CONGRESS DAY IN KERROBERT DEC. 1
CONGRESS DAY IN HUMBOLDT NOV. 3
Pastors and parish representatives from the Humboldt and Wadena deaneries gathered with Bishop Mark Hagemoen for a diocesan Congress Day Nov. 3 at St. Augustine Parish in HUMBOLDT. Those from the Eatonia and Kerrobert deaneries participated in the Congress Day with the Bishop Dec. 1 at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in KERROBERT. The Congress Day was also offered Nov. 15 at Holy Family Cathedral in SASKATOON.
Congress Day in Humboldt and Saskatoon began with a presentation by Myron Rogal of the Office of Justice and Peace about the work of the Diocesan Council for Truth and Reconciliation in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
Parishes in the diocese are encouraged to take up the journey of reconciliation by building relationships, said Rogal, who detailed initiatives such as a Treaty Elders Series that has been held in several parishes. “Responding to the Calls to Action is jnot something that can be delegated,” he said. This can begin by changing the tone of conversations, by growing in awareness, and by listening to each other, Rogal listed
A resource for walking the path of reconciliation is being developed in the diocese as a way to assist parishes in moving forward, he described.
MaryAnne Morrison, chair of the Diocesan Council for Truth and Reconciliation (DCTR), then provided an overview of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Persons — implementing these basic rights is part of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. “We believe that all people have always had these rights,” she affirmed, while describing how at different times those rights have been denied to Indigenous people. “This declaration corrects that.” Canada signed the UN Declaration In 2016.
The U.N. declaration can be found in full at: https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf
Congress Day in all three locations featured diocesan Financial Administrator Tanya Clarke offering an overview of a number of issues, including property insurance, e-mail scams, Canada Revenue Agency charitable numbers and donation receipts. Other presentations included an overview of diocesan communications by Kiply Lukan Yaworski at the Humboldt gathering and by Marilyn Jackson at the Kerrobert gathering. Human Resources initiatives and issues were also reviewed by HR Manager Patrick Clarke at both Humboldt and Saskatoon.
At each one of the Congress Days across the diocese, Bishop Mark Hagemoen provided information about the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ updated national guidelines for protecting minors from sexual abuse. The document can be found at: https://www.cccb.ca/site/images/stories/pdf/Protecting_Minors_2018.pdf
The bishop reviewed “nine lessons” cited in the CCCB document, including the need for a pastoral encounter with victims of abuse, as well as understanding sexual abuse properly, responding effectively to allegations, dealing with offenders, improving safeguarding practices and training, dealing with the effects on clergy and laity, improving initial and ongoing formation of leaders, learning about the legal process, and responding to the call to greater authenticity and to holiness.
An update of the diocesan Covenant of Care and safe environment policy has been underway since earlier this year, and will reflect the new national guidelines, Hagemoen said.
During Congress Day the bishop also spoke about goals and priorities for the diocese, the need for responsible stewardship, and the call to proclaim the gospel as the “essential mission of the church.” The whole parish is called to be an evangelizing community, he observed, describing the New Evangelization which has been called for by recent popes, beginning with St. Pope John Paul II.
He also gave an overview of how this call is reflected in pastoral planning and structure of parishes and of the diocese, in a way which will nurture and send forth missionary disciples.