Ronan McGreevy of the Irish Times has produced a fascinating documentary about the Irish involvement in World War 1. Today the Irish Times published the segment featuring the Battle of Passchendaele and the Irish involvement therein. Fr Doyle features extensively, and we get a glimpse of the terrain where he worked and was killed.
Thanks to Ronan for his hard work in keeping the memory of these Irish soldiers alive and for his ongoing interest in Fr Doyle.
Robert Fisk published an article about Fr Doyle in the Independent (UK) yesterday. It is an interesting, but somewhat unusual, take on Fr Doyle. There are some factual and theological difficulties with it, and it is rather polemical. I link to it here only for the historical record and without comment one way or the other.
Today is the feast of St Alberto Hurtado, a Jesuit saint from Chile. He was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, and is renowned for his social work and love of the poor.
Contacts in Chile also tell me that he is remembered among the Jesuits there as a devotee of Fr Doyle. He apparently distributed literature relating to Fr Doyle and encouraged others to learn about his life. I understand that he came to Ireland as a young Jesuit to learn English, so it was probably on this occasion that he heard about Fr Doyle. Here we have a joyful, cheerful modern saint who was devoted to social justice and who also presumably derived personal spiritual benefits from the example, and words, of Fr Doyle.
St Alberto is not alone – we know that St Josemaria Escriva, Saint Teresa of Calcutta, Blessed John Sullivan, Venerable Adolphus Petit and the Servant of God Bernard Quinn all admired Fr Doyle. There may well be other well known saints who were also devoted to him, and indeed there are many thousands of ordinary people from all walks of life who have been inspired by Fr Doyle’s love of God and of neighbour.
I am not aware of a specific reference to Fr Doyle in St Alberto’s writings, but there may well be something there: if anybody knows anything please let me know.
There is a list of some meditations in English from St Alberto here. Interestingly, St Alberto refers to the Venerable Matt Talbot (we have no direct evidence, but also surely a devotee of Fr Doyle??) in this meditation.