The Inspiration Series Part 9 – Father Michael Doyle

The Passover – Father Michael Doyle, August 1996

One day at Summer's end
I watched my aging mother
Walking toward the bend
Of a wooded path
And as she slowly went
She bent and plucked
A bunch of wild flowers
From a brown dried-out sod
To place upon her kitchen altar
To the Sacred Heart of God.

The path was dark in part
The early evening light
Was being shut out
For about a hundred feet
By trees whose leaves
Always block the sun
Until the Autumn wind
Comes to take them off
Cleanly, one by one.

She walked on calmly
To where the shadows ended
And the path of light began
Then stepped over bravely into brightness
With flowers in her hand. 

Father Michael Doyle… the Poet of Poverty. A true Irish Catholic priest with a lion's heart and a lamb's gentle demeanour. I met him yesterday in South Camden, New Jersey, where he has been ministering, building relationship, community and love in one of those forgotten places of the world.

We all were huddled inside a dim, wood-paneled room waiting for this 76-year old hero to arrive. The door opened and in walked this wee elderly man, unassuming and humble. He seated himself at the head of the table and began to speak, quietly and yet passionately about community… leadership… transformation.

He never saw himself as a leader. His words. 

My attention was instantly riveted.

I do not see myself as a leader… not in the way many people see "leaders" or "leadership" anyway. Charisma, extroversion, relational (yet able to get things done), and terrific listening skills… it kind of blows me out of the running for change.

Not so, says Father Michael.

His little bit of life he has shared with the people of Camden has seen him protest for peace, turning swords into ploughshares, and sowing seeds of goodness.

"[Jesus] pushed Love to the limit. He pushed it right to the Cross."… and beyond I would add. As He is Love, He pushed Himself to the limit. Strange thought seeing as God is limitless. His humanity as Christ is not.

I admire this Poet of Poverty… this gentle man with a fiery passion for justice, peace and love for all people. His wisdom of 76 years is golden. of Poverty


Father Michael Doyle with my Thesis Mentor, Dr.Bruce Main of UrbanPromise

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