Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations

The Anglican Roman Catholic Covenant Implementation Committee: Pentecost Report for 2017

To read about the progress and events of the past year, click here: ARCCIC Report – Pentecost 2017


Pope's Address to Anglican-Catholic Commission

"The cause of unity is not an optional undertaking and the differences which divide us must not be seen as inevitable

Here is the statement given by the Pope  to the members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

1. It is a pleasure to be with you, the members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. In these days you are gathered for a new session of your dialogue, which is now studying the relationship between the universal Church and the local Church, with particular reference to processes for discussions and decision making regarding moral and ethical questions. I cordially welcome you and wish you a successful meeting.

Your dialogue is the result of the historic meeting in 1966 between Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Ramsey, which gave rise to the first Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission. On that occasion, they both prayed with hope for "a serious dialogue which, founded on the Gospels and on the ancient common traditions, [would] lead to that unity in truth for which Christ prayed" (The Common Declaration by Pope Paul VI and the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Michael Ramsey, Rome, 24 March 1966).

We have not yet reached that goal, but we are convinced that the Holy Spirit continues to move us in that direction, notwithstanding new difficulties and challenges. Your presence here today is an indication of how the shared tradition of faith and history between Anglicans and Catholics can inspire and sustain our efforts to overcome the obstacles to full communion. Though we are fully aware of the seriousness of the challenges ahead, we can still realistically trust that together great progress will be made.

2. Shortly you will publish five jointly agreed statements of the second phase of the Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue, with commentaries and responses. I offer my congratulations for this work. This reminds us that ecumenical relations and dialogue are not secondary elements of the life of the Churches. The cause of unity is not an optional undertaking and the differences which divide us must not be seen as inevitable. Some wish that, after fifty years, greater progress towards unity would have been achieved. Despite difficulties, we must not lose heart, but we must trust even more in the power of the Holy Spirit, who can heal and reconcile us, and accomplish what humanly does not seem possible.

3. There is a strong bond that already unites us which goes beyond all divisions: it is the testimony of Christians from different Churches and traditions, victims of persecution and violence simply because of the faith they profess. And not only now, that there are many of them: I think also of the martyrs of Uganda, half Catholics and half Anglicans. The blood of these martyrs will nourish a new era of ecumenical commitment, a fervent desire to fulfill the last will and testament of the Lord: that all may be one (cf. Jn 17:21). The witness by these our brothers and sisters demands that we live in harmony with the Gospel and that we strive with determination to fulfill the Lord's will for his Church.Today the world urgently needs the common, joyful witness of Christians, from the defence of life and human dignity to the promotion of justice and peace.

Together let us invoke the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to be able to respond courageously to "the signs of the times" which are calling all Christians to unity and common witness. May the Holy Spirit abundantly inspire your work. Many thanks for your service.

[Original text English]



Anyone interested in Catholic – Evangelical dialogue and relations will want to watch this remarkable video.  In it Pope Francis addresses a group of Pentecostal pastors and other leaders at a conference through a video made on an iPhone in his office with his friend Tony Palmer, a charismatic Anglican Bishop.  (That’s right, the Pope makes spontaneous iPhone videos in his office!)

Bishop Palmer addresses the group describing his friendship with Pope Francis and how the video came about, but also making several challenging remarks about the value of the sacraments, Catholic-Protestant agreement on justification, and ecumenical engagement.  While a Catholic might be a little nervous when Bishop Palmer suggests that Rome used to teach salvation by works (it would be more accurate to say that, until recently, it was difficult for many Protestants to understand Catholic teaching as anything but salvation by works), most of what Bishop Palmer says is very acceptable and encouraging to Catholics.  And, on top of that, Pope Francis offers a brilliant off-the-cuff (what else?) reflection on the true meaning of ecumenism.

If you only have a few minutes, you can skip ahead to about 31:30 to watch the Pope’s brief remarks (about 7 minutes long), but those with a bit more time may want to start as early as 4:30 when Bishop Palmer begins speaking.  He really starts getting into the Pope Francis story around 17:00.


January 2016.
Pope Francis’ video on inter-religious dialogue for the Pope’s worldwide prayer network, the Apostleship of Prayer

What's New

Anglican-Roman Catholic Covenant in Action

Last updated on November 21, 2017

Ecumenical reps meet for workshop
by Joanne Shurvin-Martin

 REGINA More than two dozen representatives from Anglican and Roman Catholic parishes across southern Saskatchewan met on November 19 for a workshop. They shared stories of ecumenical action in their local areas and learned about Anglican and Roman Catholic dialogues at national and international levels.

 Fr. Rick Krofchek, a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Covenant Implementation Committee (ARCCIC) opened the gathering with prayer in the hall attached to St. Paul's Cathedral. Archbishop Don Bolen then recounted how the covenant between the Anglican Diocese of Qu'Appelle and the Archdiocese of Regina had come to be. It built on relationships which had developed since the 1960s, and was signed in January 2011. Bolen has been involved in ecumenical relations at the highest level, serving on the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity at the Vatican from 2001 to 2008. Bolen said, "We were...

Read More

A Rabbi & A Bishop Remember Leonard Cohen

Last updated on November 14, 2017

One year on from Leonard Cohen's passing Archbishop Donald Bolen of the Archdiocese of Regina and Rabbi Jeremy Parnes of Beth Jacob Synagogue discuss Leonard's music, the holy and the profane and the Jewish and Christian aspects of it.

By Frank Flegel

It took almost 500 years for this scene to develop: A Roman Catholic archbishop and a Lutheran Evangelical bishop standing together in a Lutheran church jointly presiding over a worship service commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Regina Roman Catholic Archbishop Donald Bolen and Lutheran Evangelical Bishop of Saskatchewan Sid Haugen processed together into Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church to begin the service named Together in Christ.  They alternated saying the opening payers after Pastor Sarah Dymund extended them a welcome to the church. Pastor Dymund read the day’s Gospel and took part in some of the prayers.

“I am so thankful you are all here today,” said Bishop Haugen and joked about having a church full of people on a Saturday afternoon. In his homily, Archbishop Bolen noted that we have come a long way in our relations. He noted that part of our ecumenical progress has been learning to revisit together the history...

Read More
“Together in Christ - Regina 2017”

This year is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

How should we mark the occasion? What does the Reformation mean to us today? How can we heal the wounded body of Christ? You are invited to an

ecumenical worship service and dinner on Saturday, October 28 at Trinity Lutheran Church (1909 Ottawa St., Regina).

•3:00 pm - ecumenical service with Archbishop Donald Bolen and Bishop Sid Haugen (ELCIC Sask Synod) will co-preside and preach. The service is drawn from the “Joint 

Ecumenical Commemoration of the Reformation” held in Lund, Sweden on October 31, 2016 with Pope Francis and leaders of the Lutheran World Federation. The worship service is open to all.

•4:30 pm - Reception and cocktails

•5:30 pm - Dinner (ticket required). There are limited numbers for the dinner, so we encourage you to get your tickets early. Tickets are $25.00 for Adults; $10.00 for Children 6-12; Free for Children 5 and under....

Read More

4th Annual Praise in the Park

Last updated on September 26, 2017

By Frank Flegel

Regina Archbishop Donald Bolen was one of several Christian clergy to address participants at the fourth annual Praise in the Park held September 9 in Regina’s downtown Victoria Park, amid a day threatening rain and the bustle of the traditional Farmers’ Market held in the same location.

Archbishop Bolen emphasized common beliefs among Christians that should allow the different faiths to act together in prayer and witness to the faith.  He acknowledged that some differences do prevent the faiths from doing everything together. “What we do hold in common should allow us to pray together, to give thanks to God together, and to engage in the Lord’s mission to the extent that we can.” He continued with a prayer to bless all the Christian faiths in the city.

“Help us to find new and creative ways to pray together and give thanks to Your Name.  We ask You to help us stand up for human dignity together to find those places in our culture, in our city,...

Read More

First Ever Ecumenical Staff Retreat

Last updated on September 19, 2017

by Frank Flegel

The fall colors of the Moose Jaw River Valley below the Wood Acres Retreat Centre highlighted the Centre as a fit setting for the first ever ecumenical retreat that brought together staff from the Regina Roman Catholic Archdiocese and the Anglican Diocese of Qu’Appelle.

The idea for the retreat came out of a discussion between two bishops, Archbishop Donald Bolen of the Regina Roman Catholic Archdiocese and Anglican Qu’Appelle Diocese Bishop Robert Hardwick about more things they could do together. Both said staff in their offices have similar ministries and the discussion centered on what could be done together. Out of that came the suggestion for the joint retreat.

The retreat was organized with staff from both diocese, Archdeacon Catherine Harper from the Qu’Appelle Diocese and Susan Klein from the Regina Archdiocese. Archdeacon Catherine Harper led the retreat with its titled two themes: Renovation of the Heart and Rule of Life.


Read More

New Archdiocesan Ecumenical Officer

Last updated on September 12, 2017


AUGUST 1, 2017



Nicholas Jesson is the new Archdiocesan Ecumenical Officer as of August 1, 2017. He has long been involved in ecumenical work, most recently as the ecumenical officer for the Saskatoon Diocese. In recent years he also assisted then Bishop Donald Bolen in his various Vatican and international ecumenical responsibilities prior to Bolen’s appointment as Archbishop of Regina.

Jesson moved to Saskatoon from Winnipeg in 1994 and then after serving as ecumenical officer and director of the Prairie Centre for Ecumenism, he spent some time in Toronto in further theological studies. It was there that he met his wife, Amanda Currie, who is now a Presbyterian minister. They returned to Saskatoon where he has spent the past 14 years in ecumenical ministry and teaching. When Bishop Bolen was appointed to Regina in 2016, it was a natural time for Jesson to explore...

Read More

Annual Pentecost Ecumenical Service

Last updated on June 8, 2017

By Frank Flegel

The 2011 Covenant signed between the Regina Roman Catholic Archdiocese and the Anglican Diocese of Qu’Appelle appears to be thriving and expanding. 

A report presented by Covenant co-chair Susan Klein at a June 4 ecumenical Pentecost vespers service gave a few examples of how the two faith traditions are co-operating and worshipping together. While the initial covenant was between the Archdiocese of Reg

ina and the Diocese of Qu’Appelle several activities in 2016 and 2017 included some Lutheran participants.  A prayer service in Moosomin between St. Alban’s Anglican and St. Mary’s RC continued the practice of praying together that began in 

2011, the year the Covenant was signed.  St Mary’s Anglican Church in Regina held Complin (night prayers) every Friday evening during Advent with a group of Anglicans, Roman Catholics and Lutherans who met at a 2015 chant workshop. Evangelical Lutheran Bishop Sid Haugan of...

Read More

Is the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in our Church traditions a matter of disagreement or convergence between Anglicans and Roman Catholics? A Lenten study evening on March 24, 2017, at the Anglican Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Regina delved into this historic question and surprised many of the participants by its outcome.

Organized by Canon Claude Schroeder, incumbent of St. Mary’s, and Carol Marz, ecumenical representative for the parish, the evening was intended for Anglicans from the Diocese of Qu’Appelle and Roman Catholics from the Archdiocese of Regina, in the context of the 2011 covenant between the two dioceses. The Anglican-Roman Catholic Covenant Implementation Committee (ARCCIC) endorsed and publicized the event, which was attended by some forty people.

The program began with Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer, led by Canon Schroeder, with a crash course in music given by Valerie Hall, organist at St. Mary’s. One of the scripture lessons was...

Read More

Sikh Parade Celebrates Vaisakhi

Last updated on May 23, 2017

By Frank Flegel

Sikhs in Regina took to the streets, Saturday May 20, parading from their Gurudwara (temple) to the legislative building grounds. Regina City Police vehicles with lights flashing blocked side streets as the parade made its way down Regina Avenue, the main road to the airport, then briefly onto Albert Street, a main north/south artery for the city before entering the legislative building grounds. A secondary road to the grounds had to be used as the main entrance road is undergoing re-construction.  This wasn’t another demonstration against government policy, but a celebration of the Sikh festival of Vaisakh, the founding of the Sikh community (the Khalsa). It is marked by people in festive garments, singing, dancing, and food.

A colourful trailer contained male singers and drummers surrounding the Sikh Holy Book Guru Granth Sahib, the central religious scripture. Loudspeakers carried the voices of female singers. A small troop of RCMP officers in red...

Read More


Archdiocesan Office
445 Broad St. N.
S4R 2X8 Regina , Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan CA
Nick Jesson
Office of Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations
306-352-1651 ext 220