Friday 15 December 2017

Engineer brothers down tools for life in the priesthood

Brothers Jim, Brian and Rory Doyle, who have all chosen to join the priesthood
Brothers Jim, Brian and Rory Doyle, who have all chosen to join the priesthood

Tom Prendeville

THREE brothers who worked in construction have downed tools and taken up the Bible to join the priesthood.

Jim and twins Rory and Brian Doyle from Wexford were all successful civil engineers before they decided to give it all up to become men of the cloth.

Two brothers have already been ordained as priests, while the third brother is in his third year in a seminary in Canterbury, England.

Last week, Fr Brian Doyle (36) was ordained in Murrintown, Co Wexford, at the same Roman Catholic church in which he was baptised and made his first Holy Communion and Confirmation.

In nearby Monamolin, outside Gorey, Co Wexford, his older brother Fr Jim Doyle (39), is already serving as a priest.

"When we were in our 20s and living in Galway, if you told us we were going to be priests we would have laughed at you.

"I am a civil engineer and my two brothers have doctorates in engineering and we could easily have gone down the road and set up a construction company and ended up owing millions," said Fr Jim Doyle.

Jim worked with Sisk for a number of years but while working with aid agency Concern on projects in poverty stricken Cambodia and Barundi, he found his vocation.

"As a priest, you are busier than on a building site, where you only work from eight till six. In this job, it can be from dawn to dusk. I didn't become a priest for the easy life. It is what I wanted to do. Why compromise by taking second best?


"I am only here in Monamolin a few weeks and my parish priest was my old headmaster in St Peter's secondary school in Wexford Town; it's funny how things turn out,'' he said.

Although Rory has another couple of years to go before he is fully ordained, it never dawned on him that one day he would go for the priesthood.

"When I was in college I just did the bare minimum and, like everyone else, I enjoyed going to parties and having a drink. If anyone said to me then that one day I was going to be a priest, I would not have believed it," he said.

"I was a civil engineer in Galway for six years and I left work when I was 33. My vocation developed over a period of time from when I was in Queens University doing a PhD and I met people in prayer groups.

"I felt a draw to the religious life and when I met the Franciscan Friars, I felt at home with them and joined.

"It is very rewarding life, but I suppose the biggest thing is not having a family," added Rory.

The brothers' proud dad Brian, from Murrintown, is delighted and, in equal measure, surprised his three sons have decided to become priests.

"I suppose we were surprised at the beginning but we took it in our stride. Me and my wife Joan are devout but we are not overly so.

"We are very proud but these things happen, we don't know why they happen. We're delighted -- it's God's plan for them and we are happy to be part of it.

"Rory joined the Franciscan Friars two years ago and he is based in Canterbury studying theology, so hopefully he will go on to the priesthood if he perseveres.

"We also have a daughter, Judith, who is an art teacher and she was married last year," he added.

Irish Independent

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