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2021 Higgins Award Winner: Archbishop Donald Bolen


Canadian Catholic Schools Trustees' Association 2021 Higgins Award Winner: Archbishop Donald Bolen

The CCSTA Board of Directors is proud to present Archbishop Donald Bolen with the 2021 Higgins Award for his exceptional contribution to Catholic education in our country.

Every year, the Canadian Catholic School Trustees Association presents the Higgins Award to a person or group who has made an outstanding contribution to Catholic education in Canada.  This highest honour is given in memory of the distinguished Canadian jurist and Catholic School Trustee, the Honourable Justice James Higgins.

Archbishop Donald Bolen was nominated by the Regina Catholic School Division Board of Trustees for his global leadership in Catholic education, commitment to fostering Christian unity and inter-faith relationship building, and dedicated contribution to Catholic schools. 

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Archbishop Bolen for many years. Whether he is defending parental choice in education, championing Truth and Reconciliation, or welcoming staff and students, it is done with grace and humility. Two qualities he truly embodies” remarked CCSTA President Paula Scott.

A true community builder, especially in the context of interfaith and community relationships, Archbishop Bolen is an excellent role model for Catholic students. By identifying what we hold in common with others, discerning what we can do together, and demonstrating leadership and initiative by taking action, he models Christ-like servant leadership in a practical and contagious manner. 

An active supporter of Jewish-Christian relationships, he collaborated with Rabbis and Jewish communities to honour Holocaust survivors. When there was an antisemitic attack on Pittsburg’s synagogue, the Archbishop brought condolences and a message of hope at a memorial ceremony in Regina.

Well-known in his community as a promoter of justice, especially in relationships with Indigenous communities, Archbishop Bolen has led with the heart through his engagement with the Calls to Action outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Humbly leading the way, he has invited Catholic school communities to join him at the forefront of healing and reconciliation work. 

We are very proud to recognize him with this year’s Higgins Award and would like to thank him for his incredible contribution to interfaith dialogue and Catholic education in Canada. 

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