Pastoral Centre and Lorie Harrison, Registered Professional Counsellor at Legacy Ridge – Trauma Recovery & Resource Centre.

 

Bishop Mark Hagemoen Blog – Summer 2019 Trip to the West Coast

By Bishop Mark Hagemoen's blog, News

Trip to Garibaldi Highlands and Black Tusk with graduates from St. Therese Institute of Faith and Mission Apostolic Year

By Bishop Mark Hagemoen, Bishop of Saskatoon

Six graduates from St. Therese, Brunojoined myself and several others from the Archdiocese of Vancouveron a spectacular one-day 27-kilometre hike through Garibaldi Park and Black Tusk mountain this summer. The area is utterly spectacular and beautiful. It is also a great introduction to prairie people of the mountainous playground of British Columbia and specifically, the southwest coast mountains.

The six graduates from St. Therese were: Rheal Chartier (St. Boniface Archdiocese, Manitoba); Veronica and Dominique Skuban (St. Paul Diocese, Alberta); Alison Fox (Calgary Diocese, Alberta); Kaitlyn Deck (Saskatoon Diocese, Saskatchewan); Peter Van Leeuwen (Archdiocese of Vancouver, British Columbia). Joining us were: Douglas Pham and his fiancé, Julia Rumpel and Beverly Ng of Vancouver; Josh Dupuis (just moved from Saskatoon to Vancouver); and Rev. Gary Franken of the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

The area features vast and majestic topography of meadow highlands, as well as spectacular ridges and peaks – many which fall off into seemingly empty abysses.

Josh Dupuis, Fr. Gary Franken, Rheal Chartier, Alison Fox, and +Mark Hagemoen on ascent toward Black Tusk Peak, in the distance.

Peter Van Leeuwen, Rheal Chartier, and Fr. Gary Franken take a needed break in the scree as they ascend the ridge.

Rheal Chartier is thinking: “Gee, there’s nothing this high in Manitoba! What am I doing up here?!!

A quick selfie looking backwards on the ridge approaching the Black Tusk.

The views get increasingly spectacular of the glacial meadows and highlands around Garibaldi Lake as we ascend the ridge.

Peter Van Leauwan carefully watches his next step!! Black Tusk Peak, in the distance.

The group celebrates at the top of the Tusk!

Working our way back down the chimneys.

Josh Dupuis, Fr. Gary Franken, Peter Van Leeuwen, and myself climbing up and down the final ‘chimney accesses’ up the cinder cone of Black Tusk.

The Tusk is both alluring and daunting as its viewed against the sky.

Getting ready to celebrate the Holy Eucharist in the upper meadows following the descent.

A truly epic day with a great group!

Visit to Our Lady Queen of Peace Dominican Monastery in Upper Squamish Valley

The following day we had the opportunity to visit the Dominican religious community of cloister religions women at Our Lady Queen of Peace. The community was formerly established at their home in Upper Squamish Valley in August 2012, having arrived 12 years earlier and working to establish their new community in the Archdiocese of Vancouver in 1999.

The current Dominican community of religious women at Our Lady Queen of Peace.

The spectacular view of the Tantalus Range from the Chapel at the Monastery.

For further information about the community, please visit: www.dominicannunsbc.ca

Other hiking in the area during the trip to the West Coast

It was great to continue to experience other wilderness hiking during the visit to the West Coast. All of these places I have spent much time at during my previous years living in the region, both during my youth and my 23 years as a priest in the Archdiocese of Vancouver.

View of the Howe Sound Crest Ridge as viewed looking east from Gambier Island.

Gambier Lake, Gambier Island

Views approaching Brunswick Mountain, Cypress Provincial Park overlooking Howe Sound.

The approach and climb,  and the views from Brunswick Mountain are spectacular. Amazing to still see snow on the back slopes in late August – indicating that the west coast had a more moderate summer than previous years.

The meadow slopes in the upper ridge between Brunswick and Harvey Mountains.

Peaks to the south include Mount Harveyand The Lions– the most famous mountains viewed from Vancouver overlooking the North Shore Mountains.

View towards Mount Harvey – the next destination to the south of Brunswick Mountain.

View from Mount Harvey to The Lions.

Looking up from the base of Mount Harvey at the end of the hike.

Eagle Ridgeover Buntzen and Coquitlam Lakes.

Another opportunity to enjoy a great – although hot – day with my nephew, Matthew Hagemoen. Here we have just had a feed of mountain blueberries. They are quite abundant this time of year.

Views from Mount Beautifullooking along Eagle Ridge.

View from “The Pulpit” overlooking Coquitlam Lake.

View up Swan Falls Creekalong the trail descending the ridge.

Dinner with my father, Eric Hagemoenat his cabin at Shuswap Lake.

Rainbow over the Shuswap– a great sign during a wonderful respite.

 

 

 

I have been very blessed to have this time in the mountains in the south-west region of British Columbia, my home for many years. I return refreshed and renewed to the Diocese of Saskatoon, ready to receive further the blessings of the great Prairies and its peoples!

                                                            In Christ,      

+Mark HagemoenBishop Mark Hagemoen Blog – Summer 2019 Trip to the West Coast

Bishop Hagemoen visits parishes in Wadena deanery

By News

Bishop Mark Hagemoen recently completed a pastoral visit to the 13 parishes of the Wadena deanery.

Eucharistic celebrations, cemetery blessings, and town hall meetings were on the agenda as Bishop Hagemoen travelled throughout the Wadena deanery July 9-13, visiting all 13 parishes in the easternmost region of the diocese, with a number of other stops, such as a visit to a youth camp in the area.

Bishop Hagemoen made a similar pastoral visit in the fall of 2018 to the parishes of the Humboldt Deanery.

 

Pastoral visit highlights: NEWS SITE

 

 

Parishes in the Wadena deanery

WADENA parish cluster (Pastor: Fr. Emmanuel Banahene)

St. Mary Catholic Church in Wadena, SK

ST. FRONT parish cluster (Pastor: Fr. Charles Nweze)

St. Front Catholic Church at St. Front, SK

WYNYARD parish cluster (Pastor: Fr. Augustine Osei-Bonsu)

St. Mary Catholic Church at Wynyard, SK

Schedule for the Bishop’s Pastoral Visit July 9-13

Tuesday July 9

  • 4:00 pm Mass at St. Theresa, Lintlaw, followed by cemetery visit
  • 7:00 pm Town Hall meeting at St. Joseph, Kelvington

Wednesday July 10

  • 9:00 am Mass and Adoration at St. Mary, Wadena
  • 3:00 pm Visit with parishioners at St. Athanasius, Perigord, followed by visit to Our Lady Queen of Poland, Fosston, and cemetery visit
  • 6:00 pm Visit with parishioners at Our Lady Queen of Poland, Fosston

Thursday July 11

  • 10:00 am Meeting with Fr. Charles
  • 10:30 am Mass at St. George, Naicam
  • 11:30 am Lunch and Town Hall meeting at St. George, Naicam, followed by cemetery visit
  • 3:00 pm Visit to St. Felix, Archerwill, followed by cemetery visit
  • 4:30 pm Visit to Rex Mundi Camp / Christ the King Youth Camp
  • 6:00 pm Mass at St. Lawrence, Nobleville, followed by supper

Friday July 12

  • 9:00 am Visit to St. Front cemetery
  • 10:30 am Mass at Christ the King, Rose Valley, followed by lunch and Town Hall meeting at Rose Valley
  • 2:30 pm Visit to Rose Valley cemetery
  • 4:30 pm Dinner in Wynyard
  • 6:00 pm Mass at St. Mary, Wynyard
  • 7:00 pm Town Hall meeting for parishes at Wynyard, Wishart and Foam Lake, held at St. Mary Church, Wynyard

Saturday July 13

  • 9:00 am Mass at Christ the King, Foam Lake
  • 10:00 am Visit to Foam Lake cemetery
  • 11:30 am Visit to Seho cemetery
  • 1:00 pm Lunch in Foam Lake
  • 3:00 pm Visit to Wynyard cemetery
  • 4:15 pm Visit to Wishart cemetery
  • 5:00 pm Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Wishart
  • 6:15 pm Potluck supper at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Wishart

Christ the King Roman Catholic Church / Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Church at Foam Lake, Sk

St. Athanasius Catholic Church, Perigord, SK

St, Felix Catholic Church at Archerwill, SK

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church at Wishart, SK

St. Joseph Catholic Church at Kelvington, SK

St. George Catholic Church at Naicam, SK

St. Theresa Catholic Church at Lintlaw, SK

St. Mary Catholic Church at Fosston, SK

St. Lawrence Catholic Church at Nobleville, SK

Christ the King Catholic Church at Rose Valley, SK

Easter Message from Bishop Mark Hagemoen

By News

Holy Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Greetings Clergy, Religious, and Lay Faithful of the Diocese of Saskatoon:

I wish you all a blessed Holy Week and Easter Season! We enter into a profoundly meaningful time in the life of our faith, as we recall our Lord Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem in which He personally meets the tragedy and seeming finality of the human propensity towards ‘fatal attractions.’  The Saviour’s response is one of complete self-giving and the literal outpouring of His life. Indeed, the greatest love the world has ever known is that which we witness on that terrible day we know as ‘Good Friday.’

Then, Easter Sunday comes! Jesus, after having faced the totality of human death …rises! Indeed, Our Lord has confronted and taken on absolutely anything that can come between us and the saving love of God, the Creator of the world who did not will that death be the final experience for humanity. As Our Lord states, “I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Let us recall with devotion and gratitude the journey that Jesus takes from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. May His journey inspire and embolden us regarding what is possible in terms of healing and new hope. Our world faces many challenges. We too face obstacles that at times seem insurmountable. Through all of this, Jesus continues to lovingly and faithfully look at us, saying “…for God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

As Pope Francis recently stated, “Christians cannot fight the devil by becoming ‘superstars.’” The Lord responds to the evil one by holding fast to His own way, the way of humility and trust in God’s unrelenting faithfulness to us. May this Easter season be a time of hope and renewal for us all. Not because we are heroic with our goals and affirmations, but because we recommit to walking always with the Lord. He has risen from the dead, and has shown us the way from enslavement to freedom; from destructive anger or despair to healing; from death to life.

May the Easter season be a time of healing and renewal for us all.

Sincerely in Christ,

+ Bishop Mark Hagemoen

PDF of Bishop Mark Hagemoen’s letter to the Clergy, Religious and Lay Faithful, Easter 2019: Message

Pope Francis issues Apostolic Exhortation “Christ is Alive” as a follow-up to Synod on Youth

By News

Christus vivit (“Christ is Alive”) is a new document that Pope Francis addresses to young people and the entire People of God.

 

The document is the fruit of the Extraordinary Synod on Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment held in Rome in October 2018. As Pope Francis writes:

“With great affection, I address this Apostolic Exhortation to all Christian young people.It is meant to remind you of certain convictions born of our faith, and at the same time to encourage you to grow in holiness and in commitment to your personal vocation. But since it is also part of a synodal process, I am also addressing this message to the entire People of God, pastors and faithful alike, since all of us are challenged and urged to reflect both on the young and for the young. Consequently, I will speak to young people directly in some places, while in others I will propose some more general considerations for the Church’s discernment.”

NEWS: Call for Conscience Protection

By News

Protecting conscience rights in Saskatchewan

An advocacy campaign is underway in our province, asking supporters to  call upon the provincial Minister of Health and Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to provide robust conscience protection for healthcare professionals in Saskatchewan.

With the passing of euthanasia/assisted suicide legislation in Canada, provinces are now implementing local protocols. We are encouraging all those concerned about this issue to respectfully contact the Minister of Health and MLAs.

Parishes across the province will be offering opportunities to sign letters to provincial politicians on the Feb 23-24 weekend, or submit letters electronically, via https://www.canadiansforconscience.ca/saskatchewan

This protection is in place in every other country worldwide that allows euthanasia. 

View a video about the issue:

More information: Coalition for Conscience information sheet

Conscientious objection must be legally protected! Please contact your elected officials in Saskatchewan.

 

 

Catholic bishops commit to new national guidelines for protecting minors

By News

Bishop Hagemoen welcomes new CCCB document about the protection of minors and vulnerable persons

Bishop Mark Hagemoen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon is welcoming the updated and expanded national guidelines for the protection of minors and vulnerable persons, which were unanimously adopted by the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops (CCCB) Sept. 27 during their 2018 annual Plenary Assembly in Cornwall, ON.

Entitled Protecting Minors from Sexual Abuse: A Call to the Catholic Faithful in Canada for Healing, Reconciliation, and Transformationthe document was publicly released Oct. 4. It is an update of the previous document From Pain to Hopeadopted by Canada’s bishops in 1992, as well as a 2007 follow-up document.

“The purpose of this new document, as with the previous ones, is to inform the various policies and protocols of each individual diocese. This is a reference document that helps us do the policy work at a local diocesan level,” said Bishop Hagemoen. “So, this is very important and helpful.”

Large in scope, the new national document is purposefully focused on the protection of minors, noted the bishop. “Of course, there are other implications of this, which relate not just to sexual abuse but all forms of abuse, and with a view to making our environments safe for everyone – yes, with a particular focus on minors, but also for all people who are part of the life of our church communities.”

The document benefits from a number of learned best practices since From Pain to Hopewas released more than 25 years ago, he added. For instance, the new document clearly emphasizes the need to put victims first, and to deal pastorally with those who have been hurt by abuse.

“We must be very victim-focused in our pastoral approach. The document definitely addresses that, as well as naming how our parish communities must be healing communities.”

In the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, a review and update of the existing Covenant of Care safe environment policies and protocol has been underway since early 2018. Pastors and other parish leaders from across the diocese of Saskatoon heard more about the update at a diocesan Administration Day Sept. 12.

Once the new national guidelines are taken into consideration, the updated diocesan Covenant of Care will be finalized and promulgated in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, said Bishop Hagemoen.

“This is an updating of our protocols, taking into account the experience of implementing our safe environment policies, and of giving great care and attention to how we oversee and supervise our people who work with high-risk age groups within our churches.”

The bishop added that the policy is also a way to help clergy and laity continue to do their good work of ministry with support and confidence –“because our ministry needs to continue, in fact it needs to expand. Our ministry needs to grow, especially for those who need it the most, including the most vulnerable.”

In addition to a clear delineation of procedures in cases of sexual abuse, the national document puts forward over 60 recommendations inspired by nine lessons which Bishops have learned through their collective experiences over the past quarter century.

“The document seeks not only to provide guidance for diocesan/eparchial protocols and policies as well as those for religious communities, but to stimulate a cultural transformation in attitudes about sexual abuse,” states a media release from the CCCB.

The new guidelines apply to all Catholic clergy (bishops, priests and deacons), as well as members of religious communities and lay personnel who are working in Catholic parishes or Church organizations.

In developing the policy, the bishops of Canada obtained input from a broad spectrum of people, including survivors, lay women and men, as well as professional consultants with experience and expertise in psychology, social work, child protection, and Church and civil law, stated the CCCB release, noting that the majority of experts consulted also have specific experience in protecting minors and vulnerable adults from sexual abuse.

“With this document, Canada’s bishops reaffirm their commitment to continue improving practices in their dioceses/eparchies with an emphasis on long-term prevention and pre-emptive action,” said the CCCB statement.

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Additional Information

Video: Introduction to Protecting Minors from Sexual Abuse: A Call to the Catholic Faithful in Canada for Healing, Reconciliation, and Transformation:

Document: Protecting Minors from Sexual Abuse: A Call to the Catholic Faithful in Canada for Healing, Reconciliation, and Transformation(PDF) is available from the CCCB website at https://www.cccb.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Protecting_Minors_2018.pdf   (permission must be obtained to reproduce the resource: permissions@cccb.ca). The document is also available for purchase from CCCB Publications: www.cccb.ca

Rooted in Christ