Popular priest Fr Jimmy Doyle has retired from full time ministry in the parish of Naas, Sallins and Two Mile House but intends to continue doing some work.
Fr. Doyle, well known for his interest in the GAA, has served in Naas from 2003 and previously was based in the parish from 1995 to 2000.
Ordained in 1974, at the age of 29, he was initially assigned to the parish of Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, where he spent seven years before being appointed to Newbridge in August 1981 – a month before Fr Larry Newman came to the parish.
“He came to my house at each morning at 7.30 when we prayed together. He was a lovely person to work with and gave me great confidence. Twelve years later I transferred to Broadford and I loved it there; it was a small parish and I could get involved in football, hurling and community games, becoming chairperson of all three clubs,” he recalled.
Fr Jimmy has paid to tribute the two parish priests he served under – Fr Moling Lennon and Fr Tom McDonnell.
“I’ve worked with many priests since I came here and all of them I have deep respect for. Some have left active ministry and it’s such a pity they are not involved in some way in our parishes. They are a great loss,” he reflected.
“I want to thanks sacristans Moira, Michael, John and Patricia and the two principals Noel Lanigan and Miriam Nolan as well as hospital administrator Michael Knowles and the hospital staff and chaplain and the parish secretaries.”
Three years ago he moved to Sallins and became involved with the Pastoral Council and “they have shown leadership and freedom – this is the way to go”.
He said he admires the progress they have made in recent years working with choirs and servers.
However, he said working in the three communities is sometimes very tiring and the hospital duty of 6 days and 6 nights on call is a huge workload.
“To have to get up during the night and then do a full day’s work cannot be sustained,” Fr Jimmy added.
He concluded: “I’ve met many beautiful people since I came here and I am grateful for the privilege.”
He’s not quite finished though, Fr Jimmy will still work on call for the hospital for a day and a night a week and will celebrate a mass at weekends.