Retired Kansas City Bishop Raymond J. Boland has died.
He was born Feb. 8, 1932 in Ireland.
According to his obituary, His first call was to be a teacher, prompted by his early love of great literature. His next was to study architecture.
"God wastes nothing," he would later joke to the Catholic school fifth-graders at the annual Vocation Days, telling them that as a young priest, he taught literature in schools, and as the Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph during a period of remarkable construction, he examined many blueprints.
Ordained in 1957, Boland served the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, as associate pastor, youth ministry director, pastor, archdiocesan secretary for education, director of communications, chancellor and vicar general.
His five years in Birmingham, AL, would be a foreshadowing of his 12 years as bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
In 1993, just as summer was beginning, Boland received another call. He was to become the fifth bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
Before 1993 was over, Boland announced he was strengthening the diocesan policy against the abuse of children by including "zero tolerance" for any church clergy, employee or volunteer.
The renovated Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City, as well as the beautiful new and renovated churches and schools around the Diocese, are but the physical signature accomplishment of the years of Boland as leader of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
Boland survived a cancer operation and suffered from a blood disorder. He died Thursday in Cork, Ireland surrounded by family in a hospice facility.
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