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Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain
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'Scruples and their Treatment'

Booklet 'Scruples and their Treatment' (Adapted from the French). Found among the papers of the late Fr Wm. Doyle, S.J. ‘Irish Messenger’ Series, ‘5th Edition – 50th Thousand’ (1932) and ‘9th Edition – 90th Thousand’ (1943).

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

'Vocations'

Pamphlet by Fr Willie Doyle SJ entitled Vocations, ‘Irish Messenger’ Series, ‘26th Edition – 340th Thousand’.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Box with altar requisites used by Fr Willie Doyle SJ

Box with altar requisites which includes missal stand, missal, altar linen, stole (instead of maniple) burse, kneeler and Á Kempis used by Fr Willie Doyle SJ at the front. With box.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Curl of hair of Willie Doyle

Locket with a curl from the hair of Willie Doyle, at the age of three. With box.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Fr Willie Doyle SJ

William Joseph Gabriel Doyle was born (1873) at Melrose, Dalkey Avenue, Dalkey, county Dublin. Known as Willie, Billie or Sloper (a comic book hero of the time), he was the youngest of seven children of Hugh Doyle, registrar of the insolvency court, and Christine Doyle (née Byrne). Growing up, Willie was devout, caring and cheerful. Educated at Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire, in 1891 Willie followed his older brother Charles into the Jesuits. After two years as a novice, he taught at Clongowes Wood College, where he produced The Mikado and founded the school magazine, The Clongownian. His Jesuit formation included periods in Belgium and England, and further teaching at Clongowes and Belvedere Colleges. After ordination at Milltown Park on 28th July 1907, Willie began work as an urban missionary and retreat giver in Ireland. His positive attitude made him a great success, and he travelled all around the British Isles. He was also the author of best-selling pamphlets on retreats and vocations.

Volunteering as a military chaplain in First World War, Fr Doyle was sent to France with the Royal Irish Fusiliers in early 1916. Within days of his arrival at the Front, he showed himself outstanding in the work of a chaplain. Lt Col HR Stirke noted that Fr Doyle was ‘one of the finest fellows that I ever met, utterly fearless, always with a cheery word on his lips and ever ready to go out and attend the wounded and the dying under the heaviest fire’. Present at the battles of the Somme and Messines, Fr Doyle was killed during the third battle of Ypres on 16th August 1917, while going to the aid of a wounded man near Frezenberg. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot memorial, Belgium. Fr Doyle was awarded the Military Cross, and he was put forward for the Victoria Cross posthumously but did not receive it. Writing to Willie’s father, Hugh, in December 1917, Major General WB Hickie remarks that: ‘I could not say too much about your son. He was loved and reverenced by us all. His gallantry, self sacrifice and devotion to duty were all so well known and recognized. I think that his was the most wonderful character that I have ever known.’

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letter from Fr Willie Doyle SJ to Fr Charles Farley SJ

Letter from Fr William Doyle SJ, writing from Stonyhurst College, to Fr Charles Farley SJ. Reports on his search in the archives of the English Province for documents relating to the Irish Province. Undertakes to copy some early nineteenth century letters for Fr Farley.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letter from Fr Willie Doyle SJ to his aunt

Letter from Fr Willie Doyle SJ to his Aunt Jane. Refers to his ordination, and to his departure for Belgium the following day to complete his education in Belgium, and states that he may have a chance of going to Australia in the future. Also refers to his parents’ Jubilee celebrations.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Letters from Fr Willie Doyle SJ to Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ

Letters to the Irish Fr Provincial Thomas V. Nolan SJ from Fr Willie Doyle SJ written during his time as a chaplain attached to the 8th Brigade Irish Fusiliers, 49th Brigade, and the 8th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, B.E.F., France. Missing original letter 31 December 1915, but have photocopy.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Pen and Ink-Bottle belonging to Fr Willie Doyle SJ

Pen and Ink-Bottle belonging to Fr Willie Doyle SJ - ‘The Red Dwarf No. 2. Stylograph’ and ‘Swan fountfiller for travellers’. With box.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Postcard sent by Fr Willie Doyle SJ to Sr M. Anthony, Cork

Covering note and postcard sent from the Front by Fr Willie Doyle SJ, to Sister M. Anthony, St Mary’s of the Isle, Cork. Possibly Sr Anthony (Margaret) O’Rahilly (1872-1921).

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Prayer and memorial cards

Various pictures and sketches of Fr Willie Doyle SJ.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

Stole belonging to Fr Willie Doyle SJ

  • IE IJA J/2/49
  • File
  • February 1916-5 March 1917
  • Part of Irish Jesuits

Stole belonging to Fr Willie Doyle SJ who had it with him at the front from February 1916-March 1917 (his last home leave) with the inscription ‘Forgot not the kindness of thy surety for he hath given his life for thee’ written by Fr Doyle SJ (05 March 1917). With box.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain