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

1997-1999:   

  • 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

2000-2001:

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

2001-2008:

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

2009:   

  • 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.

Honours: 

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

Bill McGratten’s Episcopal Ordination

Last updated on January 24, 2017

Away from the office 

Event begins on February 27, 2017

Masses in Lebret and File Hills

Last updated on January 24, 2017

Mass in Lebret with lunch to follow – 10 am to Noon

 

Mass at File Hills followed by potluck – 1 pm – 3 pm

Event begins on February 26, 2017

Mass and Potluck Supper in Fort Qu'Appelle

Last updated on January 24, 2017

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017                  to follow – 5-7 pm

Event begins on February 25, 2017

CWL diocesan meeting

Last updated on January 12, 2017

8:30 a.m. CWL diocesan meeting - lunch, one hour talk, Mass (at 3:30) 

Event begins on April 24, 2017

The 2017 Share Lent theme is “Women at the Heart of Change”. What does this mean in development work? If you would like to help out with the campaign or just learn more about international development, please join us in exploring this theme and preparing for Share Lent 2017.  Everyone is welcome! The workshop will be held in the afternoon.  Start-up time 1:30 - 4:00 pm  For further information, please call Dana (306.890.0394)

Inquiries can also be made with the regional office (306.937.7675).

Event begins on February 26, 2017

Archbishop’s Levee

Last updated on January 26, 2017

REGINA…..In a chaotic world filled with  violence, suffering and death, as people of faith we dare to believe that life is fundamentally good; a blessing and there is reason to live in hope, “and in this Holy season,” Archbishop Donald Bolen continued in his New Year’s homily and that hope is centred on the birth of a child who came to us  in poverty and humility with a message of love and forgiveness. “We  live in a time of political instability and confusion,” said Bolen, “To flourish on this earth, we need to reach a maturity - reflected in economic and political priorities and decision-making - that would correspond to our technology and the ways in which our world is changing, becoming more interconnected.”  He quoted Pope Francis’ message All of us want peace. Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers. In 2017, may we dedicate ourselves prayerfully and actively to...

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Archbishop's New Years Day Homily

Last updated on January 10, 2017

Today’s celebration marks three important things. It is the Octave of Christmas and the Feast of Mary the Mother of God; it is the World Day of Prayer for Peace; and it is New Year’s Day, a day to give thanks for blessings of the past year and to look forward to the year to come.

At the heart of today’s celebration, from today's gospel, we hear these gentle words of what the shepherds of Bethlehem saw: “they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.”  In Matthew's gospel, which speaks not of shepherds but of magi from the east, there is a similar sentence: “The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage.”  This quiet moment of reverence, this gentle scene, is the still centre at the heart of the gospel accounts of the birth of Jesus, and at the heart of our celebration today.

But our celebration today also invites us to some...

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Archbishop Don Bolen's Christmas Message 2016

Last updated on January 4, 2017

...and Mary gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger.... (Lk 2:7)

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Chrism Mass

Last updated on February 23, 2017
Event begins on April 4, 2017

Ad Limina in Rome

Last updated on February 3, 2017
Event begins on March 20, 2017

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