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.
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...
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...
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...
On Dec.9 St Theresa's students and staff welcomed our new Archbishop Donald Bolen. Sister Anna had spent time with the Grade two children talking about Bishop Don. This is the time that they are invited to receive Confirmation and Communion. At our welcome, the children marched in wearing the paper mitres that they made for the occasion and singing a joyous song. The Archbishop spoke for a few minutes about his life and after a song, blessings and gifts we concluded our special time with Bishop Don by making him an honourary member of our school, singing: Feliz Navidad, and thanking him with a special blessing:
May the empathy of Christ find a home in you.
May the mercy of Christ be the coat you wear.
May the kindness of Christ season your life.
May the patience of Christ rest in you.
May the forgiveness of Christ flow out of your heart.
On October 14, 2016 Donald Bolen was installed as Archbishop of the Regina Archdiocese.
It was a coming home for the popular priest who was born in Gravelbourg in the Archdiocese of Regina, obtained his early and some post secondary education at Campion College, University of Regina, ordained priest October 12, 1991, spent seven years in Rome, a short stint as Regina Archdiocese Vicar General prior to his March 10, 2010 appointment as Bishop of Saskatoon where he served until appointed Archbishop of Regina by Pope Francis, July 11, 2016.
The installation ceremony in Holy Rosary Cathedral was full of music and colour with 15 bishops and Archbishops, including Canada’s Papal Nuncio Most Reverend Luigi Bonazzi, priests from Regina and Saskatoon and some visitors from Rome. It was ecumenical with greetings prior to mass from Very Reverend Lorne Crozon, on behalf of the clergy, Sister Theresa Frey O.B.V.M, Chair of the...