26 September 2011

'Engineer brothers down tools for life in the priesthood'

Fr James Doyle, Fr Brian Doyle OP, Bro Rory Doyle OFMConv

The photo above, courtesy of the Irish Dominicans, was taken on Saturday 3 September in Murrintown, County Wexford, in the south-west of Ireland, when Father Brian was ordained priest by Bishop Denis Brennan of Ferns. His brother Father James (Jim) is a priest in the Diocese of Ferns, which includes most of County Wexford, and his twin Brother Rory is also preparing for the priesthood as a Conventual Franciscan.

The three brothers are featured in today's Irish Independent: Engineer brothers down tools for life in the priesthood. The twins have doctorates in engineering. Father Jim worked with the Irish agency Concern in Cambodia and Burundi and found his vocation there.

Father Brian with his parents Joan and Brian senior (Irish Dominican Vocations)

Ten years ago I did mission appeals on behalf of the Columbans in the Diocese of Lancaster in the north-west of England. I met two of the three Burns brothers who, like the Doyle brothers, gave up very successful careers to become priests. I met two of the three Foulkes brothers who were also priests of the diocese. The third had already died.

We Columbans have been blessed with sets of three brothers, from Australia, Ireland and the USA. But in today's Ireland, where so many have left the Church, where so many are disheartened by scandals involving priests, it is very heartening to read about the Doyle brothers who  have one sister, Judith, who married last year. It is particularly heartening to read about it in the most widely read daily newspaper in Ireland.

The photos below are all taken from the Irish Dominican Vocations Blog of Fr Gerard Dunne OP.

Brother Brian during the Litany of the Saints

 Father Jim lays hands on his brother's head

 Bishop Brennan giving the sign of peace to Father Brian

It was seeing Dominican friars in their white habits in St Saviour's Church, Dublin, where my father used to take me occasionally for High Mass, that first stirred an interest in the priesthood in my heart. I was around seven at the time. Though I never seriously considered being a Dominican I am grateful to God for that early 'signpost', which has also been a signpost to many young men in Ireland in recent years, including two Irish diocesan priests who have joined the Order of Preachers. Here is a video from the Irish Dominican Vocations Blog that features that 'signpost'.

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