New Fr Doyle biography published today!

Worshipper and Worshipped

Worshipper and Worshipped: Across the Divide: an Irish Padre of the Great War: Fr. Willie Doyle Chaplain to the Forces 1915-1917 by Carole Hope is published today, the anniversary of the end of the Great War. It is a most interesting chronological account of Fr Doyle’s life with a heavy focus on his time as military chaplain in World War 1. The book is in excess of 700 pages in length, and contains information and letters from Fr Doyle that have never before been published.

I am currently reading a copy of the book – I like it a lot. I think I know Fr Doyle and his story pretty well, but I am still learning things. I am learning a lot about the war, but sometimes I’m also learning things about Fr Doyle’s spirit and character – even though I have read about some events before, approaching them from a different angle, or with a different writing style, opens up new aspects of Fr Doyle’s life and virtues for me.

When I have completed the book I will write a more complete review. But I can say now that I recommend the book for all of those with an interest in Fr Doyle or for all of those with an interest in the Great War. I would say that it is the clearly the definitive treatment of Fr Doyle’s war years – it contains everything that O’Rahilly discussed about the war, and then some.

It will be available in shops (in the UK at least), and it is available for pre-order on Amazon here:

There is a slight delay in Amazon having the book listed as “in stock”, but I understand that physical copies will be available there very soon. I also understand that ebook versions will be available.

Worshipper and Worshipped 2

And speaking of books, Lulu, the printers of the classic biography of Fr Doyle by O’Rahilly, have a 20% discount on all of their products until this Friday. The O’Rahilly biography is the definitive analysis of Fr Doyle’s spiritual life. The discount code is CORNUCOPIA – enter this when purchasing the book. The book can be found here:;jsessionid=7E11769C43CF73B9FD2FFC4253EAFDDA

However, don’t let this discount offer deter you from buying Carole’s new biography – buy both if you can! One is a spiritual classic and definitive assessment of Fr Doyle’s inner life. The other contains new research and material relating to the war that O’Rahilly did not published, and is the definitive treatment of Fr Doyle’s military service.

By the way, this blog has no financial relationship with these products, so they are not being “pushed” for any financial gain! The website is entirely self-funded. Sometimes I am told that WordPress includes some ads at the bottom of the page. I do not gain from those either – I would have to pay extra to have them removed – it is something that I may do in the coming months.

Thoughts for November 11 (Armistice Day) from Fr Willie Doyle

From the Tabernacle Jesus seems to say, “Stay with Me for it is towards evening and the day is now far spent”. This should urge me to come to visit Him often.

If my resurrection is a real one and is to produce fruit, it must be external, so that all may see I am not the same man, that my life is changed in Christ.

COMMENT: Fr Doyle wrote these notes while contemplating the scene in which the disciples encounter Jesus on the road to Emmaus during the 4th week of the Spiritual Exercises in 1907. He poses a question that we may fruitfully ask ourselves – can people perceive that my life has been changed in Christ? Or, as St Josemaria Escriva once put it:

How I wish your bearing and conversation were such that, on seeing or hearing you, people would say: This man reads the life of Jesus Christ.

Today is of course of great significance, for 95 years ago today the First World War came to an end. It was a dreadful war fuelled by stubbornness and nationalism. As Fr Doyle once wrote:

This is a sad, sad war, of which you at home have but the faintest idea. May the good God end it soon.

Yet sanctity still shines through in the midst of the horrors. Apart from the case of Fr Doyle, the heroic examples of Blessed Rupert Mayer SJ and of Blessed Charles of Austria, both on the “other side,” also come to mind. Even in the midst of horror and bloodshed, the Holy Spirit continues to inspire many to acts of heroism and sanctity.

Traditionally this is a day on which all those who have died in war are remembered. It is thus a special day for remembering Fr Doyle and his own special sacrifice in giving up all worldly comforts, and laying down his own life, in order to bring comfort and the sacraments to those dying on the field of battle. He was dedicated to dying soldiers, and lost his own life while rushing into danger to assist them. In remembering Fr Doyle, it is thus right that we remember and pray for those for whom he offered his own life.

Today also marks the publication of the new biography of Fr Doyle by Carole Hope: “Worshipper and Worshipped”. I will publish a blog post on this later today, as well as a voucher for a 20% discount for the original O’Rahilly biography. So stay tuned…