Administration Day launches new ministry year
By Kiply Lukan Yaworski
SASKATOON — Representatives of parishes from across the diocese joined Bishop Donald Bolen and Catholic Pastoral Centre staff for an annual Administration Day Sept. 12 to discuss the year ahead, make connections, and share news about recent initiatives and upcoming events.
Children and elders from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Saskatoon led the opening liturgy for the annual gathering, which was held for the first time at the new Cathedral of the Holy Family.
The 2012 Bishop’s Annual Appeal (BAA) was introduced at the start of the annual Administration day. BAA administrator Cathie Rogers of the Diocese of Saskatoon Catholic Foundation presented a video to be shown in parishes, which reflects on the 2012 BAA theme: “A Sower went out to sow.” Rogers also reviewed details of this year’s appeal with parish representatives.
The bishop expressed appreciation for the vitally important involvement of parish leadership and local volunteers in ensuring the BAA can continue to fund much-needed ministry across the diocese.
“The energy and effort and enthusiasm that you bring to this appeal matters, along with your ability to communicate that this is not just another collection,” Bolen said.
Other highlights of the day included a presentation about the Lay Formation program by co-ordinators Mona Goodman, Debbie Ledoux and Kate O’Gorman, who described the impact the two-year program on the lives of participants and presented details about how the program works.
Now in its 25th year, the Lay Formation program has three “pillars”: adult faith learning, the development of prayer and spiritual life, and an experience of Christian community, the gathering heard. Lay Formation includes three streams: a diocesan, an Aboriginal, and a Ukrainian Catholic eparchial stream, which journey together sharing their common Catholic faith, while also separately exploring their own faith traditions.
Justice and Peace Commission chair Carol Zubiak, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish elder Gayle Weenie, and other members of a diocesan TRC committee described the experience of the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) event in Saskatoon this summer.
The presentation reviewed the involvement of parishes and individuals, and reflected on what happens next on the path to heal damage done by Indian Residential Schools and other policies.
Those gathered shared in reading out loud a diocesan pledge presented to the TRC in June, promising to establish a committee of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal representatives to work in concrete ways to raise awareness, address justice issues and further the work of reconciliation. Details about the make-up and mandate of that committee are now being worked on, Zubiak reported.
A discussion about relationships in ministry was part of the day, as was an introduction to the upcoming church-wide Year of Faith in the diocese.
The Year of Faith begins Oct. 11, on the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. To mark the date, the Diocese of Saskatoon will present a public lecture by Bishop Emeritus Remi De Roo — who was at Vatican II — to be held 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family.
De Roo will also lead sessions Friday, Oct. 12 at the cathedral: How Vatican II Enhances Our Spirituality at 9 a.m., and Stories from the Council: Questions for a Bishop at 2 p.m.