Always counting blessings

Father Boyle made every effort to connect with his parishioners.
Father Boyle made every effort to connect with his parishioners.

A PRIEST with a long association with Wanneroo has died. St Anthony�s Catholic Church parishioner Mary Noonan, who was one of those present when Fr Patrick Boyle died at Fiona Stanley Hospital on Sunday, pays tribute to her great friend.

FATHER Patrick (Paddy) Boyle, member of the Servite order and loved and respected parish priest of Wanneroo for 27 years, died peacefully on Sunday morning aged 85 after a long illness bravely borne.

Born in Ireland into a large family, Fr Boyle arrived in Wanneroo in July 1960 after serving four years in New Mexico. Initially here for seven years, he quickly endeared himself to the early settlers of the area and their families. His visits to their homes, involving long drives over makeshift roads with a shovel at hand for the times he got bogged,helped him to know his parishioners in their individual personal circumstances and to offer spiritual support.

He was known to personally collect mothers and their newborn babies from hospital and deliver them to their outlying homes when the family had no transportand there are many who will attest to his practical physical help when needed.

Transferred to Melbourne for a number of years, he returned to Wanneroo for his holiday break regularly. Catholics and non-Catholics alike admired and respected him for his inclusive, warm, welcoming personality. He lived a life of true service in accordance with his deep faith in God.

Even in his final years while enduring the ravages of illness, he looked beyond his own situation to see the loneliness and needs of other residents in his nursing home. Many would have prayed for a happy release for him from his long-term illness but he himself thanked God daily for all life�s blessings, for the people he met, those who cared for him at Castledare, the birds singing in the trees, the flowers; all of God�s creation.

His life is a salutary lesson on how one person can make the world a better and more caring place. Fr Boyle died as he had lived: peacefully and with unwavering confidence in his God.

n A Rosary will be offered in St Anthony�s, Dundebar Road this Sunday at 7.30pm. Fr Boyle�s funeral Mass will be held on Monday at St Anthony�s at 10.30am.