REGINA — Holy Rosary Cathedral was standing room only the evening of Oct. 7 as the faithful came from all over the archdiocese to celebrate 100 years as an archdiocese. The sanctuary was almost overflowing with priests and there were three archbishops in attendance: Daniel Bohan of Regina, Winnipeg Archbishop Emeritus James Weisgerber and Canada’s Apostolic Nuncio Luigi Bonazzi. Bohan concelebrated mass with the archbishops and several priests and Bonazzi delivered the homily.
The nuncio reminded the congregation how far and how quickly the Regina metropolitan see was created after only a few years as a diocese. “The prelude to these developments was long and arduous, to be sure, considering the fact that the first mass celebrated in Regina by Father Hugonard, an Oblate Missioner in 1882, was offered in a tent.” It became a diocese in 1910 and just five years later, Dec. 1915, it was “raised to the dignity of a metropolitan see under the remarkable leadership of Archbishop Olivier Mathieu.”
Frequently departing from his text, Bonazzi described the responsibility of an archdiocese and its relationship to the other dioceses in the ecclesiastical province of Saskatchewan. He said the church can’t effectively follow Christ’s Gospel and teachings sitting alone. “That is why from ancient times neighbouring dioceses were gathered together in ecclesiastical provinces to foster common pastoral action and to strengthen the relationship between the bishops and their dioceses.” He expanded on that to include neighbouring countries working closely together, “and all of this receives beautiful expression in the moments of communion between the bishops of the world and the successor to Peter.”
Bonazzi also referred to the Oct. 1 dedication of the monument to the sisters of various congregations that he unveiled and blessed in Wascana Park Oct. 1. He called it a fitting tribute and an appropriate way to mark the Year of Consecrated Life. “They trusted in God and set about building up the Body of Christ in their midst,” he said later in his homily. “They dared to believe the message of Gabriel” delivered to Mary when informed she was to be the mother of God: “With God, nothing is impossible.”
He noted that the celebration was taking place on the feast day of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, the cathedral’s patron.
Most of the congregation gathered in the cathedral hall for a reception following the mass and many took advantage of the opportunity to talk with and have their photo taken with the nuncio, who was happy to oblige.
The mass was live-streamed on the archdiocesan website courtesy of Rev. Barry Anwender and his volunteers, who manned four cameras as Anwender directed.