What is a Diocese?
One traditional definition of a diocese is “a given territory, under the authority of a bishop”. Since Vatican II the understanding of “what is a diocese?” emphasizes the persons involved, considering them as “the people of God.”
According to the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium, a diocese is “a portion of the People of God,” a community of believers, a communion, not simply one administrative entity of the vast world-wide organization called the Catholic Church. Pope Paul VI said that the local Church (the diocese) is “the prime cohesive structure of the Mystical Body” (March 25, 1971).
The documents of Vatican II describe seven major functions of the local diocesan Church: announcing the Gospel, celebrating the Eucharist, building authentic Christian communities, providing pastoral services, having a missionary spirit, recognizing new ministries and interpreting the “signs of the times.”
About our Diocese
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon is a dynamic and vibrant diocese located in Saskatchewan, in the heart of Canada’s prairie provinces.
Stretching across 44,800 square kilometers from Macklin and Leader in the west, to Kelvington and Wadena in the east, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon includes some 80,000 Catholics served by 95 parishes.
From many backgrounds, speaking a variety of languages, with a range of socio-economic profiles, Catholics in the Roman Diocese of Saskatoon live in both urban and rural settings. There are First Nations and Métis Catholics, many served by the diocese’s most-recently created parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Saskatoon, and there are newcomers to Canada who connect to their ethnic community when gathering to pray and worship.
In the west are the many parishes of St. Joseph’s Colony, established more than a century ago by German-Russian pioneers, and served for many years by Oblate priests.
Around Muenster and Humboldt are parishes established as part of St. Peter’s Colony, another German settlement: this one grew up around the Benedictine Abbey established at Muenster.
There are also Francophone communities established in the area of Vonda, Prud’homme and St. Denis, as well as a Francophone-Catholic parish in Saskatoon: Sts-Martyrs-Canadiens. The diocese also includes a wide range of other national groups: Irish, Filipino, Polish, Iraqi, Spanish, Italian, Croatian, Ukrainian, Sudanese, Vietnamese, and others.
There are six deaneries in the diocese: Saskatoon City, Saskatoon Rural, Humboldt, Wadena, Kerrobert and Eatonia. These regional deaneries were developed as a way to facilitate communication, consultation and cooperation across the distances of the diocese. The deanery structure is designed to keep parishes in touch with one another and with the diocese, foster collaboration, resource sharing and problem-solving among parishes in a region, and provide a forum to address regional concerns.
Representatives from each of the deaneries also serve on a Diocesan Pastoral Council, which is set up as an advisory body to help facilitate a two-way communication between the parishes and the bishop. The first Diocesan Pastoral Council held its first meeting on Oct. 9, 1999.
In addition to our diocesan priests, there are a number of religious priests (Basilians, Benedictines, Dominicans, Oblates, VIncentians, and Redemptorists) serving in the diocese of Saskatoon, as well as three permanent deacons, religious brothers, and religious sisters in a variety of orders.
There are also a number of lay Parish Life Directors, who serve with a Pastor as a Parish Pastoral Team. This is one way in which the challenge of fewer priests/ aging priests is being addressed in the diocese. A number of priests from around the world, including Ghana, Nigeria and India, have also been invited in recent years to provide ministry in the diocese. There is also an active vocations promotion office in the diocese, and there are young men discerning the priesthood. The diocese has also recently embarked upon the discernment and formation of men as Permanent Deacons.
Within the boundaries of the diocese, and connected by bonds of faith and cooperation, there are many partner organizations working with the diocese, including Catholic schools, Catholic colleges, Catholic health care facilities and a number of Catholic agencies. Many were established by the religious orders that came to the area years ago to live and serve the people.
These partners include:
Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (Saskatoon, Warman, Martensville, Humboldt, Biggar) – Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools
Light of Christ Catholic Schools (St. Peter’s School, Unity, SK) – Light of Christ Catholic Schools
St. Thomas More College –St. Thomas More College
St. Peter’s College – St. Peter’s College, Muenster, SK
CFS (Catholic Family Services) – CFS Saskatoon