Bishop’s Dinner 2019: Young adult formation and vocation support

Bishop Mark Hagemoen was joined by two young adults in an address to those gathered for the 2019 Bishop's Dinner: Kaitlyn Deck and Rhéal Chartier spoke about their vocation discernment.

By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News

During the 2019 Bishop’s Dinner, held May 10 at Cathedral of the Holy Family, Bishop Mark Hagemoen spoke about the importance of young adult faith formation and of providing vocation support to those discerning God’s call in their lives.

God is still calling men and women today. And as a church and a diocese, we must continue to call and help our youth and young adults hear and respond to God’s call,” Bishop Hagemoen told the crowd from across the diocese gathered for an annual evening of fine dining and dancing to raise funds for priorities in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.

This year proceeds from the dinner will go to  a strategy to call and support men and women in the diocese on paths of vocation discernment.

Bishop Hagemoen’s address at 2019 Bishop’s Dinner: Click here

“We need to better call and support young men in discerning priesthood; we need to better call and support young men and women in discerning religious and consecrated life; we need to better call and support young men and women in discerning the call to marriage and family; and we need to better call and support men and women to leadership and discipleship in our church and in our world of today,” said the bishop.

Two young adults also joined him at the podium – Rhéal Chartier, of Lorette, MB, and Kaitlyn Deck, of Unity, SK, who both recently completed their third year at St. Therese Institute of Faith and Mission at Bruno SK. They described the impact of faith formation at St. Therese, as well as sharing their personal journeys of vocation discernment, and suggesting practical ways to help such discernment.

Bishop Hagemoen then outlined a strategy to address academic, spiritual and human formation of young adults.

“In terms of the academic, we may by the most blessed Catholic community in Canada because of the relationship of our Catholic colleges – St. Thomas More and St. Peter’s College – who have a federated relationship with the University of Saskatchewan. In Saskatchewan we are able to provide an academic program that not only may prepare them for priesthood, religious life, or family life and lay leadership in the world, and also provides them a solid academic degree that they can track to many other academic and professional programs. We need to build on this feature,” said the bishop, announcing that he has already initiated discussions about this priority with the new President of St. Thomas More College, Dr. Carl Still.

In terms of human and spiritual formation – we need to hear and act on Pope Francis’s call to the art of accompaniment with our young people,” the bishop said, stressing the need to continue efforts already underway in Catholic schools and other Catholic organizations and apostolates serving youth, as well as parishes, and the diocesan Youth Ministry and Vocation offices.

Financial and material needs to undertake these efforts will include:

  • $30,000 to establish a  Youth and Young Adult Leadership and Vocations Support Fund to offer youth leadership ad serve opportunities, and vocation discernment programs and retreats for young adults.
  • $40,000 to provide support to young men and women actively discerning a track to priesthood, consecrated/ religious life/ lay ministry leadership.

“The education and formation support need to come from us,” the bishop concluded. “Thus, I hope in the near future to be able to announce and undergraduate academic program with a corresponding human and spiritual formation strategy that would be offered by our diocese.”