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Church in Pakistan remembers former bishop of Multan diocese

Bishop of Mutan Yousaf Sohan Celebraes the mass on June 2023

Dominican priests in Pakistan held a requiem Mass for Bishop Emeritus of Multan Ernest Anthony Bertrand Boland on June 9.

Boland, a member of the Order of Preachers, abbreviated OP, also known as the Dominicans, died at St. Jeanne Jugan, a home for the elderly run by the Little Sisters of Poor in Providence, Rhode Island, in the US, on May 28 after battling cancer.

The American-born bishop was well known for contributing to education for rural children in Pakistan. During his term as bishop, he started seven churches, ten hostels, and at least 20 schools in Punjab, the second-largest province in Pakistan's central-eastern region.

Boland was 97. He was buried at the Dominican Friars, Providence College campus cemetery, Providence, USA.

He served the Multan Diocese as a missionary priest and was the third bishop of the Diocese of Multan from 1966 to 1984.

He was born in the Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, on July 10, 1925, and was ordained a priest at St. Dominic Church, Washington, on June 9, 1955. He resigned as a bishop on October 20, 1984.

The requiem Mass of Boland was presided over by the Bishop of Multan, Yousaf Sohan, and was attended by priests, deacons, religious sisters, De La Salle brothers, and lay people. 

In his homily, Sohan spoke about the life and ministry of Bishop Boland, who had served in Pakistan for over 40 years.

Sohan praised Boland's dedication and commitment to serving the people of Multan and the surrounding areas.

On behalf of Ibn-e-Mariam Vice Province of Dominicans in Pakistan, the Prior Vice Provincial Father Pascal Paulus, OP, thanked Sohan and the clergy for their support during the difficult times.

Paulus expressed his gratitude to Boland for his service to the church and the Dominican Order.

Paulus said Bishop Boland had dedicated his life to the service of God and the Church.

Paulus also extended his condolences to the family and friends of Boland and the entire Dominican family in Pakistan.

The requiem mass for Bishop Boland was a beautiful tribute to his life and ministry. His memory will be cherished by all who knew him and were touched by his kindness and generosity.

The Diocese of Multan is located in Punjab, Pakistan's central province. The diocese has a total population of 7.5 million, of which 200,000 are Christians. 

There are seven dioceses, including two archdioceses and one apostolic vicariate.

In a nation of 201 million people, the majority of whom are Muslims, the government of Pakistan reports that there are 1.27 million Christians.

As many as 125 parishes in Pakistan are home to 1,333,450 Catholics, according to the 2018 Catholic Directory of Pakistan.- Santosh Digal


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