Fr Jack Doyle SJ

CJI mourns the death of Fr John (Jack) Doyle, a long-term missionary to Zambia. Fr Jack died early on 25 May 2015 at Rene Goupil House, Pickering. He was in his 84th year and in his 60th year of religious life. His sister, Sister Anne, a member of the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph, was at his bedside when he passed away.

Fr Jack was born at Brewer’s Mills, Ontario, the son of John Edward Doyle and Bridget Webb. He entered the Society at Guelph on 7 September 1955. After his ordination on 3 June 1967 at Regis College, he applied for the missions in Zambia.

In the summer of 1968, Fr Jack flew off to Zambia, spending the next 40 years in various locales, as director of a school in remote Katondwe, for example. He was a pastor of several parishes, Socius to the Provincial for five years, minister of various communities, and chaplain for ten years at University Teaching Hospital, the largest in Zambia with 1,655 beds.

Fr Jack bade farewell to Zambia in 2008 and moved to Winnipeg to serve as associate pastor at St Ignatius Parish. It was in 2012 that his health took a turn for the worse with a diagnosis of cancer. He took medical treatment in Kingston and in 2013 moved to the infirmary at Pickering for recuperation and ongoing treatment. Until the last weeks of his life, he took daily walks outside, no matter what the weather. He celebrated weekly Masses both at Rene Goupil House and La Storta Residence. All of his homilies were well prepared. Of a pleasant and agreeable personality, Fr Jack had no trouble making friends. An avid fan of the internet, he kept in regular touch with Zambia and was up to date on the latest Jesuit and ecclesial announcements.