Bishop Raymond A. Lane, MM

Born: January 2, 1894
Ordained: February 8, 1920
Died: July 31, 1974

Bishop Raymond A. Lane died at 4:30 the morning of July 31 in San Francisco. He had been in residence at Mt. View since 1961.

Bishop Lane was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on January 2, 1894. He studied at St. Mary’s School, Lawrence and at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, Mass., before entering Maryknoll in 1913. He was the first student to apply for The Venard. After ordination in 1920, he served as procurator for the young Society until 1923, when he left for Hong Kong to take charge of the Maryknoll Procure in that city. Two years later he was journeying north to begin his language study in the land of the Manchus. He inaugurated the Fushun Mission in 1926 and remained its superior until elected to the Maryknoll Council by the First General Chapter in 1929. He also became rector of the Seminary. In 1932, the Fushun Mission was erected into a prefecture and Monsignor Lane was appointed Prefect Apostolic. On February 13, 1940 word was received that Mon signor Lane was appointed Vicar Apostolic.

On June 11, 1940, Monsignor Lane was consecrated bishop by Bishop James E. Walsh, then Superior General of Maryknoll, in his home parish. The co-consecrators were the late Cardinal Cushing and Bishop Joseph B. McCarthy of Portland, Maine. Bishop Lane was assigned the titular see of Hypaepa in Asia Minor. His episcopal motto was: Facere et Docere.

The coming of Pearl Harbor found Bishop Lane interned by the Japanese in Fushun for the duration of the war. Writing to Bishop Walsh on August 21, 1945, he said: “The news of last Wednesday brought a welcome end to our Babylonian Captivity. While it was not an easy thing to look forward to because of the uncertainty of the duration, still we must say at the end of it all, that from a spiritual point of view, it has been a real blessing.

Within a year of repatriation, Bishop Lane was elected the third Superior General of Maryknoll by the 1946 Chapter. The next ten years were the busiest years of the Bishop’s entire life. This decade coincided with Maryknoll’s greatest expansion at home and abroad and taxed the strength of Bishop Lane to the limit. In spite of a very active life in administration of the Society the Bishop still found time to record his memories of the early days of Maryknoll in several very readable volumes. His easy conversational style carried over into his writings and made Maryknoll Missions live in print. As Superior General he was appreciated by members because of his fatherly concern.

The years following the end of the Bishop’s administration (1956) found his health rather fragile but this did not keep him from cultivating friends for the work of Maryknoll and, in his concern for people, he continued carrying on voluminous correspondence with his many friends. He will long be remembered by many people inside and outside the Society as one of the most loved of the Maryknoll pioneers.

A Vigil Service was held on Friday evening, August 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the Seminary Chapel. Mass of the Resurrection was concelebrated at 11:00 a.m. in the Seminary Chapel, Saturday, August 3. The Principal Concelebrant was Bishop John W. Comber; Bishop James E. Walsh gave the absolution and Father Raymond A. Hill was the homilist.