The Father Willie Doyle Association has warmly welcomed the decision of Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire, to name their new English Centre in honour of the Servant of God, Father Willie Doyle SJ.
The new building has been developed for the English Department at Ratcliffe College. Father Doyle was a student at Ratcliffe College from 1884 until 1890, and he is the first Old Ratcliffian to be formally proposed for sainthood.
Speaking at the official opening of the building, the President of the Association, Dr Patrick Kenny, said “The teenage years have a profound impact on all of us, and it is clear that Father Doyle’s spirit and priestly ministry were shaped by his experience at Ratcliffe. Father Doyle was a prize-winning student and a very keen cricketer. It was at Ratcliffe that his decision to become a priest matured. The College must have had a warm place in his heart. This is the very first building in the world to be named in Father Doyle’s honour, and we are sure that Father Doyle’s good humour, sincere holiness and selfless heroism will inspire future generations of students at Ratcliffe.”
As a sign of the Father Willie Doyle Association’s gratitude to Ratcliffe College, Father John Hogan, the Meath diocesan postulator for the cause of Father Doyle, presented a small fragment of Father Doyle’s military clothing to the College.
Commenting on the occasion, Mr Jon Reddin, Headmaster of Ratcliffe College, said “We were delighted to welcome Dr Patrick Kenny, President of the Father Willie Doyle Association and Father John Hogan, postulator for the canonisation of Father William Doyle, to our official blessing and opening of the new English Centre. Patrick shared with us a little about Father William’s life as a boy here at Ratcliffe College and about his ministry prior to and during the First World War.
“We are overwhelmed to receive a small fragment of Father Doyle’s military clothing and will ensure this item is treasured at Ratcliffe College, inspiring many future generations for years to come.
“We are incredibly proud of this stunning building and would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone involved in the project as part of our Whole School Strategic Vision.”