Father Joseph Doyle retires from Jesuit High School of Tampa.
JANET SHELTON FLORIDA CATHOLIC ST. PETERSBURG BUREAU EDITOR
In a May 9 letter to parents, Father Joseph Doyle wrote, “During my time here, I have sought to care for your sons, encourage them, and also provide strong discipline for them,” he wrote. “You gave me the opportunity to have the ‘sons’ I could never have as a celebate.”
As president of Tampa Jesuit High School, Father Joseph Doyle opposed the building of a 60-foot-high, four-column bell tower as part of an $8 million capital campaign that brought new buildings and extensive site upgrades to the Catholic school a few years ago. “He wasn’t in favor of the bell tower, but the students were,” said Jesuit principal Joseph Sabin. “There was one vote for no, and that was his.” Perhaps the Jesuit priest will become fonder of the centerpiece now that he is so much a part of it.
The president’s relic of St. Claude la Colombiere, a 17th-century Jesuit, has been cemented into the tower; Father Doyle’s name will join those of Jesuit teachers and saints engraved on its bricks.
At the retirement ceremony, the principal recalled Father Doyle’s first days at Jesuit in the mid-60s. He was Mr. Doyle then, a young man in formation with the Jesuits, at the school teaching English to Sabin and his classmates. “Father Doyle has a gift for speaking, for finding just the right words. It was evident years ago as much as it is today,” the principal said. “He was different than the other Jesuit scholastics at the time. He had a New York accent. He had premature white hair.”
“In some ways having a stroke is not that bad.” he said. “St. Ignatius said that you have to learn how to be dependent, and through your humility you can receive care from others as a gift of love.”