He won’t say if his prayers have been answered but the 71-year-old, who has served as parish priest at St Bernadette’s for 11 years, was due to leave Castle Hill in August next year.
It was a dream come true when the job came up in Rome through the Archdiocese in Sydney.
The Domus Australia centre provides accommodation and other facilities for visitors to Rome and was officially opened in October 2011 by Pope Benedict XVI as a centre for pilgrims.
Rector Monsignor Boyle will hold Mass in English daily at the restored Chapel of St Peter Chanel within Domus Australia and will also be a liaison between the Holy See at the Vatican.
“It is a dream come true,” he said. “My use-by date is approaching.”
It is a welcome return to Monsignor Boyle, who can speak fluent Italian after living in Rome for a year before being appointed to St Bernadette’s.
He has a love of history and Imperial Rome and also a Master in Fine Arts, which will be useful as Domus Australia features a number of 19th and 20th century artworks as well as 32 artworks by Dural artist Paul Newton, who spent seven years on the works.
John Boyle grew up in Parramatta and was 18 when he joined the seminary and decided to be a priest. His family had always been volunteers.
“For me it was a form of community service,” he said.
His decades of service have included 30 years as an RAAF chaplain and work with hospital and prison chaplains. His parishes have included Parramatta, Westmead, Seven Hills and Ryde and in the 1980s he was a curate at Castle Hill.
He said significant times at Castle Hill included the rood collapse at St Bernadette’s.
“It really bought people together,” he said.
More than 2000 people attend the five Sunday masses held at St Bernadette’s.
Read the full story here.