FRA PATRICK M. BOYLE, OSM.
On Monday morning, 10th August, a large crowd of parishioners of St. Anthony’s parish, Wanneroo gathered at the church which stands at the principal square of the city. Many from St. Denis parish, Joondanna were also present. They were there to farewell Fra Patrick (Paddy) Boyle, OSM, who had gone to his eternal reward on 2nd August. The principal mourners were his Servite religious brothers as well as two of his sisters who had flown in from Ireland and four nieces who are already resident in Australia.
Father had suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for some 13 years and had passed his last years resident at Catholic Homes in Castledare, Perth. Burial was in the Servite plot at Pinnaroo Memorial Park, Whitfords.
Father’s Mass was celebrated by Fra Christopher M Ross, OSM as well as all Servite friars resident in Western Australia. The large concelebrating contingent of local clergy was led by the Vicar General, Fr. Peter Whitely. Fr. John Daly, the parish priest, assisted in an especially generous way. The liturgy proceeded in a particularly heartfelt manner. As the saying goes, “One could feel the love!”
Fra Boyle was born on 7th March 1930 in Letterkenny, Donegal Ireland. He entered the Servite Order in Benburb, Co. Tyrone in 1949 and was ordained on the 8th July 1956. He was among the first young men who attached themselves to the Servite Order after its belated foundation in Ireland following World War II. He studied his Philosophical courses in Benburb Priory and theology in Lake Bluff (Chicago, Illinois). Shortly after ordination he was assigned to the Servite parish in Belen, New Mexico as assistant priest. In 1960 he was sent to the young foundation of the Servite Order in Australia and remained here for the rest of his life.
St. Anthony’s in Wanneroo was not only his first assignment but remained his principal ministry. Starting in a very challenging parish set-up on the peripheries of Perth, he laboured over many years, building the community, ministering to the spiritual needs of the people, becoming almost an icon of the local community. In the early days the Italian and Croatian market-gardeners were a special care and concern, but as the area developed he was always a stalwart supporter of the incoming residents. Only near the end of his lengthy ministry did he enjoy the privilege of building the large modern church which is seen today.
Fra Paddy served for a few years as the first Servite in our one-time parish of Our Lady of the Way in Kingsbury, Victoria and also at St. Denis Joondanna, W.A. Here he gave the same pastoral care which won the hearts and affection and respect of countless families and individuals. From 1973 to 1976 he filled the position of Vicar Provincial, in a leadership role for all the Servite activities in Australia. He was also the first in a long line of Australian friars who took advantage of a post-Vatican programme of renewal at the University of California, Berkeley.
If one word characterises Fra Paddy Boyle that word is “Irish”. He had grown up in the area of Ireland where the use of the Gaelic language predominated. His humour, his taste in music and art, his approach to any and all persons always bore that indescribable characteristics of his origins. He will be remembered with fondness by the many persons of every race and background who crossed his path. May he now rest in peace with the Lord he served so well.