Published July 15, 2004
Father Paul J. Bolton, who will be 68 in October and has been a priest for 42 years, has been serving in the military chaplaincy for 39 years. A priest of the Diocese of Providence, R.I., he began by serving as a chaplain to the Rhode Island National Guard in July 1965. In addition to serving at bases around the country, he served as a chaplain in Vietnam in 1968-69, in Germany from 1972-74, in Japan from 1987-90, in Germany from 1990-93 and in Panama from 1993-99.
He has been serving at Fort McPherson since 1999. After reaching a point of mandatory retirement in 1997, he was recalled to active duty three times until being released effective Sept. 30, 2004. In retirement he will be living in Rhode Island and serving as a senior priest in the Providence Diocese. He has now donated his library of 600 books that he’s been “lugging around the world” to the Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit in Conyers. In addition to serving as a supply priest in Providence, he looks forward to having time for painting and cooking, taking some classes on the G.I. Bill, and “having a blast in retirement.” He said in the farewell Mass program, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my life as a priest for the last 42 years, and in the uniform of the U.S. Army for the last 39 years. I have no regrets. I would do it all over again!” He said his successor will be Father Dennis Niemeier, a lieutenant colonel and a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.