“It’s quirky; ” “it will touch people’s hearts, ” or “it’s too eccentric; ” “it’s the Catholic imagination at work. ” Those are just some of the reactions our editors had, over the years, to the late writer, editor, and poet Brian Doyle. All of us were startled to hear, last November, of Brian’s terminal illness. He died this past May at 60.
Of course, no one was more surprised than he to learn of his illness and the grim predictions that followed. But, a man of deep faith, he took the news into his heart and reset his priorities. Editor of the excellent Portland magazine for the University of Portland, poet known well in the Portland, Oregon, area, father, husband, son, he resigned all of his work and devoted himself to family, whom he most regretted to be leaving behind.
You might remember his works “Embracing Good Friday ” and “Born of the Sea ” that appeared in past issues of this magazine. There were others. He constantly sent me new ideas, which I would sometimes reject because they, for one reason or another, were not right for these pages. He wrote the kindest of replies, every time, in a pleasant style: “Ah, ’tis good to be read. ” Every time. (Perhaps he picked it up from his father, Jim Doyle, himself a giant in the Catholic press of old.)
We are grateful to be publishing Brian’s final book, Eight Whopping Lies and Other Stories of Bruised Grace, which he wrote in the months before he learned of his illness. It’s coming out right about now from Franciscan Media. His fan-editors across the Catholic media will be publishing an anthology of his work in the coming months.
Our writers bring a lot of themselves to you in this magazine, sharing heart and mindÑtheir very personÑfreely. Brian was one of the hundreds of devoted writers who compete for this space. They all do it to share their faith, to let you see the world through their eyes. For that we are grateful.