The senior chaplain of the Harvard-Radcliffe Catholic Student Center has been named auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston.
The Vatican appointed the Rev. John P. Boles to the prestigious post in a decision announced this week by Cardinal Bernard F. Law '53.
Boles has also been vicar of St. Paul's church on Bow St., since 1974.
"We think it's fantastic," said Mary T. Teichert '93, president of the Harvard-Radcliffe Catholic Student Association, about Boles' appointment.
"We're very proud of him, but we're going to miss him," she said.
In an interview yesterday, Boles said "It will take some time to getting used to" the appointment.
"I will miss the Harvard students very much," he said, adding that it has been a "challenge" to work with them.
"Young people are filled with ideas and questions and doubt. And they don't accept answers too quickly," he said.
Boles regularly performs St. Paul's Sunday night Mass, which is usually attended by about 700 Harvard students.
Boles also discusses scripture with students and counsel them about "the whole range of things college students are concerned with", said Sister Mary Karen Powers, also a chaplain as the center.
Bole will be responsible for the spiritual leadership of Catholics in Cambridge, somerville and Boston.
Auxiliary bishops are also responsible for practical matters such as assigning priests to local churches and managing church finances.
Boles expects to assume his new position before September.
The Pope named Boles to the position in response to a request by Law.
According to Roman Catholic practice, once a bishop requests the appointment of an auxiliary prelate, the priests of the diocese send in their recommendations as to who should fill the post.
The bishop then complies a list of the recommended names and sends it to the Vatican, and the Pope selects one of the priests on the list.
According to the Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law, a candidate "should be outstanding for his faith" and "his good moral life," said powers.
He should also have "talents which would make him fit to fulfill the office in question," she said.