Thomas Aloysius Boland

The Most Reverend

Thomas Aloysius Boland
Archbishop emeritus of Newark
See Newark
Installed January 14, 1953
Term ended April 2, 1974
Predecessor Thomas Walsh
Successor Peter Leo Gerety
Other posts Auxiliary Bishop of Newark (1940-47)
Bishop of Paterson (1947-52)
Ordination December 23, 1922
Consecration July 25, 1940
Personal details
Born (1896-02-17)February 17, 1896
Orange, New Jersey
Died March 16, 1979(1979-03-16) (aged 83)
Orange, New Jersey
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Styles of
Thomas Aloysius Boland
Mitre plain 2.png
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
Posthumous style none
Ordination history of
Thomas Aloysius Boland
Episcopal consecration
Consecrated by Thomas Walsh (Newark)
Date July 25, 1940
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Thomas Aloysius Boland as principal consecrator
Justin J. McCarthy June 11, 1954
Walter William Curtis September 24, 1957
Martin Walter Stanton September 24, 1957
Joseph Arthur Costello January 24, 1963
John Joseph Dougherty January 24, 1963
John Edward Cohill, S.V.D. March 11, 1967

Thomas Aloysius Boland (February 17, 1896—March 16, 1979) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Archbishop of Newark from 1952 to 1974, having previously served as Auxiliary Bishop of Newark (1940–47) and Bishop of Paterson (1947-52).

Early life and education

Thomas Boland was born in Orange, New Jersey, to John Peter and Ellen Agnes (née O'Rourke) Boland.[1] He received his early education at the St. John's School the parish school of St. John the Evangelist Church[2] He then attended St. Francis Xavier High School in New York City.[3] He founded St. Joseph Regional High School, Immaculate Heart Academy and Paramus Catholic High School in the early/mid '60s.

In 1915, Boland enrolled at Seton Hall College in South Orange.[1] He graduated from Seton Hall in 1919 as valedictorian of his class.[4] He then began his studies for the priesthood at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.[4] He earned a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree from the Pontifical Urbaniana University.[2]


On December 23, 1922, Boland was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark at the Basilica of St. John Lateran.[5] Following his return to New Jersey, he was first assigned as a curate at St. Catherine's Church in Hillside.[3] He also served at St. Mary's Church in Nutley.[2] In addition to his pastoral duties, he taught Sacred Scripture and classical languages at Seton Hall Preparatory School and Seton Hall College.[1]

From 1926 to 1938, Boland served as professor of moral theology and canon law at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington.[1] In 1933, he became an official of the archdiocesan tribunal with the duty of adjudicating marriages of questionable validity.[2] That same year, he was named moderator of priests' conferences.[2] He was chancellor of the archdiocese from 1938 to 1940.[1]


On May 21, 1940, Boland was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Newark and Titular Bishop of Hirina by Pope Pius XII.[5] He received his episcopal consecration on the following July 25 from Archbishop Thomas Walsh, with Bishops William A. Griffin and Bartholomew J. Eustace serving as co-consecrators.[5] As an auxiliary bishop, he served as rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary from 1940 to 1947.[1] In this capacity, he taught pastoral theology and liturgy and lectured on the archdiocesan statutes.[6] He also served as director of the Newark branch of the National Organization for Decent Literature, and as promoter of the archdiocesan synod held in 1941.[2]

Following the death of Bishop Thomas H. McLaughlin, Boland was named the second Bishop of Paterson on June 21, 1947.[5] His installation took place at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist on September 18 of that year.[3] As bishop of Paterson, he served as the spiritual leader of 135,000 Catholics in North Jersey for five years.[3]

Boland was appointed the second Archbishop of Newark on November 15, 1952.[5] He was installed at Sacred Heart Church in Vailsburg on January 14, 1953.[7] On October 19, 1954, he formally dedicated the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Newark.[8] At the same ceremony, he received the pallium, a vestment worn by metropolitan bishops, from Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, the Apostolic Delegate to the United States.[7]

Between 1962 and 1965, Boland attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council in Rome, where he was elected to head the Bishops' Study Committee.[4] In June 1965, he was named an Assistant at the Pontifical Throne by Pope Paul VI for "establishing numerous parishes, opening many parochial schools and admitting the laity to active participation in the apostolate of the sacred ecclesiastical hierarchy."[9] He was also a member of the Catholic Mission Board of the United States, chair of the Episcopal Committee, and liaison between women religious and the American Catholic bishops.[4]

In January 1969, a group of 20 priests of the Archdiocese of Newark accused Boland of adopting a "white racist attitude" toward African Americans and said he must be charged with "the bigotry of indolence and the prejudice of apathy."[10] Along with these accusations of racism, the group of priests presented a list of demands, which called for the formation of an advisory committee of priests for inner-city affairs, an improved method of screening priests in African American areas, and the transfer of some pastors who have "not proven a predisposition for justice by their performance."[10] In response, Boland issued a seven-page report that outlined the programs the archdiocese had taken in regard to African Americans.[11] He declared, "No one can truthfully say I have not made every effort to bring to reality those plans which I have felt could be of advantage, whether for spiritual or temporal goals, of the disadvantaged in our midst.[11]

Later life and death

He retired as Archbishop of Newark on April 2, 1974, after twenty-one years of service.[5] He died at St. Mary's Hospital in Orange, aged 83.[11] He was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "PATERSON PRELATE NAMED ARCHBISHOP; Boland Designated Successor to Walsh of New York, Whom He Served as Auxiliary". The New York Times. 1952-11-19.
  3. ^ a b c d "BOLAND BECOMES PATERSON BISHOP; Installed as Spiritual Leader of 135,000 in North Jersey—Walsh Conducts Services". The New York Times. 1947-09-19.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Most Reverend Thomas A. Boland, S.T.D., LL.D." Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Archbishop Thomas Aloysius Boland". [self-published source]
  6. ^ "Modern Times at Darlington". Seton Hall University.
  7. ^ a b Sheldon, Preston King (1953-01-15). "BOLAND INSTALLED AS ARCHBISHOP; Apostolic Delegate Presides at Newark Ceremony—Pallium Yet to Be Conferred". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Zerner, Charles (1954-10-20). "NEW CATHEDRAL IN NEWARK OPENS". The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Archbishop Boland Marks Jubilee". The New York Times. 1965-06-24.
  10. ^ a b "Newark Prelate, Accused of Racism, Defends Programs". The New York Times. 1969-01-10.
  11. ^ a b c Goodman, Jr., George (1979-03-18). "Archbishop Thomas Boland, 83, Of Newark Archdiocese Is Dead". The New York Times.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Newark
July 25, 1940 – June 21, 1947
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Thomas Henry McLaughlin
Bishop of Paterson
June 21, 1947 – November 15, 1952
Succeeded by
James Aloysius McNulty
Preceded by
Thomas Joseph Walsh
Archbishop of Newark
November 15, 1952 – March 25, 1974
Succeeded by
Peter Leo Gerety

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