Bishop Mark Hagemoen accepts a gift of moccasins presented by Elder Irene Sharp of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, as former Saskatoon bishop, Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina looks on. The presentation was part of the ceremony at the door of the Cathedral of the Holy Family that began the installation celebration Nov. 23, welcoming Hagemoen as the eighth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon. (Photo by Tim Yaworski)
SASKATOON — Bishop Mark Hagemoen knocked on the door of the Cathedral of the Holy Family on the evening of Nov. 23, and was joyfully welcomed by the people of the diocese and the wider community at his official installation as the eighth bishop of Saskatoon.
“May your bishop’s heart continue to be shaped by us, the people of the Prairies, as it was first shaped by the people of the North,” said Rev. Kevin McGee, speaking on behalf of clergy, religious and laity during the two-and-a-half-hour liturgy. Hagemoen comes to Saskatoon after four years as bishop of Mackenzie-Fort Smith.
“As I left Mackenzie-Fort Smith, I learned that there is no Dene word for goodbye,” said Hagemoen. “The best translation is ‘until we meet again.’ What an appropriate expression, as we celebrate the end of the church year, and also when bridging and acknowledging the link between great faith communities.”
Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi also addressed the assembly: “My dear friends, welcome the new pastor and receive him as Pope Francis urges, as a father, as a teacher and as a guardian, and together with him continue to build this precious gift, which is the Catholic Church in Saskatchewan, in unity, in friendship, with collaboration with everybody.”
Hagemoen was met at the door by representatives of the local and universal church. Elder Irene Sharp of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish presented the incoming bishop with a pair of moccasins as a symbol of walking together into the future. Hagemoen was also greeted by cathedral pastor Rev. David Tumback, Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina, and the apostolic nuncio, Pope Francis’ representative in Canada.
Presented with a crucifix, Hagemoen blessed and kissed it, and then moved through the building blessing the people, led by two First Nations dancers accompanied by an honour song.
As Hagemoen stood before the altar, diocesan chancellor Rev. Clement Amofah opened the Apostolic Letter from Pope Francis proclaiming Hagemoen bishop of Saskatoon. Bonazzi and Bolen handed Hagemoen his crozier and accompanied him to the bishop’s chair as a sign of taking canonical possession of the diocese. The bishop then came forward to accept greetings from representatives of groups and communities in the diocese, including Rev. Matthew Ramsay on behalf of the Council of Priests, and Linda Klassen, representing the Diocesan Pastoral Council.
Harry Lafond of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner also greeted the new bishop, accompanied by Carol Zubiak of the Diocesan Council for Truth and Reconciliation (DCTR). Other DCTR members present were Parish Life Director Debbie Ledoux, Elder Michael Maurice, and Elder Gayle Weenie of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.
Representing the laity were Caitlin and Graham Hill and their six children, while religious were represented by Sisters Teresita Kambeitz, OSU, and Dolores Bussière, FDLP, Brother Kurt Van Kuren, OSB, and Rev. Iheanyi Enwerem, OP.
During the installation mass for Bishop Mark Hagemoen as Saskatoon's new bishop at the Cathedral of the Holy Family Nov. 23, the apostolic nuncio to Canada, Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi (left), publicly thanked Rev. Kevin McGee for serving as diocesan administrator since the departure of Archbishop Donald Bolen in October 2016. (Photo by Tim Yaworski)
Representatives from other Catholic rites brought greetings as well, including Rev. Janko Kolosnjaji, vicar-general for the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon; Kaesir Istifo of the Sacred Heart Chaldean Catholic community; and Rev. Anthony Plogen of the Syro-Malabar Catholic community.
Several people came forward representing Catholic education and health care, including Dr. Terrence Downey of St. Thomas More College; Diane Boyko and Greg Chatlain of Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools (GSCS); David Hardy of the GSCS Foundation; Jim Anderson and Vicky Serblowski of St. Therese Institute of Faith and Mission; Robert Harasymchuk of St. Peter’s College; Scott Irwin of Emmanuel Care; and Sandra Kary of the Catholic Health Association of Saskatchewan.
Bishop Sid Haugen of the Saskatchewan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Rev. G. Scott Pittendrigh of the Anglican Diocese of Saskatoon, and David Smith and Jeromey Martini of the Evangelical-Roman Catholic Commission for Common Witness also came forward to greet the bishop. Ron and Jan Gitlin of Congregation Agudas Israel brought greetings, as did Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark, representing elected officials across the diocese.
Diversity was the hallmark of the prayers of the faithful, which were presented in Cree, French, English, German, Tagalog (Philippines), Vietnamese, Spanish, Bari (South Sudan), Ukrainian, and Polish. Leading the music for the celebration was the diocesan choir, with members of other parishes and groups from across the diocese.
Hagemoen gave the homily and Bonazzi spoke at the conclusion of the celebration. Some 1,200 people were in attendance, and the mass was live-streamed on the diocesan website.
Events earlier in the day included a meeting between the apostolic nuncio and the clergy of the diocese, and an installation dinner that began with Chief Gil Ledoux of Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and his wife, Debbie Ledoux, extending a welcome to Treaty 6 territory. Sister Teresita Kameitz said grace before the meal.
During the program, Abbot Peter Novecosky, OSB, expressed thanks to McGee for his 13 months of service as diocesan administrator. Winnipeg Archbishop Richard Gagnon brought greetings on behalf of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the bishop’s brother, Dan Hagemoen, spoke on behalf of the family. Bolen welcomed Hagemoen with a symbolic “passing of the keys.”
Two gifts were presented on behalf of the diocese: sponsorship of a day of meals at Friendship Inn, and a Saskatchewan Roughriders jersey presented by Christine Scherr of the Catholic Pastoral Centre.