In collaboration with Jay Nies, The Catholic Missourian
A sergeant of Ireland’s Forsa Cosanta Aitiul local defense force once spoke to a Catholic professional group in Dublin about faith and work.
In full uniform, he presented his standardissue Lee-Enfield Mark III rifle in one hand and a rosary in the other.
“Which weapon will you choose?” the future priest proposed to his brothers and sisters in faith.
“I’m fully convinced, as Pope Pius XI used to say, that ‘if I had an army to pray the Rosary, I could conquer the world,’” Father Edward A. Doyle, a retired priest of the Jefferson City diocese, said prior to the June 8 celebration of his 50th priestly anniversary.
Fr. Doyle led the St. Clement parish for many years, from 1978 to 1987.
While in the St. Clement parish, Fr. Doyle shouldered many responsibilities, from establishing the kindergarten class for the first time in the St. Clement School and teaching the school’s religion classes.
In addition, the church leader can take credit for bringing one of the Church’s highlighting features, the pipe organ, to St. Clement in 1983.
“Of course that was getting the pipe organ from Ireland,” Fr. Doyle said of his favorite memory from St. Clement.
The organ maker, Kenneth Jones, travelled to St. Clement from Wicklow, Ireland to get specific measurements in the church and then shipped the instrument back to the area on a ship. The organ was picked up by Bob Niemeyer, a contractor at the time, from the railway in St. Louis.
Not only was Fr. Doyle a huge impact on St. Clement’s church, as well as its parishioners, but his personal history is as unique as the man himself.
Get the rest of Father Doyle’s story inside this week’s Bowling Green Times.