Jesuit Father Frank Doyle, who died on March 17 at the age of 79, was one of the very few Irish Jesuits still operating in this part of the world until the day of his departure for a better world.
His work took him to countries as varied as Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and beyond, giving him plenty of scope to exercise his many talents.
Whether by appointment or choice, Fr Frank was a man of thorough dedication to his appointed mission. He was a Jesuit through and through who appeared to have no concern in life but the advancement of God’s kingdom and the welfare of people. Everywhere seemed to be his milieu.
Among his many activities, all performed with seriousness and competence, were writing, publishing, teaching, lecturing, attending meetings of significance, spiritual direction and giving retreats.
Of these, pride of place must go to his writings which included a voluminous history of the Jesuits in Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. He also edited the Catholic News while living in Singapore.
For all his giftedness, Fr Frank was a very shy person. His self-assurance and confidence in himself were betrayed by a nervous laugh which frequently punctuated his conversation.
Besides, his continued travelling made it hard to identify him with a community to which he truly belonged. Despite such limitations, or rather because of them, Fr Frank was not without heroism.
We have lost a worthy companion. The Jesuit community here in Singapore sends its sympathy to all those dear to Fr Frank.
May he rest in deserved peace.
- By Fr Gerry Keane, SJ