Saskatchewan

Pope Francis appoints Donald Bolen as new Archbishop of Regina

The appointment by Pope Francis was announced Monday. Regina has been without an archbishop since the death of Archbishop Daniel Bohan in January 2016.

Saskatoon Bishop Donald Bolen is the Archbishop-elect in Regina

A new Archbishop has been appointed to the Archdiocese of Regina (Submitted by Bobbi Yanko, Archdiocese of Regina.)

Donald Bolen has been appointed Archbishop of Regina.

Archbishop-elect Bolen had been serving for six years as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.

"It's a day of so many emotions," said Bolen. "I really loved serving in Saskatoon and it's a terrific diocese."

The appointment by Pope Francis was announced Monday. Regina has been without an archbishop since the death of Archbishop Daniel Bohan in Jan. 2016.

"It's been a real blessing, I wasn't really looking forward to leaving," said Bolen.

"On the other hand, if I'm going to move, going to Regina is a beautiful thing. That's my home diocese."

Bolen was born in Gravelbourg, Sask. He moved to Regina when he was 17 and went to Campion College at the University of Regina. Bolen was ordained as a priest in Regina in 1991.

"I know the community and the church well," said Bolen. "I know the city well, and it is home."

New role

Bolen said that although the difference between his current role and the role of archbishop are not that different, he is honoured to have been chosen.

"I am deeply inspired by Pope Francis … and so humbled by his choice of me to lead the archdiocese of Regina, but imagine that the ministry and work there will be relatively similar to what its been here in Saskatoon," said Bolen.

Bolen plans to pursue many of the same goals he had in Saskatoon in Regina.

"It's a church that has a rich legacy," said Bolen. "Part of that legacy is strong relations between clergy and laypeople."

He said he plans to ensure the church is actively involved in the community, addresses the needs of marginalized people, and plans to work at building relations with other Christian churches.

TRC final report response

Bolen has made efforts in Saskatoon to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action, including bringing Indigenous elders together to speak about their faith. He plans to continue this work in Regina. 

He said it is important that the ministry works to "walk anew with Indigenous people, and how to walk in such a way that brings healing and reconciliation".

Bolen is travelling to Regina today to begin planning the transition to his new role. It is expected he will be officially installed in the fall.

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