Archbishop's Office

Archbishop Donald J. BolenArchbishop bolen

Appointed eighth Archbishop of the Regina Archdiocese
by Pope Francis on July 11, 2016.

Motto:   “Verbum Vitae / Mercy within Mercy within Mercy”                 

Biographical Notes

February 7, 1961: Born in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan. the son of the late Joseph (+1968) and Rose (+2006) Bolen.

October 12, 1991: Ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan

December 21, 2009: Appointed Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

March 25, 2010: Created Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

July 11, 2016:  Appointed Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan

October 14, 2016 Installed as Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan

Studies and Academic Degrees

1978-1984 (intermittently):   B.A. Honours in Religious Studies at the University of Regina

1986-1989:   B.Th. in Theology, Saint Paul University, Ottawa

1989-1990, 1993-94:    M.Th. and Licentiate in Theology, Saint Paul University, Ottawa

1994-1997, 2000-2001:   Work on D.Phil. in Theology, University of Oxford

Ministry and Other Positions

1991-1993: Associate Pastor, Estevan

1994:   Priest Moderator at Church of Our Lady, Moose Jaw


  • Faculty, Dept. of Religious Studies, Campion College, University of Regina
  • Priest Moderator, Milestone and Lang Parishes
  • Administrator, Paroisse St. Jean Baptiste, Regina
  • Chair of Ecumenical Commission, Archdiocese of Regina


  • Faculty, Campion College, University of Regina
  • Priest Moderator, St. Jean-Baptiste, Regina
  • Chair of Archdiocesan Ecumenical Commission


Staff member at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Rome, staffing Anglican-Roman Catholic and Methodist-Roman Catholic relations and the preparation of texts for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Served as Co-secretary of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), the Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) and the Joint International Commission for Dialogue between the World Methodist Council and the Catholic Church. 

2009:   Nash Chair in Religion, Campion College, University of Regina


  • Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Regina
  • Pastor of St. Joseph, Balgonie, St. Agnes, Pilot Butte, and St. Peter’s Colony, Kronau
  • Chair of Archdiocesan Ecumenical Commission

CCCB Commissions and Committees

2011-present:   Member of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace

2012- present:   Co-Chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Theological Dialogue

2014-present:   Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace

Organizations and Commissions of the Holy See

2012 to present:   Member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

2009 to present:   Member of the International Consultation Between the World Evangelical Alliance and the Catholic Church. 

2011 to present:   Co-Chair of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission. 

2013 to present:   Co-Chair of the Joint International Commission for Dialogue between the World Methodist Council and the Catholic Church.


2008:   Awarded the Cross of Saint Augustine by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams for service to relations between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion (2008).

2014:   Honorary Fellow of the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad, University of Saskatchewan. 

Coat of Arms

At the centre of Archbishop Donald Bolen’s Coat of Arms is the open word of God, an echo of the open book of the Gospels being held over his head when he was first ordained a bishop. On the book is the Latin phrase “Verbum Vitae,” that is, “the Word of Life.” The text comes in the first instance from the First Letter of John: “We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, the word of life...” (1 Jn. 1:1).  St. Paul also admonishes his hearers to “hold fast to the word of life” (Phil. 2:16).  

At the bottom of the Coat of Arms is a small banner that reads “mercy within mercy within mercy.”  The quotation is from Thomas Merton’s 1953 book The Sign of Jonas (Jonah), wherein Merton has God saying: “I have always overshadowed Jonas with my mercy....  Have you not had sight of me, Jonas, my child?  Mercy within mercy within mercy.”  The Word which Mary welcomes with her fiat, the Word which becomes incarnate in Jesus of Nazareth, the Word who gives himself to us completely, even unto death, but which death cannot contain: what that Word speaks is mercy within mercy within mercy. The sword evokes the text from the Letter to the Hebrews (4:12), that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

The shepherd’s crook – a bishop’s staff – represents the apostolic calling to be a good shepherd, to feed the sheep, to take care of the lambs (Jn.10; Jn. 21). The shell is abundantly present in the iconography found within the Oratory of St. Francis Xavier “del Caravita” where Bishop Bolen served on the pastoral staff during his years in Rome, and symbolizes Baptism. Both the shepherd’s staff and the shell also symbolize being a pilgrim in a pilgrim Church. They speak directly of the camino to Santiago de Compostela which the Archbishop walked in preparation for his ministry in the Archdiocese.

The wheat sheaf, against the blue backdrop, speaks in the first instance of the Saskatchewan prairies, the vast sheltering skies beneath which we live, and the dignity of a way of life closely tied to the land. Jesus also speaks of his own paschal mystery in terms of the grain of wheat which falls to the ground and dies, and bears much fruit (Jn. 12:24). Wheat is also thus a symbol of the Eucharist, of the Lord’s invitation to receive his life-giving presence into our lives, to allow our lives to be broken and poured out for others. Alongside the shell, it speaks of the sacramental life of the Church, and also of ecumenical efforts to come to a shared sacramental life.

The hat with ten tassels on either side and the cross are emblematic of the hierarchical status of the episcopal office, and are present on every Roman Catholic archbishop’s coat of arms. The Cross with the fleur de lis, like every cross, symbolizes the paschal mystery, the saving death and resurrection of Jesus. The fleur de lis is also a symbol of French and francophones, and thus of Gravelbourg, the hometown of Archbishop Donald, and of the francophone communities within the Archdiocese. 


What's New

Out of Office

Last updated on February 23, 2017
Event begins on March 15, 2017

Consultor's Meeting

Last updated on February 23, 2017
Event begins on March 14, 2017

Masses at Stockholm/Whitewood

Last updated on February 23, 2017

Masses followed by Potluck lunch.

Event begins on March 12, 2017

Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Broadview

Last updated on February 23, 2017

Mass  followed by potluck supper.

Event begins on March 11, 2017

The Promise of Catholic Education

Last updated on February 22, 2017

Featuring Monsignor James P. Shea, President , University of Mary Bismarck ND with Response from Archbishop Don Bolen. Tickets $15.00 To purchase call 306-352-1651 Ext. 237 or Email: mgurash [at] All are welcome! Brought to you by Campion College, Regina Catholic Schools and the Archdiocese of Regina. We will be live streaming this event.

Event begins on March 10, 2017

"Light in the Darkness" Prayer Service

Last updated on February 23, 2017

A Diocesan prayer service called "Light in the Darkness" for victims of clergy sexual abuse. This is the beginning of an annual prayer service initiative from the Archdiocese to support victims and to "wake up" the churches and society to engage in this important conversation.Archbishop Don Bolen will be attending. There will be refreshments following the service

Event begins on March 19, 2017

Regina Archbishop Bolen to Visit All 142 Parishes

Last updated on February 21, 2017

Regina Archbishop Donald Bolen has revealed his plan to visit and say Mass at all 142 Regina Archdiocese parishes plus the missionary churches including churches on the reserves in the Regina Archdiocese.

Archbishop Bolen explained, “It’s a desire of a bishop to get out to all the parishes. It’s begun in a very humble way in the sense that whenever there is an opportunity to be in a parish on a weekend I get out there. Some of those opportunities to this point have been for the 25th anniversary of a priest and other special celebrations, and then I just try to take in parishes in the region if I can.”  He began this odyssey shortly after his installation as Archbishop of Regina but admits it could be two years or more before he actually completes these planned visits.  

In addition, he is committed to do all the Confirmations this year, and there are 54 of those scheduled. In the past several years, this duty of an archbishop has been shared with some of the local...

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Archbishop Bolen hosts "Brew Aware"

Last updated on February 7, 2017

Brew Aware attracted students, alumni, staff and friends to a question and answer session with Regina Archbishop Donald Bolen. The event was held in the senior common room of Campion College on January 29.   It was billed as an open session with no subject limits, which Archbishop Bolen repeated in his opening remarks.

His opening remarks provided insight to his theological and personal interests; he is currently deeply invested in the Truth and Reconciliation process.  He talked about his work in Rome with the Pontifical Commission on Council for Promoting Christian unity; his continuing interest and involvement in Ecumenism; his PhD journey and his thesis idea that never came to fruition - Anglican/Roman Catholic Dialogue – because his time was at capacity.

Archbishop Bolen told the informal group that Catholics are not very good at articulating our faith “although we are getting better at it,” he said, “it certainly is a challenge for us today to become articulate...

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Estevan Parish Visit

Last updated on February 3, 2017

Archbishop Bolen will be saying the 7:00 Mass on Saturday night and the 10:00 Mass on Sunday Morning in Estevan

Event begins on March 18, 2017

Ash Wednesday Mass at Holy Rosary Cathedral

Last updated on January 24, 2017
Event begins on March 1, 2017