CHANCELLORS — Rev. Tonny Dizy and Rev. James Owolagba, former and current chancellors of the Archdiocese of Regina. (Flegel photo)

Owolagba new chancellor in Regina

By Frank Flegel

REGINA — Rev. Tonny Dizy has retired after eight years as chancellor and Rev. James Owolagba is the new chancellor, effective Aug. 1.

“Well, we’re all getting a little older,” said Dizy when talking about retirement with the Prairie Messenger.

He has a stamp collection, he wants to get back to, some reading he has neglected and “I used to play the piano but I lost that and I’d like to get back to that.”

He also expects to spend some time on family ancestry and has committed to serve on the Urban Native Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal Team.

While he will not have a parish to care for, he will continue to be available to fill in for priests who want to take some holiday time. Dizy pointed out that incoming Chancellor Owolagba is much more qualified for the position.

“He has his licentiate in canon law, which I don’t have.”

Dizy studied the 1917 version of canon law when he was in the seminary prior to his 1973 ordination and took several courses on the new law which came into effect in 1983.

Owolagba is originally from Nigeria. He attended a seminary in Rome, came to Canada in 2000 and was ordained in 2003. He served in various parishes throughout the archdiocese; he was at Christ the Redeemer, Swift Current, when Archbishop Daniel Bohan asked him to attend St. Paul’s University, Ottawa to study canon law.

He was surprised at the request, and a further surprise awaited him in a letter from the archbishop about two weeks before his graduation.

“I was expecting that I was coming back to a parish and giving assistance to the chancery because Father Tonny was chancellor and I didn’t think he was going to be retiring.”

A chancellor’s responsibility is to make sure that the archdiocese conforms to all the documents, rules and regulations that govern the church. It involves reading and making sure that anything that emanates from Rome is documented, properly stored and safeguarded.

“There’s a lot of paperwork” said Owolagba. “We have to keep abreast of all the documents that come from Rome. We have to read the documents, help the bishop with his documents and help direct the policy for the diocese conforming to the directives from Rome.”
Owolagba was a professional soccer player in Italy but apart from coaching when he served in Estevan hasn’t had much opportunity to play, although some friendly games were played on St. Paul’s pitch with other priests. He is assigned to St. Peter’s Parish, Regina, with O’Neil Catholic High School adjacent to the parish, and it’s his intention to participate at O’Neil.

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