Address of the Apostolic Nuncio H.E. Luigi Bonazzi
Installation of Msgr. Donald Bolen as Archbishop of Regina
Holy Rosary Cathedral, Regina, October 14, 2016
Dear Archbishop Bolen,
My dear brother Bishops,
Dear Friends in Christ,
It is but a year since my last visit to this beautiful province of Saskatchewan. On that occasion, I had the precious gift of encountering first hand, the life and ministry of the Church in this province. Along that journey I was accompanied in part by Msgr. Bolen. I am pleased to be here today, to accompany him as he takes up his new responsibilities as the Archbishop of Regina. We remember gratefully before God your last Archbishop, Archbishop Daniel Bohan. May he rest in peace! I would also like to thank Fr. Lorne Crozon for his service as Diocesan Administrator during this period. Today the Church of Regina rejoices at the return home of a son of this community, a priest of this very Archdiocese. Welcome home, Archbishop Bolen!
I bring with me the greetings and affection of our Holy Father Pope Francis who is spiritually united with us in prayer on this occasion. He is ever close to the Church in Canada including here in the West and I can assure you that he considers as one of the highest and most important of his tasks, to ensure that suitable and worthy pastors are found for the dioceses throughout the world. A fruit of this solicitude for you is precisely Archbishop Donald. I know that you love and esteem him because you know him. He is after all, a son of this land. However, I wish to tell you that in the Shepherd the Lord is sending you there is much more to know than what you already know. Be prepared for surprises – good surprises of course… I wish Msgr. Bolen to surprise you but I also wish you to surprise Msgr. Bolen!
Msgr. Bolen is a man of proximity but also a man capable of travelling long distances.
He is a man of proximity to those who live on the outskirts and the peripheries. Pope Francis reminds us time and time again that closeness is one of the hallmarks of a true and authentic shepherd who in the image of Christ, cares for his flock not from a distance but up close and personal. Dear Archbishop Bolen, throughout your priestly and episcopal ministry you have always shown yourself as one unafraid to draw close to those who suffer in any way. Please, continue to make the mercy of God tangible to all youir people!
A man of proximity, Msgr. Bolen is also a man capable of travelling long distances. As you may know, he has recently walked the over 700 km. of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. He has told me: “If there is one thing we learn while walking the Camino it is this: the Camino is long and difficult! But as long as we are still walking there is hope”.
Dear brothers and Sisters: when you will grow tired, Archbishop Donald will tell you: “courage, one step more!”. Do not hesitate to approach him if you lack the strength and the courage to “take another step.” He will tell you, with Pope Francis, that you are in that moment when just before the dawn the darkness is greatest… and he will help you not to give up precisely in that moment. Says Pope Francis: “the night is at its darkest, when dawn is about to break. And always, when we come down from the Cross, we always do so just five minutes before our liberation comes, at the very moment when our impatience is greatest” (Homily of Pope Francis, June 28, 2013). In Msgr. Bolen you will find a master of loving and hopeful patience… a Pastor who will help you to become a Church that listens. A Church in which everyone has something to learn, a Church where the faithful people, the Bishop and his priests and deacons… all are listening to each other, and all are listening to the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of Truth” (John 14:17), in order to know what the Holy Spirit “says to the Churches” (Rev. 2:7).
Dear Archbishop Bolen, as you walk the roads of this Archdiocese, accompanying your people with closeness and always willing to go the extra mile (Mathew 5:41), you will have the support of your brother bishops as also the priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful of this diocesan community. You will also have the powerful assistance of our Blessed Mother (we are gathered together in this beautiful Cathedral dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary – in this month dedicated to the same). Let us always remember that it is by meditating upon the Mysteries of the Rosary that we can “imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.”
At the beginning of your ministry, at the beginning of this new page in the history of the Archdiocese of Regina – a page which I invite each one of you to write together, relying upon the help of God – in the name of our Holy Father Pope Francis, I am pleased to convey to you, dear Archbishop Bolen, as also to the people of this Archdiocese and indeed to all the people of Saskatchewan, the Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord.