Appointed eighth Archbishop of the Regina Archdiocese by Pope Francis on July 11, 2016.
Motto: “Verbum Vitae / Mercy within Mercy within Mercy”
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.
As many of you will know, on April 20, 2017, Justice Donald Layh ruled on the Theodore Court case that the Government of Saskatchewan could no longer fund non-Catholic students attending Catholic schools in Saskatchewan, starting June 30, 2018. This judgment protects the rights of the Catholic school system to continue; but it would remove funding for our ecumenical and interfaith brothers and sisters whose children have been granted permission to attend Catholic schools. This has raised many questions and created a large degree of uncertainty for students, parents, staff and other members of the Catholic school community.
Soon after the decision was announced, Premier Brad Wall and Minister of Education Don Morgan both publicly stated their support for Catholic education and their disappointment with the court’s judgment. On Monday, May 1st, the Premier signaled that that government would be invoking the ‘notwithstanding clause...
Grade 5 students at École St. Andrew invited guests, including Archbishop Bolen, Regina Catholic School’s Director of Education, Domenic Scuglia, Rory Allen, Jason Robins, Jack Semple, Alex Runions and many other talented artists, to paint plates with them. Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser and Minister of Parliament Ralph Goodale also each painted a plate; Minister Goodale had Prime Minister Trudeau autograph his. These plates will be sold on-line through eBay from May 13 to May 20th, with all proceeds from their sale being donated to the Regina and District Food Bank. The plates can be located by going on eBay, and by searching rachel7291967 or Food for Families 2017 beginning May 13th. For more information, contact Rachel Ling r [dot] lingrcsd [dot] ca ().
Oscar Wilde once famously said “It will all be fine in the end. If it’s not fine, it’s not the end.” Archbishop Charles Halpin, who ordained me here 25 years ago, once told me, I’ve looked at the back of the book, and it all comes out good in the end. From the perspective of Christian hope, a hope grounded in the resurrection, we can trust that time and history are ultimately in God’s hands. But we are not grasping the depths of Christian faith if we go through life with a naive optimism which smiles through suffering saying it’s all going to turn out okay. At least that’s not where the Scriptures or our liturgies lead us. The account of Jesus’ arrest, his passion and death is a story of the suppression of the truth, the shattering of hope, and the victory - albeit short-term victory - of fear, violence, and cruelty. That reality of suffering is vital for us to keep in sight, because those things still happen in our world, in our lives and the lives of those around us. We still...
Oscar Wilde once famously said “It will all be fine in the end. If it’s not fine, it’s not the end.” Archbishop Charles Halpin, who ordained me here 25 years ago, once told me, I’ve looked at the back of the book, and it all comes out good in the end. From the perspective of Christian hope, a hope grounded in the resurrection, we can trust that time and history are ultimately in God’s hands. But we are not grasping the depths of Christian faith if we go through life with a naive optimism which smiles through suffering saying it’s all going to turn out okay. At least...
Regina`s Archbishop Donald Bolen was at Seton Hall University in New Jersey on March 16th as the book “Towards Unity: Ecumenical Dialogue 500 Years after the Reformation” was officially launched. This Festschrift, a celebratory publication of essays, honours the lifetime achievements of Monsignor John Radano who served as head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity`s (PCPCU) Western Section for nearly 25 years, from 1984 to 2008. He was the immediate superious of Archbishop Don during his years of working at the PCPCU from 2001 to 2009. The 500th anniversary of the Reformation was chosen as a theme for the book. The anniversary is time to take stock, look at what we have accomplished, on the road we have travelled, and on what lies ahead.
Cardinal Walter Kasper and Cardinal Edward Cassidy both contributed to the volume, testifying to Monsignor Radano’s commitment, competence, and wide knowledge of the dialogues in which he was involved over many years. ...
REGINA ARCHBISHOP LOOKING TO DEVELOP AN ECUMENICAL GROUP TO WORK ON SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES
MARCH 3, 2017
Regina’s Archbishop Donald Bolen is considering bringing together local groups working in the areas of poverty, homelessness, immigration, racism, “where we can encourage each other and possibly look for new partnerships working together in the service of the common good.”
It is an idea he came away with from a meeting of grassroots organizations and social movements working for social change. The meeting was held in Modesto, California and attracted more than 700 people including about 20 Catholic Bishops and other church leaders. Attendance was by invitation only. It was co-sponsored by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development; the U.S. Bishop’s conference Catholic Campaign for Human Development; and PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing), an American network of faith-based organizations. It was part of a series of...
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...
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...