It was a new experience for most of the priests in the Regina Archdiocese. One that was very much appreciated, according to Reverend Danilo Rafael, chair of the Regina Archdiocese Personnel Committee. He was referring to the interviews Archbishop Donald Bolen conducted with each priest in the Regina Archdiocese. “It was something I did shortly after being appointed Bishop of Saskatoon. It was well received so I began arranging interviews here in Regina in October”, said the archbishop in an interview with the Prairie Messenger. The interviews continued through December into January until all 64 active priests had had an opportunity to meet with the archbishop in the Chancery office. Vicar General Reverend Lorne Crozon and Reverend Danilo sat in on the interviews at the invitation of Bolen. Reverend Crozon said, in speaking with the Prairie Messenger, that each priest was asked four questions: 1) How are you; 2) How are things in your parish; 3) how happy are you there; and 4) Would you like a transfer to another parish.
Archbishop Bolen was asked if any of the foreign-born priests who make up about half of the cohort expressed a desire to return home. He replied that most have the wherewithal to visit their homeland and have done so, and all have expressed satisfaction with being missionaries here and, he said, we are so blessed with the priests we have.
The retired priests were all visited in their homes. “Of course, I know most of them having grown up here and served as priest in the Archdiocese, so it was really getting reacquainted with old friends,” said Bolen. “It was supposed to be a one-off thing in Saskatoon, but the response from priests was so positive we made it an annual occasion and I’ve suggested it could become annual in the Regina Archdiocese depending on the response. Reverend Rafael said all the responses he has received are positive and he was sure the priests would welcome an annual event to meet and talk with their Archbishop.