Four Irish Spiritans – Fr Hugh Boyle, Fr Tony Byrne, Fr Pat Doran and Fr Mick Reynolds – mark their 90th birthdays during August / September 2021. Ordained in the late 1950s, each has substantial mission experience both in Ireland and overseas. A further 8 Irish Spiritans are also in their nineties.
Fr Hugh Boyle
From Co. Donegal, Hugh studied in, and played football for, St. Eunan’s College Letterkenny. Ordained in 1959, he completed his H. Dip. Ed. in 1961. He was a staff-member of Blackrock College for almost 2 decades. This was followed by a period of some 5 years as the Province’s Novice-Master.
Ireland-based Provincial Councillor for Education for a significant 2-year period in the early years of what is now the Spiritan Education Trust, Fr Hugh did further studies in the USA. Since the late 1980s he has served in Brazil in – among other places – São Batista Parish (Jardim Colonial) and Angra dos Reis. For many years he has served in the Spiritan Retreat Centre in the Sítio dos Anjos in São Paulo.
Fr Tony Byrne
From Cabra, Tony attended St Vincent’s CBS, Bolton Street College and Blackrock College. Ordained in 1958, he was appointed to Nigeria, ministering for eight years in Onitsha where he founded the Social Training Centre. During the Biafran War he secured sufficient German government funds to buy aircraft. He authored the book “Airlift to Biafra”, on the airlift he initiated.
After the war he facilitated training programmes on Development, Justice and Peace – in Africa, the West Indies, Ireland and Papua New Guinea. Returning to Ireland in 1995, he established ‘Awareness Education Services’, facilitated conferences and published books on suicide, bullying and home life.
Fr Pat Doran
Pat attended school in his native Rathnew and nearby Wicklow town, transferring in his mid-teens to Rockwell College. He spent 3 years as a ‘prefect’ in Trinidad during the 1950s and later did his MA.
Ordained in 1959, Fr Pat was appointed to Nigeria. During the Biafran War, he assisted humanitarian relief efforts including from São Tomé. Having briefly taught in Ireland, he moved to Canada, serving with youth and in vocations. He served in Malawi, spent a decade and a half in Papua New Guinea and ministered in St. Michael’s Parish, Dorrington in Australia. He returned home to Ireland in 2018.
Fr Mick Reynolds
Mick grew up in Kilkenny. Ordained in 1958, he taught at Holy Ghost College in Nigeria’s Diocese of Umuahia. After Nigeria’s civil war (The Biafran War), a short stint in the USA and further studies in Strawberry Hill College in England, he taught in a Teacher Training College in Zambia for 6 years.
Returning to Ireland in 1978, Fr Mick was briefly attached to St. Michael’s College before serving as bursar in Kimmage Manor and in St Mary’s College (Rathmines), and he undertook fund-raising work on behalf of the Province. As a hospital chaplain, he served in St. Mary’s Hospital in the Phoenix Park, and he was director of Marian House, the Spiritans’ then nursing home in Kimmage Manor.+