Sr. Evelyn Boyle (1932-2017) served as pioneer of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Sr. Evelyn O’Boyle, PBVM

Born: Nov. 5, 1932
Professed Vows: Aug. 8, 1959
Service in the Diocese of Phoenix
  • Teacher, Holy Angels School, Globe, 1960
  • Teacher, Christ the King School, Mesa, 1970
  • Director of Religious Education, Christ the King Parish, Mesa
  • Director of Religious Education, St. Francis Xavier Parish, 1988
  • Semi-retirement, ministry of spiritual direction, 2014
Died: June 21, 2017

Sr. Evelyn O’Boyle, PBVM, a sister of the Union of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, died June 21, 2017.

Sr. Evelyn was born Nov. 5, 1932 in Galway, Ireland, the second of the three children of Emmet and Eileen Greaney O’Boyle, and entered religious life in Crosshaven, County Cork, Ireland in 1957. She professed solemn vows in 1959 and in 1960, Sr. Evelyn was sent to the United Sates and spent the following 57 years serving the Church in Arizona.

Sr. Evelyn received a bachelor’s degree from Women’s College in San Diego and a master’s degree from Seattle University. She did further study at Regina Mundi in Rome and the Marianella Institute in Dublin.

While in Arizona, Sr. Evelyn taught at Holy Angels School in Globe and Christ the King School in Mesa. She also served as a director of religious education at Christ the King Parish and St. Francis Xavier Parish, and after she retired, she continued to offer spiritual direction.

Artistically and musically talented, Sr. Evelyn studied and taught the Suzuki violin method and she also created Carrickmacross lace.

She considered her most significant achievement, however, the development of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd — an international Montessori-based religious formation program for children ages 3-12 — in the diocese. Its national offices are now headquartered at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale.

“Her experience of children in the atrium (an environment prepared for children’s religious formation) … filled her with these gifts to be able to ponder the mysteries of God and to have joy,” said Mary Mirrione, director of the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. “She learned to live that abundant joy that Jesus provides with the children.”

Mirrione, who served at St. Anne Parish in Gilbert at the time, said Sr. Evelyn not only helped form catechists in her parish but others from throughout the diocese on a regular basis.

Sr. Evelyn would also regularly return to Ireland to help form catechists there, Mirrione said. “She was one of the pioneers of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd … not only in Phoenix, but also in her homeland.”

Mirrione said she’ll remember Sr. Evelyn’s smile and that “twinkle in her eye.” She recalled how when praying Sr. Evelyn would say in her Irish brogue, “We’re steady on your word, Lord!”

“There was a deep faith in that statement,” Mirrione said.

Sr. Evelyn’s brother, Kevin, and her parents preceded her in death. She is survived by the Presentation Sisters of the U.S. Province, her sister and brother-in-law, Gearoidine and Olie Kent; sister-in-law, Charlotte O’Boyle, and extended family in Ireland.

A funeral Mass was celebrated June 26, at St. Francis Xavier Parish, and she was interred at St. Francis Cemetery.