Death of a true spiritual man, Father Joseph Boyle

Father Joseph Boyle died on 21st October, 2018 in his abbey St. Benedict’s in Snowmass, Colorado, surrounded by his monks. I interviewed him in May 2015 and wrote a book about the interview together with my interview of Father Thomas Keating : ‘World without End’, published by Bloomsbury, London, 2017. Father Joseph had invited my husband and me to come back to the abbey. Father Joseph loved the stars and as Gerard, my husband, is an astronomer, Joseph was eager to get to know him. Unfortunately, nobody could foresee that he was to get ill soon after our interview. I have always longed to go back to the abbey and we even considered to go to his funeral in Colorado but the time was too short. Father Boyle was buried on the same day as another good friend, Walter Marsoul, a Tai Chi Teacher and wonderful friend, whom we dearly loved as well. They will now always be in my memory together.

From the introduction to the book ‘World Without End’ (p.9)

‘For the moment, I was saved by the helpful abbot of the monastery, Father Joseph Boyle who accepted to act as a replacement. Quite unexpectedly, this modest man proved to be a hidden gem that had lain undiscovered in the mountains. I sensed a spiritual life in him which he was rather unwilling to uncover for a camera at first. Yet, as our conversation grew more intense, he hinted towards the realm of silence he sometimes felt himself transported to. It was clear that there was an ongoing deepening in him that spoke louder than words.  He invited us to vespers in the church of Mary. When the white monks stood in a circle, making a full profound bow, I was overwhelmed by the mystery of that moment. In the scarcely lit church, they softly but intensely prayed: “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, World Without End, Amen”. This was indeed a world without end, a spiritual realm in which Love could abide. But was it as beautiful as it appeared to be? Surely, there must be conflicts. I decided to ask Father Thomas, hoping that he would be better by the next day. (p.9)’

Lucette Verboven