Instead of a quote from Fr Doyle today we have an article about an incident he experienced during the war. This is taken from the December 2013 Pioneer Magazine. Fr Doyle was an enthusiastic member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association founded by the Jesuit Fr James Cullen SJ. Pioneers take a pledge to abstain from alcohol, both to act as a witness to others but also as a form of self-denial, offering this sacrifice up for those who struggle with alcohol.
Fr Doyle was on the board of the Pioneers, and it is said that Fr Cullen considered him as a potential successor to lead the organisation when he himself died. Obviously, that was not to be.
Fr Doyle had a great concern for working men and all of their difficulties, and in Ireland one of those difficulties, even to this day, is certainly excessive use alcohol. He encouraged people to take the “pledge” not to drink, and preached homilies to this effect. However, Fr Doyle was no puritan – his letters often make humorous references to characters he met who were fond of alcohol. So while he encouraged abstinence from alcohol, he seems to have done so with his usual balance and good cheer.
Incidentally, Fr Doyle was wearing his Pioneer pin on his uniform when he was killed.
More information can be found on the Pioneers here: http://www.pioneerassociation.ie/
The article from their December magazine can be found here: A Soldier’s Kiss