SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A leader in the faith community and beyond has died just weeks shy of his 90th birthday.
Friends of Monsignor James Doyle say he died early Monday morning in Sioux Falls while in hospice care.
He was ordained to the priesthood in 1957 and went on to impact a countless number of lives.
Dave Landry first met then Father Doyle in 1969 when he was offering mass at the Newman Center on USD’s campus.
“The place was packed and this is Sunday morning and Monsignor always used to joke–everybody was welcome at the Newman Center–and you were certainly welcome to sow your wild oats on Saturday, but make sure you come here on Sunday to pray for crop failure,” Dave Landry said.
The priest made stops at several parishes and was given the title Monsignor in 1995.
Monsignor Doyle was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 2007.
His list of accomplishments include the founding of the St. Michael Parish in Sioux Falls.
The Halversons were charter members of the church.
“One memory that we just love about him is when we would distribute communion and stand next to him, everyone who approached the alter, he would know their name. ‘Body of Christ’ to everyone and he would say their name,” Toni Halvorson said.
One of Keith Halverson’s favorite memories of the monsignor is when he asked him to paint a file cabinet for him to store his homilies.
“I said, ‘Why do you want to put all of your sermons in this file cabinet?’ Well, he says, ‘A lot of my homilies are so good that I don’t want to forget them,'” Keith Halverson said.
His work went well beyond the Catholic church.
“He had an ecumenical spirit, meaning he worked closely with other ministers in the town founding things like the Banquet,” Rev. Charles Cimpl of Holy Spirit Catholic Church said.
He also played a leadership role with the St. Francis House.
Landry says people came first to Monsignor.
“He touched so many lives. He loved people,” Landry said.
A vigil service for Monsignor Doyle is schedule for next Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at St. Michael Church.
His funeral is the next day at 10:00 a.m. at St. Michael.