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DORCHESTER — On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, Bishop John P. Boles, auxiliary bishop of Boston for the central region, offered a Mass of Thanksgiving on Feb. 20 at St. Gregory Church in the Lower Mills section of Dorchester. Joining Archbishop Seán O’Malley and 18 concelebrants were the archdiocese’s four other auxiliary bishops, and Bishop John McCormack from New Hampshire and Bishop Richard J. Malone from the Diocese of Portland, Maine.
Prior to the end of the jubilee Mass, Archbishop O’Malley addressed the congregation and thanked Bishop Boles for his 50 years of service to the archdiocese. Bishop Boles then processed down the center aisle of the church to a round of applause from the congregation.
Bishop Boles grew up in the Oak Square section of Brighton. He attended St. Sebastian Country Day School, located in Newton at the time. He was ordained a priest on Feb. 2, 1955. He offered his first Mass on Feb. 6 at Our Lady of Presentation Church in Brighton. His first assignment as parochial vicar was to St. Edward Parish in Medfield (1955-1957). In 1957, he joined the faculty of St. Sebastian. During his years there, he pursued further study, earning a masters degree in counseling at Boston College and a doctorate in education. In 1966, he was appointed headmaster of St. Sebastian. In 1971, he was appointed vicar for education, a new position that involved restructuring education for the archdiocese. On Oct. 15, 1974, he was appointed pastor of St. Paul Parish in Cambridge, while remaining as vicar for education.
On April 14, 1992, Bishop Boles and Bishop John McNamara were appointed auxiliary bishops of Boston. The two were ordained by Cardinal Law at Holy Cross Cathedral on May 21, 1992. Thereafter, Bishop Boles established his office in Dorchester. Since 1996, he has been in residence at St. Gregory.