What happened the day after a convent finished a novena to Fr Doyle…

Fr Doyle was known for his enthusiastic promotion of religious vocations. He wrote a best selling pamphlet on the topic  (http://fatherdoyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/vocations.pdf) and another on the priesthood http://fatherdoyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/shall-i-be-a-priest.pdf During his life he received many letters from around the world from people who had found their vocation, thanking him for these pamphlets. The power of his written word continued long after his death – I know of one chaplain in World War 2 who recruited at least 12 soldiers to the priesthood by giving them Fr Doyle’s pamphlets. He also sought out convents all around the world for Irish girls. He founded the Poor Clare convent in Cork, and on his last trip home to Ireland he initiated a novel fund raising scheme to raise money for poor seminarians. 

Fr Doyle was so enthusiastic about vocations during his life that the following story should not come as a big surprise to us…

The Benedictine nuns of St Cecilia’s Abbey on the Isle of Wight (http://www.stceciliasabbey.org.uk) recently started a novena to Fr Doyle with the specific intention of finding some Irish vocations. Anybody with even a passing awareness of the Catholic Church in Ireland is aware that there is a deep vocations crisis. Well, the day after the novena ended, a young Irish lady in her 20’s arrived for a visit at the convent. Today, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, she will start her time as a postulant at St Cecilia’s Abbey.

Some might dismiss this as coincidence. Those with faith will see it in a different light. Readers can make up their own minds. 

In any event, this shows that devotion to Fr Doyle exists, and indeed that it is growing, and not just in Ireland. 

Let us pray today for St Cecilia’s Abbey, and for their newest postulant. You may also buy some CDs of chant from the monastery here: http://www.stceciliasabbey.org.uk/site.php?menuaccess=30 and also watch a video about them here:

Sticking to the Benedictine theme, readers should also pray for Ireland’s newest Benedictine monastery – Silverstream Priory and for Dom Mark Kirby, the founder, who is a great devotee of Fr Doyle and writes about him regularly on his excellent blog Vultus Christi (http://vultus.stblogs.org). Please also consider making a donation to them – they live poverty in a very real sense and need whatever help they can find. 

Finally, simply because we seem to have developed a little bit of a Benedictine theme, here is a link (Flavigny newsletter May 2013) to a newsletter about Fr Doyle published last year by the Benedictine monks of St Joseph’s Abbey in Flavigny in France (www.clairval.com)

Thoughts for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception from Fr Willie Doyle


God delights to honour His saints by bestowing upon them special graces which mark them off from the rest of mankind. To one He gives a burning zeal for souls; to another the thirst for suffering and humiliation, but on Mary alone He bestowed the supreme privilege of freedom from the taint of sin.

From the first moment of her conception till she closed her eyes forever on this world, Mary was undefiled, unspotted by the least taint of sin. Never for an instant did the fierce and fiery burst of temptation ruffle the calm of her holy soul; for her the forbidden pleasures of this life, for which man will barter his priceless soul, had no false attraction. Sin might rage around her, hell might move its mighty depths, but nought could tarnish the spotless beauty of her who was to be the Mother of God.