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Covenant of Care – Sexual Abuse and Misconduct Protocol

Annual General Meeting Report, April 16, 2013

The information in this report comes from the actual Covenant of Care and Sexual Abuse and Misconduct Protocol document and from Blake Sittler, Diocesan Coordinator of Care.

In our society and indeed in the church itself, experience has shown the need for vigilance and awareness to ensure that all, especially the most vulnerable, may feel and be at peace in a safe environment.


The Covenant of Care is a code of conduct designed to create safe and respectful church communities and healthy ministerial relationships, and to protect people from abuse and the harm that results. The Covenant of Care protocol strives to provide proactive protection for children, youth and vulnerable adults, and those who minister, including clergy, employees and church volunteers.

The Sexual Abuse and Misconduct Protocol is designed to ensure that all allegations of sexual abuse and other misconduct are handled responsibly, transparently and with all due care and attention.

Together these two parts form the Covenant of Care and Sexual Abuse Misconduct Protocol, the present version of which is dated October 31, 2012, providing authoritative directives for all who minister within and on behalf of the Diocese of Saskatoon.

The Diocese of Saskatoon expects that all who minister in the name of the church or under church auspices will exhibit a profound respect for all. By first respecting the law of the Gospel, this diocese also respects and abides by the laws of our civil society. Our goal is the prevention of actual abuse, misconduct, compromising and scandalous circumstances, and false accusations.

While trusting in the good will of all, this protocol shall apply to all persons involved in service to children, youth and other vulnerable adults. It will be the responsibility of the pastors, parish life directors and heads of diocesan offices to inform all clergy, employees and volunteers of this protocol. They are to ensure that this protocol is put into effect in their particular parishes and ministries.

The Pastor (and Parish Life Director, if applicable), ideally with Parish Council, will appoint a lay person as Parish Coordinator of Care, and publicize this appointment within the parish.

The role of the PCC is to receive reports and/or allegations of breaches of the Covenant of Care in the event that someone is unable or unwilling to make their report to the Pastor and/ or Parish Life Director. The PCC may also assist in the implementation and maintenance of the Covenant of Care and Sexual Abuse and Misconduct Protocol.

We are asked "to not over interpret the protocol. This document was put together by lay people for lay people. It is not a "black and white, right and wrong" document; it needs to be interpreted in light of the many pastoral situations we all encounter".

"The scandal of abuse by the leadership and volunteers in our Church has radically affected society's trust of us. Our attempts to protect the vulnerable in our Church calls for greater transparency and more effort on our part". "Reduction of Risk" vs. "Creating a Caring Community". The "reduction of risk for vulnerable persons" is insurance language. Our ministry is about more than "reducing risk". Our ministry is about going to those most alone and bringing them into our community and bringing our community to them.

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Saturday August 25:

It was absolutely a perfect end to a very productive day of completing the painting on the small church.   Fr. Wes promised us a tour and dinner at the Healing Lodge.  After the six of us attended evening mass we left at 8:00 pm on a peaceful boat ride on the mighty Mackenzie River towards our destination.  These ultra clean northern waters, ultimately named by the Europeans, but to the Dene people it has always been known as ‘Deh Cho’, which means ‘big river’.  The scenic and tranquil Mackenzie River has been the key to life in the region since the days of birch bark and moosehide canoes.  We reached the Healing Lodge (only accessible by boat or snowmobile) 25 minutes later.  Its existence has only been there for seven years when the community band contracted the rural college carpentry students to build a main cook house and cabins on this beautiful land of pines and birch trees by the rivers edge.  The first purpose was to counsel people with addictions.  Now it is also used as a community-gathering place where community people come from all over the area.  The Healing Lodge is also part of school programs where teachers and students are encouraged to participate in puberty programs and leadership programs.  The Dene elders also teach cultural and traditional skills in the picturesque setting.  While our stew and bannock were warming over the open fire we toured the grounds and could feel the spiritual energy of the land and this very special place.  As moonlight guided our boat back to the hamlet of Fort Providence, nestled alongside the mighty Mackenzie, it truly was God’s blessing to a perfect day. Mahsi Cho, Heavenly Creator.


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Posted by on in Youth Ministry

Wow!!! We finally arrived at our destination today (August 20) at 5:25 pm and all tired out. I knocked on the Rectory door, a gentle man opened the door and politely said, "Welcome to Fort Providence, you must be Anthony." So I said "Yes and thank you, and you must be Fr. Wes!"  "No I'm not Fr. Wes," he said. "I am Bishop Murray!" Oookayyy! Hmmm... "I am sorry your excellency," I said. Then he gave me a gentle smile. Good thing I was able to contain the embarrassment since none of the Mission team members witnessed this. But I guess now it's out... Oh well!

Our Polish born host priest, Fr. Wes is a man with a great sense of humour. He pranked us over and over just in the first night. Welcome Mass was celebrated by Bishop Murray with Fr. Wes concelebrating, with some members of the community present. Starting tomorrow, every day will be filled with different tasks from church painting to rectory renovations, funeral mass and reception (Fr. Wes warned never to miss the reception as there will be lots of food), school visits, family visits (in particular with the elders in the community listening to their stories).

Okay, I have to go to bed now. More news coming on the way...and pictures too :)


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Posted by on in Youth Ministry

Following the prayer request of our Lord Jesus from God the father, ‘that all may be one’ – cf John 17:21, I am delighted to have been incorporated into the happy family of God here at St. Philip Neri parish, to serve as Youth Minister.

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Mass and Liturgy Schedule

Office Hours:

Monday thru Friday:  9:00 am – 12 noon & 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm (Office is closed for lunch from 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm) 

Phone: (306) 343-0325

Fax: (306) 343-0900


Regular Mass Times:

Saturday - 5:00 pm

Sunday - 9:30 am & 11:30 am

Summer Mass Times:

Saturday - 5:00 pm

Sunday - 10:00 am

Weekday Masses: Tuesday thru Friday - 8:30 am

(Rosary ½ before weekday Masses)


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