By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News
In a thank you message to all who supported the Bishop’s Annual Appeal in nearly reaching its 2020 goal, Bishop Mark Hagemoen said the response in a time of pandemic has been “both amazing and deeply gratifying.”
“I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to you all for your generous and sacrificial support of this year’s Bishop’s Appeal. I say sacrificial with special emphasis this year – because I know that for many of you this past time has been and still is a great challenge as we navigate through the pandemic,” said the bishop in a thank you message Feb. 16.
In sharing the message, Cathy Gilje, coordinator of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal (BAA) for the Diocese of Saskatoon Catholic Foundation also expressed her gratitude to all those who contributed.
“As of today, our BAA 2020 total, including one-time gifts, pledges and monthly recurring gifts is just over $1.38 million, or roughly 99% of our diocesan goal (of $1.4 million),” said Gilje. “We are deeply humbled, yet again, by the outpouring of generosity from the faithful of the diocese of Saskatoon; generosity that, under the circumstances of the past year, is truly incredible, and we are beyond grateful.”
Gilje reported that a total of 32 parishes made their BAA goal, and although there were fewer gifts, those who did support the Bishop’s Annual Appeal gave a 35-per-cent larger gift this year.
Bishop Hagemoen noted that the basic needs and mission of the Church have not changed because of the pandemic.
“God’s grace has and is always strongest through our greatest trials and tragedies. I have very much found this to be the case during the pandemic,” he said. “One grace I have seen is how our diocese has come together through the challenges of the pandemic. I take this opportunity to thank all of you for the extraordinary work and creative zeal in reaching out to other parishes and to the diocese at large as we discuss, pray, and discern ways to pastorally and practically help each other. This process is still very much ongoing.”
Echoing the three-year diocesan Pastoral Plan released in 2019, the theme of the 2020 Bishop’s Annual Appeal is “Proclaim Christ,” with a focus on “Reaching out in service.”
During the Appeal, Bishop Hagemoen noted that the proclamation of Jesus Christ and the hope of Jesus Christ is needed more than ever in these uncertain times of COVID-19 — and so is reaching out in service to those in most need: the marginalized and vulnerable, the grieving, the sick and the imprisoned. Ministries supported by the BAA include hospital chaplaincy, evangelization and catechesis, refugee sponsorship, vocation promotion, communications, adult faith enrichment, Indigenous ministry, justice and peace, marriage and family life.
“So, thank you – clergy, religious, and lay faithful of the Diocese of Saskatoon – for doing more that just financial giving – but stepping forward in faith and trust to carry out the life, mission, and ministry of Jesus Christ and His Church in difficult times. We carry on in faith and action,” said Bishop Mark Hagemoen.
Bishop’s Appeal Thank You – Bishop Mark Hagemoen:
Romans 1:8: “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world.”