John Kevin Boland was born in Monkstown, County Cork, Ireland, April 25, 1935. His parents, John Joseph and Gertrude O’Brien, are both deceased. He has three brothers, Frank, Tony and Raymond (deceased) who was the former bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri.
Bishop Boland attended Christian Brothers College in Cork and All Hallows Seminary in Dublin. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 14, 1959, for the Diocese of Savannah by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid of Dublin. He was appointed Bishop of Savannah on February 7, 1995, and his episcopal ordination took place on April 18, 1995, at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah. Bishop Boland attended the summer sessions of Catholic University of America in 1962, 1963 and 1964 and Fordham University in 1987, 1988 and 1989, from which he holds a Master’s degree. In the spring of 1974, he participated in the Pontifical North American College Continuing Education program.
Among his assignments in the Diocese of Savannah were
Bishop Boland’s specialized assignments have been
He was Personnel Advisor for the Diocese of Savannah from 1976 to 1995. He was Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of Savannah from 1965 to 1968, Chancellor from 1978 to 1983 and Vicar General from 1973 to 1995. He served as an ex officio member of the Council of Priests from 1984 to 1995, having served as its Chairman from 1985-87. He was appointed Vicar Forane (Dean) of the Columbus Deanery from 1987-90 and again in 1993. He was a member of the College of Consultors from 1984 to 1995. He was Diocesan Moderator of Pacelli High School from 1994-95.
Bishop Boland has been a member of the Pastoral Practices Committee of the former National Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has served on the Board of the Southeast Pastoral Institute. He has previously been Region IV representative to the USCCB Administrative Committee and a member of the USCCB Communications Committee. In November 2001 he was elected chairman-elect and then chairman of the Committee on Marriage and Family Life. From 2002-2005 he was a member of the USCCB Budget and Finance Committee. Bishop Boland also served as a board member of the All Hallows Missionary College Fund and has served as a Trustee for Catholic Mutual Group. In 2006 he became a member of the Bishops' Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People and was elected to the Board of Catholic Relief Services. In January 2008, Bishop Boland became a member of the Subcommittee of the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers and was appointed on February 28, 2008 as the National Bishop Promoter of the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS). In 2016 he was appointed to the Catholic Relief Services Foundation Board. Bishop Boland currently serves as the President of the Flannery O'Connor Childhood Home Board and is the State Chaplain for the Georgia State Knights of Columbus.
Pope Benedict XVI, on July 18, 2011 accepted the resignation of Bishop Boland as the 13th Bishop of Savannah. He acted as the Administrator of the Diocese until October 18, 2011 on which date Gregory John Hartmayer was ordained and installed as the 14th Bishop of Savannah.
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