Mullingar, Ireland, Mar 14, 2022 / 18:00 pm
Father Willie Doyle, S.J. was an Irish priest whose heroic sacrifices as a military chaplain during World War I were much admired in the last century. Now a lay group has launched with the goal of reviving his canonization cause and to spread awareness about the priest.
“Willie Doyle is a very compelling figure,” Patrick Kenny, president of the Ireland-based Father Willie Doyle Association, said March 11. “His attractive personality, asnd his love for God and for others, shines through all of his writings, especially the diaries and letters he wrote during the war.”
“He is also a tremendously relevant figure for the Church today, especially in Ireland,” Kenny said. “By offering his life to save wounded Anglican soldiers he became an ecumenical martyr of charity and is an icon of reconciliation and unity in the midst of religious and political division. He explicitly offered his life to God in reparation for the sins of priests; this offering has a greater resonance with us now than it did at the time of his death.”
The Father Willie Doyle Association launched last week. It will publish materials about Doyle and organize events and talks to raise awareness about his life. It is working towards Doyle’s canonization, with the approval of the Irish Jesuit Province and the Bishop of Meath. It is a private association of the faithful under canon law.