REGINA — Chancery office staff erupted with sustained applause and cheers when newly appointed archbishop Donald Bolen entered the staff room July 11, the day Pope Francis announced his appointment to succeed the late Daniel Bohan, who died in January 2016. Bolen moved around the room, shaking hands and greeting staff who worked with him as vicar-general prior to his episcopal ordination and appointment as bishop of Saskatoon.
It was a homecoming of sorts. Bolen was born, raised and received his early education in the Regina archdiocese and is a graduate of Campion College, a federated college of the University of Regina. He was ordained priest by the late Archbishop Charles Halpin in 1991 and served in a number of Regina parishes prior to seven years’ service with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in Rome.
His appointment was welcomed, too, by Anglican Bishop Robert Hardwick; Rev. John Meehan, SJ, president of Campion College; Dominec Scuglia, director of Education for the Regina Catholic School Board (RCSD); and Miles Meyers, RCSD co-ordinator for Religious Education.
“This is wonderful news,” said Hardwick. “Archbishop Bolen has been a faithful partner in the Gospel. I look forward to working with him to advance our shared mission.” He noted that it was Bolen who was the architect of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Accord signed in 2011 between the faith communities.
Meehan said he was thrilled at the appointment. “Bishop Don is an inspiring leader who builds bridges between faiths, between cultures and between generations. His work on interfaith dialogue and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will do much to promote reconciliation on many levels in our archdiocese.”
“It is with open hearts and open arms that we welcome the announcement from Pope Francis on our incoming Archbishop Don Bolen in Regina. We anticipate many wonderful moments teaching with his support,” said Scuglia and Meyers in a joint news release. “We are grateful to have such a friend to Catholic education join us and lead the Archdiocese of Regina,” said Meyers.
Bolen’s installation ceremony will take place Oct. 14 in Holy Rosary Cathedral. He retains apostolic administrative duties with all the authority of a bishop for the Saskatoon diocese until diocesan consulters gather to elect an administrator who will take over until Pope Francis appoints a new bishop. Rev. Lorne Crozon, who was elected diocesan administrator for the Regina archdiocese following the death of Bohan, retains his role until Bolen’s installation.