Fr Doyle on television

Fr Doyle featured briefly on the Nationwide programme on RTE 1 in Ireland last night. The programme can be found at this link (the 11 October episode) and the segment featuring Fr Doyle commences at around 11 minutes into the programme:

https://www.rte.ie/news/player/nationwide/

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Podcast of radio interview about Fr Doyle

I was very pleased to take part in a radio interview about Fr Doyle on Sacred Space 102fm over the weekend. The discussion about Fr Doyle lasts almost 30 minutes. You can find a link to the podcast here if you wish to listen to it online and share it with others: https://sacredspace102.blogspot.ie/2017/09/3rd-september-2017-fr-willie-doyle-sj.html

As always I am happy to take part in any media interviews or to give public talks about Fr Doyle. Please get in touch if you want to organise one of these.

1 September 1917: Praise for Fr Doyle from an Orangeman

The following praise for Fr Doyle appeared in the Glasgow Weekly News on this day in 1917. It was written by a Belfast Orangeman. Given the source, this was high price indeed! Fr Doyle’s attractive spirit and his care for others crossed all boundaries and social classes. Given his care for others, and their reverence for him, it can truly be said that Fr Doyle is a role model of ecumenism. 

Fr. Doyle was a good deal among us. We couldn’t possibly agree with his religious opinion, but we simply worshipped him for other things. He didn’t know the meaning of fear, and he didn’t know what bigotry was. He was as ready to risk his life to take a drop of water to a wounded Ulsterman as to assist men of his own faith and regiment. If he risked his life in looking after Ulster Protestant soldiers once, he did it a hundred times in the last few days…The Ulstermen felt his loss more keenly than anybody, and none were readier to show their marks of respect to the dead hero priest than were our Ulster Presbyterians. Fr. Doyle was a true Christian in every sense of the word, and a credit to any religious faith. He never tried to get things easy. He was always sharing the risks of the men, and had to be kept in restraint by the staff for his own protection. Many a time have I seen him walk beside a stretcher trying to console a wounded man with bullets flying around him and shells bursting every few yards.

An email from Spain

I received the email from Spain yesterday. The person who sent it gave me permission to publish it anonymously. I found it tremendously encouraging. Helping people to confess was a crucial part of Fr Doyle’s ministry, both as a mission priest and as a military chaplain, and similar testimonies were received in the years after Fr Doyle’s death.

After much time away from God, I went to the intercession of Father William Doyle, and on August 16, 2017 I received the sacrament of confession with much peace and confidence.
Father Doyle really helped me.
A great miracle.

29 August 1917: Praise for Fr Doyle in the Irish News

Tribute by Sergeant T. Flynn published in the Irish News on this day in 1917

We had the misfortune to lose our chaplain, Fr. Doyle, the other day. He was a real saint and would never leave his men, and it was really marvellous to see him burying dead soldiers under terrible shell fire. He did not know what fear was, and everybody in the battalion, Catholic and Protestant alike, idolised him. I went to Confession to him and received Holy Communion from him a day or two before he was killed, and I feel terribly sorry after him. 

He loved the men and spent every hour of his time looking after them, and when we were having a fairly hot time in the trenches he would bring us up boxes of cigarettes and cheer us up. The men would do anything he asked them, and I am sure we will never get another padre like him. Everybody says that he has earned the V.C. many times over, and I can vouch for it myself from what I have seen him do many a time. He was asked not to go into action with the battalion, but he would not stop behind, and I am confident that no braver or holier man ever fell in battle than he.

Invitation to screening of documentary about the Irish at Passchendaele, Friday 1pm

Ronan McGreevy of the Irish Times, author of Wherever the Firing Line Extends, has produced a fascinating documentary entitled The Irish at Passchendeale, in which Fr Doyle features significantly. It is also of wider historical interest, telling the story of Irish troops in the war, and places Fr Doyle’s service in context.

Ronan has kindly arranged a special screening of the video at Veritas on Abbey Street next Friday, September 1, at 1pm. All welcome, however please email events@veritas.ie to book your seat, as space is limited.

A trailer for the documentary is available below.