PARISH NURSES — Saskatoon parish nurses (from left) Deb Bauche, Ethna Martin, Carol Kostiuk and Sister Carol Borreson, SGM, spoke at the recent diocesan Administration Day, describing the role of their healing ministry in parish life. (Yaworski photo)

Administration Day covers broad area

By Kiply Lukan Yaworski

SASKATOON — Representatives from across the diocese gathered to launch a new ministry year at an Administration Day Sept. 10 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon.

New staff in parishes, at the Catholic Pastoral Centre and Chancery Office were introduced and a number of programs and initiatives were highlighted throughout the daylong meeting.

Materials for the Bishop’s Annual Appeal (BAA) were distributed, focusing on the 2014 theme: Sharing the Hidden Treasure.

Parables about the discovery of the hidden treasure or the pearl of great price illustrate the value of faith. “God turns on the lights of our lives and we see our world filled with grace; it makes our hearts sing,” notes Bishop Donald Bolen.

Ministries supported by the Bishop’s Annual Appeal include pastoral work such as support for the grieving, hospital chaplaincy and prison ministry. The BAA funds a wide range of ministries and programs, including catechetics and initiation, the education of seminarians, vocation promotion, youth ministry, marriage and family life, and lay formation.

This year’s goal remains the same as last year: $1.5 million, reported BAA administrator Cathie Rogers.

An arrangement to support St. Peter’s College was also announced for parishes in the Humboldt Deanery. Funds raised over 70 per cent of the deanery’s BAA goal will go toward the ongoing capital campaign at the Catholic college in Muenster, she noted. This will not affect the rebate that goes back to those parishes that achieve more than 100 per cent of their goal.

Rogers thanked parishes and volunteers for their support and urged them to share personal stories about how the ministries of the Bishop’s Annual Appeal has an impact on lives in the diocese. She urged parishes and BAA volunteers to make as many personal home visits as possible part of the appeal, stressing the value of meeting face to face, building relationships and sharing information about ministries.

Throughout the day there were a number of presentations about various ministries, including several funded by the BAA (see related article).

Four parish nurses working in several Catholic parishes provided an overview of their ministry. Ethna Martin, Deb Bauche, Carol Kostiuk and Sister Carol Borreson, SGM, highlighted the role and impact of having a registered nurse as part of a pastoral team.

Parish nurses promote wellness, advocate for the sick, the elderly or the vulnerable, provide resources and referrals, initiate programs and educate parishioners — all within the context of faith, and living out the Gospel call to care for the sick and suffering, described the four speakers.

Parish nurses do not take the place of community health personnel or home care, but bring an added dimension of faith and caring to the gospel mission of the parish community, the gathering heard.

Blake Sittler, director of pastoral services and diocesan co-ordinator of care, provided an update on the diocese of Saskatoon’s Covenant of Care & Sexual Abuse and Misconduct Protocol, urging parishes to be vigilant in keeping training and police checks up to date.

Sittler noted that the keynote speaker at an upcoming diocesan Study Day Oct. 22 will be Dr. Nuala Kenny, pediatrician, ethicist, religious sister, and author of Healing the Church: Diagnosing and Treating the Clergy Sexual Abuse Crisis.

Jocelyn Hamoline, planned giving officer for the Diocese of Saskatoon Catholic Foundation, spoke about wills and estate planning, including a “Just in Case” planning package. Hamoline told parish leaders that she is available to provide presentations on the subject to parishes or interested groups.

Information was also presented about a change in the structure of a lay ministry association in the diocese.

Previously known as PALM (Pastoral Association of Lay Ministry) with a voluntary membership, the organization is undergoing changes as a result of a strategic planning process in the diocese of Saskatoon. The revamped association will now be integrated into diocesan structure, and all lay employees in the diocese are automatically members.

The three main objectives of the new lay ministry group will be to provide formation to lay employees, to encourage collaboration between lay and ordained, and to be part of the diocesan consultative process. A search for a new name for the group is underway.

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