Archbishop Donald Bolen was formally installed Friday to lead the Roman Catholic church in the Archdiocese of Regina.
Bolen was previously a bishop in the church, from Saskatoon.
The Regina Archdiocese oversees activities across a large area of southern Saskatchewan.
Bolen's elevation was announced in July by Pope Francis. He is the eighth Archbishop for the region.
Bolen was born in Gravelbourg, Sask., and was ordained at the age of 30 in 1991.
The ceremony Friday included songs and readings as well as messages
of congratulations from representatives of other faiths and religious
orders. There was also a blessing and smudge ceremony reflecting the
Indigenous communities of the area.
"Thank you for the kind words," Bolen said when he addressed people
for the first time as Archbishop. "It was hard to leave Saskatoon but it
is good to be home."
Bolen referenced his roots when he spoke about some of the challenges facing the church today.
"Here on the Prairies we are predisposed to vastness," he said. "We
live in places where we can see to the edge of a very distant horizon
... mystery and vastness are all around us."
Bolen used that imagery to invite people to "ponder the depths and
heights of God's goodness to us. And to have a correspondingly vast
vision of God's desire for humanity."
He also spoke about the many beauties of human existence as well as sadness and suffering.