As a general rule this site tends to focus only on the life and spirituality of Fr Doyle, and refers only to other events and developments in so far as they relate to Fr Doyle’s life and spirit. Today we will break that rule (a little, anyway).
Consider the following unusual video. I came across it on the internet last night and I was immediately struck by it, and by how Fr Doyle would have responded. I do not know the young lady in this video. However, from what I can tell, her story is genuine.
I can say with a high degree of confidence that Fr Doyle would have supported initiatives like this. He did much to promote vocations, and was very active in helping young ladies find convents that they could enter. He raised money when it was needed to support these vocations.
Consider the following extract from O’Rahilly’s biography of Fr Doyle:
Fr. Doyle’s interest in vocations was not confined merely to literary advocacy. He was always generously ready with personal advice and assistance. He helped a very large number of girls to enter religious houses and a not inconsiderable number of boys to enter religion or to prepare for the priesthood. Many a visit did he pay to convents, many were the letters he wrote in his efforts to ‘place’ vocations. When Ireland failed, he tried England, and even America, Australia, and South Africa. Once he was satisfied that a true vocation existed, he could not be disheartened by any temporal disabilities. An interesting and ingenious scheme which he started, while on leave from the Front, may be best indicated in his own words (in a letter to his father dated 25 July, 1917) :
“I do not know if I have told you of a scheme which I have in my mind to help poor boys who are anxious to be priests. Before the war I came in contact with a number of very respectable lads and young men, whose one desire was to work for God and the salvation of souls, but who, for want of means, were not able to pursue their studies. I was able to help some of them and get them free places in America or England, with a couple at Mungret, but the number of applicants was far in excess of the resources.
“One day having successfully negotiated or missed a couple of shells, I was struck instead by a happy idea. I was coming home on leave and made up my mind to make an experiment with my new idea, which was this. I gave a little talk to the Sodality of the Children of Mary in a certain convent in Dublin on the need for priests at the present time, and what a glorious work it was to help even a single lad to become one of the ‘Lord’s Anointed.’ I told them how many were longing for this honour, and suggested that they should adopt some poor boy and pay for his education until lie was ordained. Two hundred girls subscribing 5/- a year would provide £50, more than enough for the purpose. I suggested that this money ought to be the result of some personal sacrifice, working overtime, making a hat or dresslast longer, etc., but as a last resource they might collect the 5/- or some of it.
“The idea was taken up most warmly: nearly all the money for this year is paid in, though the girls are nearly all factory hands, and the lucky boy will begin his college course in September. I am hoping to get the other convents to follow suit; for the scheme is simple and no great burden on any one, and is a ready solution of the financial difficulty and should bring joy to many a boy’s heart. Certain difficulties naturally suggest themselves, but I think we may safely count a little at least on our Blessed Lord’s help, since the work is being done for Him, and go on with confidence.”
When I first saw this video I was immediately struck with how enthusiastic Fr Doyle would have been to help this young lady if he were alive today.
So perhaps we can do something to help? As I say, I do not know her, and individuals may wish to contact her directly for verification of her story. More details about the young lady can be found here:
Those who feel so inspired and are in a position to do so may like to help her materially or send this link to friends or post it on Twitter and Facebook. Most importantly we can all pray, especially asking Fr Doyle’s intercession in this matter, for this is surely a cause that was close to his heart.