Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
December 28, 2009
Former Vatican official named Saskatoon bishop
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
SASKATOON - A Regina priest who served seven years as the Vatican officer for relations with Anglicans and Methodists is the new bishop of Saskatoon.
Pope Benedict's appointment of Msgr. Donald Bolen as bishop of Saskatoon was announced Dec. 21.
Bolen, 48, will become the shepherd for the diocese that has been without a bishop since Archbishop Albert LeGatt was installed as head of the St. Boniface, Man., Archdiocese in September.
He currently serves as vicar-general of the Regina Archdiocese, pastor of three parishes in towns east of Regina and as chair of the archdiocese's ecumenical commission.
Ordained in 1991 after studies at St. Paul's Seminary in Ottawa, Bolen began doctoral studies at Oxford University in England. He taught religious studies at Campion College of the University of Regina and then served with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity at the Vatican from 2001 to 2008.
Earlier this year, Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury awarded Bolen the Cross of St. Augustine in recognition of his work in Anglican-Catholic relations.
"The archbishop paid warm tribute to the theological acumen and spiritual discernment that Msgr. Bolen had put unreservedly at the service of Anglican-Roman Catholic relations during his seven-year assignment to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in Rome," said a statement from Lambeth Palace.
In a 2004 talk at St. Joseph's College in Edmonton, Bolen described Anglican-Catholic relations at that time as marked by both fragility and hope.
In a 2008 talk at The King's College, Bolen said unity is always the work of the Holy Spirit and can never be forced.
"The Holy Spirit does desire the reconciliation of the disciples of Jesus and every action at whatever level which seeks reconciliation, which helps to heal disunity is a gift to be celebrated," he said.
Bolen told the Regina Leader-Post that while the appointment as bishop is slightly overwhelming, he is grateful for the opportunity.
"Everything I've witnessed and heard about the diocese has been very positive and encouraging: That it is a vibrant faith community deeply committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to bringing the Gospel into dialogue with contemporary culture," he said.
A date for Bolen's ordination as bishop has yet to be decided.
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