Msgr. Michael Doyle was born on a farm in Rossduff, County Longford, Ireland. Ordained a Catholic priest in Wexford, Ireland, he came to the Diocese of Camden in 1959, where he taught high school and assisted in various parishes. In 1974, Msgr. Doyle was appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, where he continues to serve.
Fr. Doyle earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Villanova University in 1962 and received an honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Villanova in May 2007. He has a lifelong commitment to peace and justice. In 1971, he participated in the “Camden 28” peace action against the Vietnam War at the Federal Building in Camden and was arrested. He was acquitted two years later in a trail where he acted as his own defense. Anthony Giacchino directed and produced a documentary about the “Camden 28” in 2007.
He has been the subject of television programs such as 60 Minutes‘ “Michael Doyle’s Camden” in 1983 and CBS’s Sunday Morning, December 1995, and of newspaper articles such as The Philadelphia Inquirer’s series on inspiring preachers, 1996.
During his tenure at Sacred Heart, he has established a free medical clinic serving those without medical benefits; founded the Heart of Camden Housing, which renovates abandoned houses and assists low-income families to become homeowners, and helped to establish Camden Churches Organized for People, CCOP, a church-based community organizing effort. He has written numerous magazine and newspaper articles and pens a monthly “letter” that is mailed to thousands on his mailing list. A collection of his letters was published in March 2003 in a book called It’s a Terrible Day, Thanks Be to God.