Saskatchewan Catholic bishops provide update about Catholic TRC Healing Response appeal, as bishops across Canada join in a national pledge to fund healing and reconciliation efforts

By Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News

In a message to Catholics and Indigenous Peoples of the province Sept. 28, the five Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan provided additional information about fund-raising for the provincial Catholic TRC Healing Response — which will now be part of a national $30-million pledge announced this week by the Catholic bishops of Canada.

In the days ahead, each diocese/eparchy in Saskatchewan will provide more information on how this appeal will be approached in their particular region, given their particular circumstances and abilities — including more information from Bishop Mark Hagemoen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.

Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina has followed up on the Saskatchewan bishops’ message with an archdiocesan message and video.

Saskatchewan Catholic bishops message

“Two months ago, as we began a new Truth and Reconciliation Healing Response Appeal, we indicated that we would provide more information in September.,” the Saskatchewan bishops said in their Sept. 28 message.

“As an expression of our commitment to fostering healing relationships with Indigenous peoples, the Appeal offers a way to respond to current needs, provide ongoing support for residential school survivors and their communities, and engage more deeply in our own ongoing commitment and response to the truth and reconciliation process.”

The message was signed by Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina, Bishop Bryan Bayda of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy, Archbishop Murrray Chatlain of Keewatin-Le Pas, Bishop Mark Hagemoen of Saskatoon, and Bishop Stephen Hero of Prince Albert.

The five Saskatchewan bishops noted that the Catholic TRC Healing Response they launched together in July will now be part of the larger Canadian Catholic commitment to raise $30-million for reconciliation and healing which was announced by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops Sept. 27, and outlined the provincial priorities for the appeal.

“Our financial commitments, which will form a part of the $30 million financial commitment of the Catholic Bishops of Canada, will focus on three areas: healing and reconciliation, cemeteries on the sites of former residential schools, and education and cultural support. Together, we hold at the heart of all of our steps the TRC Call to Action #61, which has been an ongoing guiding principle for all of us on this path, as it calls upon churches to establish funding for projects related to healing, culture and language revitalization, education and relationship-building,” stated the Saskatchewan bishops.

“Our Catholic TRC Healing Response is a continuation of efforts and initiatives over the past few decades in journeying with Indigenous communities, listening to the voices of survivors, and those who have been impacted by the legacy of residential schools and the effects of colonization. We recognize that consultation and collaboration with Indigenous Peoples are vital, and we are committed to continuing these essential dialogues.”

Catholics in Saskatchewan will receive information in the days ahead from each diocese and eparchy on how this appeal will be approached in their particular region, given their particular circumstances and abilities, said the Saskatchewan bishops.

“May we continue to learn to walk together and to dwell peacefully on this land that the Creator has given us, in the words of treaties signed long ago, for ‘as long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and waters flow.,'” concluded the Saskatchewan Catholic bishops’ message.

Catholic Bishops of Saskatchewan Sept. 28 message: PDF