Archbishop Boland participated in the Vatican Council II in Rome which was in session from 1962 to 1965. He was elected by his peers to head the Bishops' Study Committee, to which he was reelected each of his three years there. Additionally he was chosen to serve on the Catholic Mission Board of the United States, Chair of the Episcopal Committee and as liaison between women religious and the hierarchy of the United States. Upon returning to Newark the turmoil of the 1960's was erupting.
The Newark community was torn with racial strife during the Civil Rights Movement. Archbishop Boland made it clear that he would not allow the rights of African Americans to be compromised. He urged compliance with the Bishops' Letter on Social Justice (1958) which emphasized the Catholic obligation to ensure that all African Americans had all of the rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. In 1967 the Newark Riots began but did not deter the clergy from their mission.
Boland dedicated the finished Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on October 19, 1954. He retired on April 2, 1974 and died on March 16, 1979. His remains rest with some of his predecessors in Sacred Heart Cathedral's crypt.