Dear friends in Christ,
Greetings to all of you in this season of harvest and of new beginnings! School has started once again, and so has another ministry year. It is also once again time to pull together as a diocesan community to put “Our Faith In Action” by supporting the vital ministry and outreach funded by the Bishop’s Annual Appeal.
At our June 2019 Western Canadian Catholic Stewardship Conference, it was emphasized that everything we have is a gift from God, given to us so that we might share and use well. God is the ultimate giver: the One who loves absolutely. We are called to the ultimate adventure of daring to be like God and to do as God does. We are invited to share our very selves in living as Jesus Christ.
The Bishop’s Annual Appeal is the way our Diocese and local church meets the needs and provides supports on a diocesan-wide level. Gifts shared with the Bishop’s Annual Appeal ensure that spiritual care and comfort is provided to the sick and suffering through Hospital Chaplaincy, and to prisoners through the work of Restorative Ministry. The Office of Migration is assisting parishes in welcoming refugees, and our Justice and Peace Office continues to work for the protection of the life and God-given dignity of each and every person, and to work toward reconciliation in our communities.
Other ministries supported by the Appeal – such as Evangelization and Catechetics, Faith Enrichment, the Justice and Outreach Year (JOY), and Vocations – work to build faith and form missionary disciples. Nurturing faith, equipping disciples and calling forth vocations is a priority for our diocese, and the Bishop’s Annual Appeal has an important role to play in supporting those efforts.
In today’s fast-paced, technology-focused, secular culture, the challenges of sharing the Gospel and inspiring followers of Jesus Christ are greater than ever. God is persistently calling men and women today. As a church and a diocese, we must continue to help our youth and young adults hear and respond to God’s call. We must find concrete, strategic ways of supporting young men discerning priesthood, supporting young women and men in discerning religious and consecrated life, and supporting those discerning and living a call to marriage and family. We really must continue to call and nurture women and men to serve as leaders in the Church and the world.
We are being called to hear and act on Pope Francis’call to the “art of accompaniment” with our young people. We are expanding youth ministry and partnerships with Catholic youth-serving organizations to help young people build deeper relationships with Jesus Christ and discover their God-given gifts and mission in our world. We are strengthening our Vocations outreach, mentoring and support.
If we are to meet those challenges and have an impact, resources are required. Together, we can make a difference. Your gifts to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal can assist in this path of greater evangelization and formation. I invite you to take this opportunity to give, as a way to put your own Faith in Action, and to help others to do the same!
Thank you for your continuing generosity, and for all the ways that you are living out your faith in our world.
Sincerely in our One God,
Mark A. Hagemoen
Diocese of Saskatoon