This website was launched 5 years ago today. At the time, I wasn’t sure how it would develop or whether anyone would be interested or whether I would have personally have the interest, or material, to keep it going. I honestly never thought that I would still be running it 5 years later.
I guess I now know the answer to all of these questions!
The last five years shows me that there is a global interest in Fr Doyle’s life and spirit. Many people around the world write to me asking about Fr Doyle’s cause or asking about the possibility of a posthumous award of the Victoria Cross or reporting a favour allegedly granted through Fr Doyle’s intercession. Others write to tell me about the inter-generational devotion to Fr Doyle in their family because of the help he gave to their grandfather or great-grandfather in the war.
Perhaps the most interesting of all are those – especially the young – who write to me having heard of Fr Doyle for the first time, and who have become intrigued by his spirit and his message and want to know more.
The greatest sign of ongoing devotion to Fr Doyle is the fact that three new books have been published about him in just the last 18 months. Carole Hope’s thorough new biography of the war years entitled Worshipper and Worshipped and KV Turley’s excellent introductory CTS booklet as well as a new book in French published by the Amis de St Benoit Labre (see here). All three books were developed completely independently of this website – the diversity of people interested in promoting Fr Doyle’s memory is itself significant.
I hope that the next 12 months will bring to fruition some current plans aimed at making Fr Doyle more well known across the world. My own time is sadly limited, and there is much more that I would like to do, but I will keep pushing ahead as best I can.
Thank you to all of those who have helped and commented and become friends through this site over the past 5 years.
To mark this anniversary I am posting a video that I never posted before – it is an excerpt from an Irish TV programme called Spirit Level, and it aired about 7 months ago. There are short interviews, including a fascinating glimpse at some of Fr Doyle’s belongings in the Jesuit archives…