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

Saskatchewan Youth Visual Art Project

Last updated on April 14, 2015

An unframed painting titled Love Knows No Color by Saskatoon Nutana Collegiate Grade 12 student Joyce Kandakai took first prize in the fourth annual Provincial Youth Visual Art Project. The work is an acrylic on canvas that shows two young people, one black, the other white sharing, an ice cream cone. Kandakai took home a $125 cheque, plus a certificate, plaque and medallion. The presentations took place April 11 at the MacKenzie Art Gallery where 14 of the art works were exhibited. They will be displayed at the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) conference scheduled for July 11-22 at Luther College, University of Regina and are available as an exhibition to any high school that requests it. Multi-Faith Saskatchewan will exhibit the works at all its functions this year.

Janel Broqueza, a Grade 11 student from Melfort took 2nd prize and a cheque for $100, Grade 10 student Brooklyn Beavnet from Saskatoon’s Centennial High school took 3rd and a $75 cheque and Benson...

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Radville Marian Health Centre Has a New Chapel

Last updated on February 23, 2015

Six months after its official opening, the Radville Marian Health Centre has a new chapel. Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan officially blessed the chapel February 11with a special mass and ceremony in front of guests from the Sun Country Health Region, the Saskatchewan Catholic Health Ministry, staff and local residents.

The chapel’s altar is located in an alcove shielded by doors which can be opened to the Centre’s activity area which then becomes the chapel. “It’s an integrated chapel for everyone to utilize for all denominations, however, we had the Archbishop come in and do the blessing because we are primarily a Catholic based facility,” said Debbie Donald, the health centre’s CEO.

It is a member of the Catholic Health Association of Saskatchewan that has 14, care homes, hospitals and health centres in Saskatchewan. Bohan in his homily recognized how health services in Saskatchewan began and were operated by several communities of Sisters. He paid tribute to the...

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The Prairie Messenger, in recent individual conversations with Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan and Regina Archdiocesan Theologian Dr. Brett Salkeld, discussed troubling issues for Catholics raised by recent Supreme Court decisions.

Archbishop Bohan explained a comment he made at a February Catholic Connections meeting: “without a higher authority there is tyranny” and Dr. Salkeld reflected on the meaning of freedom and its relationship to law and a higher authority.

Archbishop Bohan’s comment was in response to the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons draft proposal discussed at their January 2015 conference that doctors must perform procedures contrary to their religious beliefs or conscience or must refer the patient to another doctor who will carry out whatever procedure is requested. “Doctors would be required to perform a procedure or deliver a service they considered immoral,” said the Archbishop. Bohan said the names associated with that document,...

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Archbishop and CCO: Youth In The Church

Last updated on January 28, 2015

Sitting comfortably on an upholstered rocking chair and looking much like a grandfather speaking to his grandchildren, Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan told a group of young adults they have an important role to play in the life of the Church. The informal gathering of Catholic Christian Outreach (CC) a university centred youth group invited the Archbishop to speak on a subject of his choice and to meet with local participants in CCO. The 25 sat in chairs, love seats, chesterfields and on the floor of the Aquinas Room used by the parish’s youth ministry. Bohan, frequently quoting Pope Francis and Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel), said young people like all baptized Catholics are called to be evangelists but not evangelists going door to door like Jehovah Witness. “Let people see the joy that is in our life because of our faith.” The Regina Archbishop is a big fan of Pope Francis. He told the group he was in Rome November 2014 to meet with a seminarian studying there and while...

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"The ultimate goal is to dispel misconceptions and break down barriers,” said Regina Archbishop Daniel Bohan referring to the National Roman Catholic Evangelical Dialogue following a Toronto meeting in December. Bohan is Co-Chair of the Dialogue with Reverend David Freeman, Vice President Canadian Ministries for the Christian and Missionary Alliance. “We engage in dialogue, seeking mutual understanding, trying to learn from one another and trying to get rid of and clarify stereotypes,” said Freeman.

The dialogue began when the two faith communities found themselves with similar positions in presentations made to the parliament of Canada and the Supreme Court particularly on the dignity of human life, definition of marriage and other issues, according to Freeman. That led to what both Bohan and Freeman called a task force to dialogue whether there should be a dialogue between the two. After about a year-and-and-a-half the Canadian Council of Catholic Bishops and the...

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Archbishop's Homily for Epiphany 2015

Last updated on January 5, 2015

My dear brothers and sisters, our Catholic faith has been keeping us busy over this last week and a half. During the last ten days we have celebrated four great Feast Days of our faith in Jesus Christ. We have gathered as the Church to celebrate the Birth of Jesus which gave us the assurance that in every aspect of our life, Jesus is God-with-us. We are never left alone or abandoned.

Last Sunday was the Feast of the Holy Family emphasizing that our families are important to God and blessed by God. On January 1, the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God assured us that we too are God’s children who dare to call God our “Father.” And today we recall again the story of the Wise Men who journeyed from the East, from pagan lands, to find the “child who had been born king of the Jews.”

This Feast Day is called “The Epiphany of the Lord.” The word Epiphany means a “manifestation.” Did you ever find that you were puzzling about something you couldn’t quite figure out? You kept...

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My dear friends, in my younger days, I used to ask why is New Year’s a holy day of Obligation? Everybody is out celebrating the New Year on New Year’s Eve, so they don’t have time to go to Mass and on New Year’s Day everyone is too tired to go to Mass.  Everyone who went to Confession during Advent to get ready for Christmas finds that within a week they are in the state of sin again because they missed Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation! Seemed strange to me.

However, since those days, I have learned that we don’t go to Mass today because it’s New Years, we go to Mass today because it is the final day of the eight day celebration of Christmas Day in the Catholic Church. And on this Octave Day or eighth day we celebrate the Feast of Mary, Mother of God, as a very important part of our celebration of the Birth of Jesus. For when God’s Son, was born as Mary’s son, this meant that in Jesus, God has become a human being in order to share our humanity and save us from darkness, sin...

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Archbishop's Homily on the Family

Last updated on January 1, 2015

My dear brothers and sisters, we continue our celebration of the Nativity of our Lord, Jesus Christ on this Sunday that follows Christmas. As soon as we talk about the birth of a baby, we very quickly begin to think about the family that welcomes this baby. On this Sunday following Christmas we turn our minds and our hearts towards the family of Jesus – to Mary and Joseph and their new child. And of course when we do that we also immediately think about our own families.

Are our families important? Of course they are - each and every one of them; just as important to us as Jesus’ family was to him. We don’t know very much about those years of Jesus’ growing up. St. Luke gives us a little glimpse of this new family as it carried out all the observances of their faith required after the birth of a child. Unusual and dramatic things happened to this young couple and their baby boy as they were there in the temple in Jerusalem that day.They encountered an elderly man named...

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Archbishop Bohan's Christmas Homily 2014

Last updated on January 4, 2015

Memories seem to play a big part in what goes on around Christmas. At this time of year we all seem to think about the Christmases of our childhoods. My memories are very good and fill me with warm and nostalgic feelings. And I am very grateful for that. Yet I know that for some people, memories of Christmas are not happy. And the feelings they raise are not good or pleasant ones. This is real as well.

In those Christmases of mine, long ago, while I was caught up in the excitement and anticipation of all that was happening and about to happen, I was probably not paying a whole lot of attention to my mother and father who were very, very busy getting ready all of those things I and my brothers and sisters were so eagerly looking forward to.

They were pretty tired and probably stressed out. There was not a lot of money to spare in raising a family of several children. So the challenge of bringing about a “happy Christmas” for all of us was very real. Christmas is about...

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Chers frères et sœurs,

Last updated on January 6, 2015

« N'ayez pas peur » et « réjouissez-vous » : ce sont les mots qui se répondent en écho pendant le temps de l'Avent et nous annoncent la fête de Noël. Le pape François nous dit dans Evangelii Gaudium  que "personne ne devrait jamais être exclu de la joie’ qui nous est donnée par notre Seigneur Jésus Christ. Nous aspirons tous au bonheur au cours de notre vie et, en tant que catholiques, nous cherchons surtout à trouver cette joie dans notre proximité avec Jésus-Christ lui-même.

Tous, au cœur de nos vies, nous luttons contre des forces très réelles qui tentent de créer chez nous de l’anxiété et parfois même de la peur. Elles font partie des ténèbres. Cependant, quelle que soit la puissance de ces forces, notre foi nous assure qu'elles ne peuvent jamais triompher en nous. Jésus, né à Noël, est la lumière qui dissipe les ténèbres. Durant l'Avent, Jean le Baptiste déclare être lui-même un témoin de la lumière. Jésus nous appelle, nous qui croyons en lui, à  être des témoins de la...

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