Thursday, January 10, 2008

Ever a Missionary

Earlier today, Bishop-emeritus Paul Boyle CP of Mandeville, Jamaica died at 81 in a Louisville hospital from complications of hip replacement surgery.

Twice elected the worldwide head of the Passionists, the Detroit-born prelate also served as president of both the Canon Law Society of America and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men.

In 1988, after wrapping 12 years at his community's helm in Rome, Boyle became a missionary in the West Indies, where he was named vicar-apostolic of Mandeville in the violence-torn Jamaican interior, becoming its founding bishop in 1997. Following his retirement in 2004, the bishop returned to the US, traveling the country to raise funds for the poor diocese of 8,000 Catholics spread across 1,300 square miles, where the Passionists have long maintained an intense commitment.

Since the August 2006 resignation of his successor, the US Jesuit Gordon Bennett, the bishopric of Mandeville has been vacant.

Initial services are planned for Sunday in Louisville, with the final funeral liturgy scheduled for Wednesday at Boyle's childhood parish in Detroit, where he'll be buried alongside his Passionist confreres.