To the editor of THE EAGLE:
Well, he’s gone! For 21 years, Father Dan Boyle was the Catholic priest in Adams, and as of this past Sunday afternoon he’s done with the assignment he was given more than two decades ago.
Fr. Dan recently accepted a new assignment in another community of the diocese. Now that he is gone, I feel compelled to write a few words about this priest who paid a terrible price for being one thing and one thing only; faithful to his vocation.
Assigned to Adams as a pastor of one church back in 1993, he quickly became pastor of a second church in that same town. They were of different ethnic backgrounds, but everybody got along and they formed a new, vibrant and happy community.
Then St. Stan’s down the street found itself in need of
a priest after its dedicated pastor retired. Ideally, St. Stan’s wanted a Polish priest as
its pastor but not one Polish priest accepted the invitation. Finally, Fr. Boyle was asked and became the pastor of yet another church. Three parishes and one priest.
When the diocese of Spring-
field decided it had to consolidate and close parishes, it was decided that all three Adams churches would close and one would reopen under a new name and remain as the single Catholic parish of Adams.
We all know the rest of the story. Emotions ran high, but the faith of the people remained. Throughout it all, Fr. Dan Boyle remained faithful to his vocation to serve all of his parishioners. Priests have to follow the decisions of their bishop and that is sometimes incredibly hard to do. By being faithful, Fr. Boyle paid a terrible price.
Among a small, but very vocal, group of people, he was crucified for "allowing" St. Stan’s to close. He did not allow St. Stan’s to close -- but what he did was take his vows of priesthood seriously. Many of us, including myself, sat back and did not come to his defense. We let people say and write horrible things about a good and faithful priest.
Once again, Fr. Dan Boyle is gone to a new church. I wish him well, and I hope he knows how many people will miss his ministry in Adams.
Another priest will eventually be assigned to Adams, and all I can say is, God help him!
FATHER C.J. WAITEKUS