CENTENNIAL — Priests, bishops, archbishops, an abbot and a cardinal concelebrated Regina’s 100th anniversary mass with thousands of the faithfdul at the Brandt Centre June 6. (Photo by Frank Flegel)
Regina celebrates 100th anniversary
REGINA — The Regina
archdiocese’s year of centennial celebrations came to an end June
6 with Archbishop Daniel Bohan, guests Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Roman
Catholic Primate of Canada, Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Papal
Nuncio, 13 other bishops, priests from the archdiocese and beyond, and
thousands of the faithful celebrating a joyful mass at the Brandt Centre.
“I was reborn,”
said Louis Antal of St. Cecila Parish. “It was wonderful.”
The centennial celebrations
began on Pentecost, May 31, 2009, and continued through the year with
celebrations held at both parish and deanery levels throughout the vast
southern Saskatchewan archdiocese. A special icon, Our Lady of the Rosary,
created by Saskatoon artist Giselle Bauche, a centennial logo, and a
book, One Hundred Faith Stories, were created and played a prominent
role in all celebrations. The archdiocese also created special awards
to recognize individuals for their efforts on behalf of their parish,
the archdiocese or both.
Bohan was the principle celebrant
at the mass, assisted by Saskatoon Bishop Don Bolen, Winnipeg Archbishop
and former Bishop of Saskatoon Jim Weisgerber, St. Boniface Archbishop
and former Bishop of Saskatoon Albert LeGatt, and Prince Albert Bishop
Emeritus Blaise Morand.
The celebration began with
a procession carrying banners representing the more than 120 parishes
in the archdiocese, followed by the priests, bishops and archbishops
through a guard of honour provided by 100 members of the Knights of
Columbus and 100 members of the Catholic Women’s League. Music
was provided by a band and massed choir led by Kelly Magnussen assisted
by Ken Holzer. The choir represented most of the parishes in the archdiocese
and featured several soloists during the mass.
Bohan in his homily connected
the Gospel, in which Jesus instructed his apostles to go to the ends
of the earth, to the early missionaries who came to the prairies, and
referred specifically to Bishop Alexandre Taché who learned the
Cree language and left his post at St. Boniface to minister to the Frirst
Nations of the Plains Indians.
“I was fortunate to
get to most of the centennial celebrations,” said the archbishop,
“but there was one that stood out for me and that was the First
Nations centennial celebration held at Lebret.” He said it impressed
him that part of that celebration was a pipe ceremony and feast that
included the concept of service to others.
Ouellet, in a brief talk
before the mass ended, paid tribute o the early missionaries and mentioned
Regina’s first bishop, Olivier Mathieu.
“I thank God for him
and all who followed” for their service to the area, said Ouellet.
“Keep the faith alive,” he told the gathering, “and
bear much fruit. The country needs you.”
Quintana brought greetings
from the pope and also praised the early pioneers. “You can face
the future with confidence because of the foundation that was laid.”
Regina parishes following the Brandt Centre celebration hosted barbecues and lunches for visitors who came from all over the archdiocese.