Rev. Stephen C. Doyle, OFM

Rev. Stephen C. Doyle, OFM, 76 years of age, a professed Franciscan Friar for 54 years and a priest for 48 years, died Friday evening, October 8, 2010 at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass., where he had been a patient since suffering a stroke several weeks ago.

Fr. Doyle was born in Philadelphia, PA, on August 12, 1934, the eighth of nine children of John and Marie (Lawlor) Doyle. He attended Holy Child grammar school and LaSalle High School in that city before discerning a vocation to the Franciscans. He then enrolled at St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, NY, where he studied from 1950-55.

He was received into the Order of Friars Minor at St. Raphael Friary in Lafayette, NJ, July 14, 1955 and professed his first vows there July 15, 1956 before Rev. Celsus Wheeler, OFM. He completed his philosophical at St. Francis College in Rye Beach, NH from 1956-58, receiving a BA from St. Bonaventure University. He then went on to study theology at Holy Name College in Washington, DC from 1958-62. He professed his solemn vows as a Franciscan August 18, 1959 at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, NY and was ordained to the priesthood March 17, 1962 by Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi, Apostolic Delegate at Mount St. Sepulcher, the Franciscan Monastery in Washington, DC.

Fr. Doyle then pursued graduate studies, receiving a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of America in 1963. He then taught for two years at St. John Vianney Seminary, East Aurora, NY (1963-65), before studying Semitic languages at Catholic University and then Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, where he received a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture in 1967.

Fr. Doyle then devoted himself to an extensive ministry of teaching, preaching and writing. He taught scripture at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, NY from 1967-69 and then was a member of the retreat team at Christ House, Lafayette, NJ (1969-1971). In 1971 he began his long association with the Boston area, becoming professor of Scripture and Homiletics at Pope John XXIII Seminary, Weston, MA. He resided first at Saint Francis Friary in Brookline, MA where he served on the novitiate team from 1971-75, and then at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston.

For over three decades, he gave workshops on Sacred Scripture and preaching throughout North America and in Latin America, Ireland, India and Japan. In addition to contributions to the New Catholic Encyclopedia and the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, he published a number of books, including Covenant Renewal in Religious Life, Understanding the New Testament, The Pilgrim’s New Guide to the Holy Land, most recently, Apocalypse: A Catholic Perspective on the Book of Revelation. He also made frequent appearances on radio and television and produced a series of videos on the Bible, preaching and the Holy Land.

From 1988-90 he was director of programs for continuing education of clergy at Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Israel. Returning to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston in 1990, he devoted himself full time to his work of preaching, lecturing and writing. He guided well over 100 pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Greece, Asia Minor and Italy and conducted numerous retreats for clergy ad religious. He was listed in Who’s Who Among American Catholics and was made a Knight of Sepulchre.

Fr. Doyle’s activity was limited after suffering a stroke in 2006 and he was assigned to the Franciscan’s retirement facility at St. Anthony Residence, 103 Arch St., Boston until being admitted to the hospital several weeks ago.

Beloved son of the late John T. and Marie (Lawlor) Doyle. Brother of Joseph S. Doyle of Sunapee, NH, James K. Doyle of Wellington, FL, Rev. John T. Doyle, O.S.F.F. of Childs, MD, Gertrude Salerno of Greenwich, CT, Margaret Bouffard of Williamsburg, VA and the late Madelyn Kramer, Jane Donofry and Marie Doyle.

A Memorial Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 4:00PM at Saint Anthony Shrine, 100 Arch Street, Boston, MA. There will be no visitation prior to the mass, as Fr. Doyle requested that his body be donated to Harvard Medical School for research. May he rest in peace.