John Joseph Boylan (bishop)

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John Joseph Boylan (October 7, 1889 – July 19, 1953) was the third Roman Catholic Bishop of Rockford, Illinois (1943-1953).


John Boylan was born in New York City to Edward Lawrence and Bridget Anne (née Morrissey) Boylan. He studied at La Salle Academy in Providence, Rhode Island (1904-1908) and Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Maryland (1908-1910). He entered St. Bernard's Seminary in Rochester, New York in 1910, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Des Moines on July 28, 1915.[1] He earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and Licentiate of Canon Law from the Catholic University of America at Washington, D.C. in 1917.

Returning to Iowa, he served as a curate at St. Francis Church in Council Bluffs until 1918. He was a professor (1918-1922) and later president (1922-1943) at Dowling College. In 1923 he earned a Ph.D. from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He also served as director of Catholic Charities, superintendent of Catholic schools (1924-1934), and vicar general (1934-1942) in the Des Moines Diocese. He was named a Domestic Prelate in October 1933 and a protonotary apostolic in November 1940.

On November 21, 1942, Boylan was appointed Bishop of Rockford, Illinois, by Pope Pius XII.[1] He received his episcopal consecration on February 17, 1943 from Bishop Gerald Bergan, with Bishops Edmond Heelan and Henry Rohlman serving as co-consecrators.[1] He remained as bishop until his death ten years later, at Narragansett, Rhode Island, aged 63.


  1. ^ a b c "Bishop John Joseph Boylan". 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Edward Francis Hoban
Bishop of Rockford
Succeeded by
Raymond Peter Hillinger