Suffering from lung cancer, retired Kansas City Bishop Raymond James Boland has returned to Ireland, the land of his birth, to enter hospice care in Cork.
Boland was born in Tipperary this month in 1932 but grew up in Cork before moving to Dublin for his higher learning. Years ago, he had determined to be buried in his homeland. He left Saturday, according to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
He served as bishop of the diocese from June 22, 1993, until May 24, 2005, when he retired and took the role of bishop emeritus here. Before that, he was the bishop in Birmingham, Ala., since early 1988.
In Kansas City, he was succeeded by Bishop Robert Finn, who released a statement last weekend noting: “In accord with his wishes I have shared this message with you after his departure. He humbly requested not a farewell, but only your prayers.
“We are so grateful for Bishop Boland’s missionary zeal and dedicated service to our Diocese. It is nonetheless sorrowful for us to bid him farewell. He is a great priest and bishop who served us with love and fidelity to Jesus Christ and the Church.”
Finn said his office would share updates on Boland’s condition. The release said Boland was weak from radiation treatments.
Boland, considered a moderate bishop, attended Christian Brothers College, and his theological training came at All Hallows College in Dublin, in which city he also earned a University College degree.
Ordained on June 16, 1957, he immediately served parishes in the Washington, D.C., area.