To the worldwide community of Contemplative Outreach:
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of our beloved Abbot Joseph Boyle, OCSO, of St. Benedict's Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado, after a prayerful walk with cancer. He was a welcoming, humble, joyful presence to all visitors and retreatants, and a special presence during the opening and closing circle of most Centering Prayer retreats over the years, even up until this past August. He called all by name.
A lover of stars and the night sky, he departed at 1:30 am on Sunday, October 21. He was 77 years old.
In his own words, he affirmed, "I know God's love for me and I trust in His mercy." Please hold him in your prayers as his journey continues deeper into Christ. And please respect the privacy of all the brothers at St. Benedict's Monastery.
Abbot Joseph M. Boyle, O.C.S.O., of St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colo., died peacefully Sunday, Oct. 21, at the monastery of biliary cancer. He was 77.
Born June 14, 1941, in the Bronx, N.Y., Fr. Joseph graduated from Regis High School in New York City in 1959 and began his monastic vocation at St. Benedict’s Monastery the same year, serving for 59 years. Entering the monastery as a postulant, he lived with Fr. Thomas Keating, who was the first superior at the monastery. His oldest brother, Charles was also a member of the monastic community at the time. Fr. Joseph was ordained a priest in 1970 and was elected the second abbot of the monastery in 1985, a position he held until his death.
Fr. Joseph loved the monastery and especially enjoyed hiking in the mountains of Colorado. He was a gentle and loving Father Abbot to the monastic community and a loving and generous pastoral servant to the many retreatants and friends of the monastery. He made major enhancements to the monastery, adding a retreat house in 1995, an infirmary wing and community meeting area in 2000, and the latest environmental project of a solar energy field that will provide clean electricity for many years to come.
Fr. Joseph was a respected and gifted leader in the Cistercian Trappist Order and will be dearly missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Mary (McCarthy) Boyle, brothers, Charles Boyle and Fr. Gerald Boyle, and a sister, Joan Costello.
He is survived by his brother-in-law Francis Costello of Berthoud, Colo., sister-in-law, Eleanor Boyle of Syracuse, N.Y., nieces, Monica (John) Costello Mossman, also of Berthoud, Mariclare Suomi of Beverly Hills, Calif., and nephews, Timothy (Katie) Costello of Irvine, Calif., Francis (Bonnie) Costello of Westwood, N.J., Joseph Boyle of New York.,N.Y., and Charles (Jennifer) Boyle of Mountain View, Calif., and 11 grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
There was a viewing in the monastery chapel on Friday afternoon, Oct. 26, followed by evening Vespers.
A funeral mass was held the following morning at the monastery, followed by a procession to the cemetery and burial.
In keeping with the simplicity of our order, the community of St. Benedict’s respectfully requests that no flowers be sent.