Deacon J. Gregory Doyle; founder of Matt Talbot Ministries - Catholic Courier

Deacon J. Gregory Doyle; founder of Matt Talbot Ministries

Deacon J. Gregory Doyle, a diocesan permanent deacon since 1983 and the founder of Matt Talbot Ministries, died June 6, 2015, at his home in Ontario, Wayne County, following a long illness. He was 81 years old.

Deacon Doyle was a native of Webster’s Holy Trinity Parish. He attended St. Monica School, Aquinas Institute, St. John Fisher College, St. Joseph College in Albuquerque, N.M., and the University of Rochester. He served in the United States Air Force for four years and was the longtime president and chairman of the board of Doyle Security Systems, a company that was founded by his grandfather.

He was ordained to the permanent diaconate April 9, 1983, by Bishop Matthew H. Clark. Deacon Doyle served at the Reform School at Industry and St. Augustine and Blessed Sacrament parishes in Rochester.

In 1981, while in diaconal formation, Deacon Doyle founded the nonprofit, nondenominational Matt Talbot Ministries. He remained as the organization’s spiritual director for many years. Designed to complement such 12-step programs as Alcoholics Anonymous, and with an emphasis on spirituality, the Matt Talbot initiative has helped many people suffering from compulsive or addictive behaviors or from family stress associated with such behaviors. It has been located since 1991 on Oxford Street next to Blessed Sacrament Church.

"As long as the higher power says to stay in business, we’ll do so. And we’ve been here 28 years," Deacon Doyle remarked in a 2008 interview with the Catholic Courier.

Father John Reif, a longtime friend of Deacon Doyle’s, stated that individuals, married couples and families who have benefitted from Matt Talbot Ministries number "in the thousands."

Remarking on Deacon Doyle’s ministerial style, particularly within Matt Talbot Ministries, Father Reif said that "he was a perfectionist but at the same time very tolerant of other people’s weaknesses. He tried to draw out their strengths."

"He was very much into the behavioral sciences, but without losing or compromising his Catholic Christian moorings," added Father Reif, who serves as senior priest at Holy Cross Parish in Rochester.

Deacon Doyle is survived by his wife, Margaret; sons, John (Lauren), Joseph (Susan) and Daniel (Maggie); daughters, Theresa (Chad) Nelson and Jennifer Doyle Green; 15 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sisters, Eileen Doyle and Patricia (Donald) McCooey; brothers, Leo (Vicki) and Michael (Susan); brother-in-law, Jack Judge; and nieces, nephews and cousins.

His funeral Mass took place June 10, 2015, at Holy Cross Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Matt Talbot Ministries, 514 Oxford St., Rochester, NY 14607.


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