Reverend Michael J. Boyle, C.M.
September 24, 1928 – April 3, 2022
The entire ACS Technologies family is deeply blessed to remember the life and legacy of PDS Founder Father Michael Boyle. His passion for equipping the Catholic Church for success with the newest technology made a way for parishes across the country to better preach the Gospel and minister to those in need. Without his contributions, we would not be able to effectively serve the unique needs of thousands of churches and dioceses in their Kingdom-building work. Fr. Mike’s presence and personal ministry have had a lasting impact on both our company mission and individual hearts. We will forever be thankful to have worked alongside him, and we remain inspired by his heart for serving the Catholic Church. Continue reading from Fr. Mike’s obituary to learn more about his life and PDS journey.
Fr. Mike Boyle was born to Bernard Boyle and Josephine McElhinney in Chicago, IL. on September 24, 1928. He was baptized at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica on Chicago’s west side on October 5, 1928. Mike was the oldest of four children, 1 sister and 2 younger brothers. He was a product of the Catholic school system of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Over the course of his elementary school years, he studied at four different schools in the city. He entered Quigley Seminary as a freshman in 1942, but withdrew in 1945, applying to St. Vincent’s College in Cape Girardeau, MO.
He graduated in 1947 and began his novitiate in the Congregation of the Mission at St. Mary of the Barrens in Perryville, MO. He withdrew from the novitiate after nine months, citing that he was uncertain as to whether he wished to be a priest. However, it seems that his parents had made the decision to return to Ireland and he wished to join them in Ireland. It did not take long for him to decide to return to the United States, where shortly thereafter he re-entered the novitiate, and continued his studies for the priesthood. He made his final vows on September 8, 1955, at St. Mary’s Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood on June 7, 1960.
Fr. Mike was a pioneer in the application of technology for use in ministry. In 1978 he was the pastor at St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix. With the help of a parish volunteer and a high school student, he founded Parish Data System (PDS) which became a familiar name in many dioceses. They spent the equivalent of a small truck purchasing one of the first Altair computers. He recognized that things like databases, barcode scanners, check scanners, could make staff be more efficient so they could spend more time on ministry. The PDS team developed programs for tracking sacramental records, financial records, parish census, scheduling and other data. Fr. Mike never lost sight of who used the software and was constantly encouraging the development team to keep things simple for the typical user. In those early days of PDS they would travel around the country to spread the message from Diocese to Diocese. This program is still being used by thousands of Catholic churches and dioceses and is still being developed.
Fr. Mike has inspired the PDS team with his insights, technical savvy, and drive for excellence for 40 years. He also helped guide the team in their personal lives with his wisdom and humor. He was always looking forward to whatever the next thing was on the horizon. We will miss his daily influence in our lives.
Over time, he retired from the PDS work, but maintained a pastoral presence in “his city” of Phoenix. In his later years, Fr. Mike continued to serve in various parishes in the Diocese of Phoenix, living among the diocesan clergy. Most recently, he served at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale, AZ.
During the winter, Fr. Mike caught the COVID-19 virus. He recovered, but the disease left him weak. He returned to St. Mary of the Barrens, the place where his journey began on February 8, 2022. Shortly after his arrival, his health weakened. After an extended hospital stay, he returned home to St. Mary’s, and shortly thereafter, Fr. Michael Boyle returned to God, on Sunday, April 3, 2022.
Over the last few years he organized his homilies and made them available to all. He recorded the entire 3-year cycle to play last week, this week, and next week. If you would like to listen to them, you can find them at www.homilyweek.com