On Sunday, June 6, 2021, in his hometown in Ireland, the Reverend Monsignor John V. Boland returned to God.
Father Boland will be honored and remembered with a memorial mass at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18, at the church he loved so well – St. Francis de Sales.
Serving as the St. Francis de Sales pastor for 35 years, Father Boland was a familiar, smiling face in the Vernon-McAfee area.
Father Boland’s priesthood began in his native Ireland, where he was ordained on June 12, 1965, at St. Patrick College in Carlow. After coming to America, his journey led him to the Sussex County region, where he served as associate pastor at Our Lady of the Lake Church in Sparta.
Later, Father Boland was active in Catholic education for 14 years.
In 1979, he was installed as pastor at the newly incorporated parish of St. Francis de Sales in Vernon, where he worked tirelessly to build the church through stewardship and serving others with time, talent, and treasure. When the little slope-side church at the intersection of Routes 94 and 517 became too overcrowded, the new St. Francis was built in its current location, opening its doors on Sept. 27, 1986.
Father Boland was on call for everyone all the time, and everyone had a special place in his heart. In his cherished community of Vernon, he presided over many Memorial Day ceremonies, was chaplain for the McAfee firehouse, and was a member of the Vernon Ecumenical Council. He attended high school performances and sporting events in Vernon, taking pride in and encouraging the community’s youth.
Even after his retirement in 2013, he continued to visit the sick in hospitals and at home, and drove miles to preside over the weddings and funerals of past students and parishioners.
Father Boland left a legacy and a model to imitate. His parishioners remember the words he taught them, “Jesus, I trust in you, and you will take care of me.” And, “Never forget, all is gift.”
And his community, his family, his friends, his parishioners say, ”Well done, good and faithful servant.”
St. Francis de Sales Church is located on Route 517 in Vernon.
“Never forget, all is gift.” The Reverend Monsignor John V. Boland