Christmas is only 4 weeks away. If you haven’t yet bought Christmas presents, why not consider giving someone a gift of one of the recent books about Fr Doyle? Books are always great gifts, but even more so if the subject matter is inspiring and spiritually uplifting.
Remarkably, there have been 4 new books about Fr Doyle within the past 4 years (a clear sign that something is “stirring” in terms of interest in Fr Doyle). Any one of these would be a great gift to someone. Each has its own contribution to make.
Firstly, I will mention my own modest contribution – To Raise the Fallen. This is 200 page book is a broad overview of Fr Doyle’s life – both military and spiritual – mostly in his own words, with some commentary from me. It would be a great gift for someone who knows a little about Fr Doyle and wants to know more, or even for anyone with a passing interest in history or World War 1. Fr Doyle’s letters are sure to grip people, and they might even gain from his fascinating spiritual notes. It is a useful tool of apostolate – it is a credible gift to give someone who is indifferent to – or alienated from – the Church. It is available here: http://www.veritasbooksonline.com/to-raise-the-fallen-a-selection-of-the-war-letters.html as well as on Amazon and Book Depository.
Worshipper and Worshipped has the distinction of being the largest (700+ pages) and most detailed book about Fr Doyle, and the first book published about him in approximately 75 years. It is the definitive account of Fr Doyle’s war service. It would be a great gift for any World War 1 buffs and for those who already know Fr Doyle but who want probably the most complete assessment of his war years possible. It is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Worshipper-Worshipped-Across-Chaplain-1915-1917/dp/1908336862
Man of the People is the most recently published book about Fr Doyle, and the first children’s book about him. One of there greatest gifts we can give children is a love of books, and especially when they are inspiring and uplifting from a human and spiritual perspective. This 35 page book is available here: http://www.alanhannas.com/Search.asp?SearchTerm=ui%20cheallaigh
Fr Willie Doyle and World War 1, published by the Catholic Truth Society, is a wonderfully compact and well written booklet giving an essential overview of the life and spirit of Fr Doyle. CTS booklets are wonderful tools of apostolate – why not buy a bundle of them and distribute them liberally to others? Available here: http://www.ctsbooks.org/fr-willie-doyle-and-world-war-i/
And let’s not forget the classics! The original book from the 1920’s that started it all, the biography by O’Rahilly is a spiritual masterpiece. It may not be to everyone’s taste 100 years later, but it remains the definitive overall biography of all of Fr Doyle’s life. The very detailed spiritual notes mean that it will be of most interest to those who appreciate Fr Doyle because of his spiritual brilliance, though the final two chapters about the war will be of interest to anyone of good will. The second edition is available as a reprint here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/professor-alfred-orahilly/father-william-doyle-sj/paperback/product-15463211.html
Merry in God, published in 1939, is perhaps the most intimate book about Fr Doyle. That’s because it was written (anonymously) by his brother, Fr Charles Doyle SJ. Currently out of print, it was (largely) republished (with some minor editing) as a magazine called Trench Priest. The content is, of course brilliant, although the production values are not exceptional. The significant upside of this is that the book is tremendous value. Once again a brilliant present for those with an interest in Fr Doyle’s life as a whole. Available here: http://www.papastronsay.com/bookshop/product.php?ID=21
If you appreciate and admire Fr Doyle, do not keep him to yourself – get a book as a gift for others this Christmas.
Next year it is hoped that a DVD can be added to this list. More news on this in the coming days…