John J. Doyle, OFM
1937 – 2002
Fr. John J. Doyle, OFM, was born on Dec. 9, 1937, in Kingston, Pa. During his infancy, the family moved to Jamaica, N.Y., where he graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in business administration. Later, while living at St. Francis Friary, Rye Beach, N.H., he took courses at Merrimack College, N. Andover, Mass., to round off his philosophical studies.
He was received into the Aug. 22, 1971, and professed temporary vows Aug. 26, 1972, both at St. Francis Friary, Brookline, Mass. He professed solemn vows Aug. 16, 1975, at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Manhattan. After studying theology at the Washington Theological Union, he was ordained a priest May 8, 1976, in St. Camillus Church, Silver Spring, Md., thereby joining two of his uncles in the priesthood.
Fr. John served as associate pastor of St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I. from 1976 to 1978. The following year, he became a missionary in Bolivia followed by three years as parochial vicar at St. Stephen of Hungary Parish, New York City. He also served as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in East Rutherford, N.J., and Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Garfield, N.J. In 1989, he became associate pastor at St. Anthony Shrine, Boston. He also served as parochial vicar there from 1996 until 2002.
Before joining the Province, Fr. John’s life was rich in experience. He had paid his own way through college as a mate on a party fishing boat, served eight years in the Army Reserves (reaching the rank of tech sergeant), worked for General Motors Acceptance Corporation and managed a store for one of the leading grocery chains. He was down-to-earth and had learned to handle the bustle of life and its human entanglements: skills that contributed much to his reputation as a wise, one-on-one, heads-up counselor.
He died while serving as parochial vicar of St. Anthony Parish in Butler, N.J., on June 30, 2002. Fr. John had spent the previous week on retreat and was spending the weekend at the Franciscan facility in Margate, N.J. Fr. John was 64 years old, a professed friar for 29 years and a priest for 26 years.