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

His Holiness Pope Francis has named Most Rev. Mark Hagemoen as the eighth Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon. At the time of his appointment, Bishop Hagemoen was serving as the Bishop of the northern Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith.

By Kiply Lukan Yaworski

The new bishop-elect for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon has a number of passions, including fostering a deeper relationship with Indigenous People, pursuing the New Evangelization, furthering youth ministry, and supporting Catholic education.

Bishop Mark Hagemoen, 56, who has served for four years as bishop of the northern diocese of MacKenzie-Fort Smith, was named the eighth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon in an announcment by Pope Francis released Sept. 12, 2017.

The diocese of Saskatoon has been without a bishop since Oct. 14, 2016, when former bishop Most. Rev. Donald Bolen was inaugurated as Archbishop of Regina. The date for Hagemoen’s installation as...

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The Rite of Candidacy is the final step on the path to the diaconate or the priesthood. During this rite, candidates publically declared before the Chruch their intention to become a priest or deacon, and the Church officially accepts that request and recognizes them.

Event begins on December 17, 2017

Spring The Sacramental Season

Last updated on August 15, 2017

By Frank Flegel

May and June were busy months for Regina Archbishop Donald Bolen; he held 53 Confirmation, and in some cases First Communion celebrations, in 50 parishes throughout the archdiocese.  Bishops traditionally celebrate the confirmations but last year the Archdiocese was between bishops so parish priests looked after the services.  As the new Archbishop Bolen decided to do all the Confirmations personally because he wants to get out to as many parishes as possible, but realistically, there are not enough weekends,  to get to all 131 parishes, plus those on First Nations Reserves, in one spring. He expects that it will take him three years to visit all parishes.

Archbishop Bolen said people can always find reasons to be discouraged in the Church, “but when you do the Confirmation runs you see a lot of positive signs of life in the.” He suggested that some of the children who were confirmed and received First Communion are in families who don’t regularly...

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

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...

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Food for Families Fundraiser

Last updated on May 3, 2017

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 ().  

Archbishop’s Easter Message April 2017

Last updated on April 26, 2017

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...

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Archbishop Don Bolen's Easter Message

Last updated on April 17, 2017

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...

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"Towards Unity" Festschrift Launched

Last updated on March 29, 2017

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. ...

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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...

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To Read Pope Francis' Lenten Message for 2017: The Word is a gift. Other persons are a gift MESSAGE pour le CAREME 2017: La Parole est un don. L’autre est un don 

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