A Word About Father Coyle
A Birmingham Newspaper May 1904
“There goes one of the simplest, most natural and most scholarly men that ever preached the gospel in this town,”said a member of the Protestant communion yesterday as Father Coyle of St. Paul’s went striding by the Hillman.
“I had often remarked the man before I met him, and I had about made up my mind that he was a representative of what university men call ‘the spirit of aloofness’. His face seemed touched with an expression that was a compromise between the scholarly and the ascetic. His whole appearance suggested to me the cloister. Later, however, it was given to me to know him, and I found him to be one of the most direct, versatile, and many sided men of my acquaintance. He reminded me once more that Emerson was right when he said that the real scholar is simple, unaffected, readily accessible and fond of the human things in life.”
“Father Coyle is a native of Ireland, a graduate, I think of Dublin University* and, I know, of the American Colleges at Rome. But a poor fellow unlearned like me, can talk with him all afternoon and never even suspect that he is conversing with a superior person. His clear, wide-open and wide-apart blue eyes, his firm chin, high and noble brow, and the whole contour of his face and head invite confidence, affection and admiration. Divest him out of his clerical dress and you would pick him out in any company as clearheaded, clean-hearted fellow who’d go you for a ten mile walk in the country with a good cigar and a better story at the end of the jaunt.”
*Fr. Coyle attended Mungret College in Limerick where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree.