Albany Law School Remembers Rev. Kenneth J. Doyle '78

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Rev. Kenneth Doyle '78

The Albany Law School community mourns the loss of Reverend Kenneth J. Doyle ’78 who passed away on October 28, 2022 at age 82.

After Doyle was ordained in 1966, he oversaw thousands of Capital Region weddings, baptisms, and funeral services and is recalled by many as a humble, funny, and kind community fixture.

Doyle enrolled at Albany Law School in 1975 while he was editor of the Evangelist, the Albany diocesan newspaper. At the same time, he served as chaplain at the Academy of the Sacred Heart.

As a law student, he learned more about the legal ramifications of issues covered by the Evangelist. The death penalty was of particular interest. But his education made an impact on other important aspects of his life beyond journalism after he graduated in 1978.

“I use what I learned in law school every day,” he said in a 2012 Albany Law School magazine story. “Law teaches you a certain way of looking for an orderly format of thoughts and ideas. I actually think it helps me to write homilies, too.”

He recalled making lasting friendships at Albany Law through the rugby team, including three who joined him for an annual golf vacation in Orlando, Florida for more than three decades after graduation.
“I enjoyed the experience of law school because I got the chance to slow down, read, and contemplate the law after working full-time as a priest for nine years,” he said.

In 2017, he was named Community Laureate by the University at Albany Foundation through its signature event, the Citizen Laureate Awards.

Doyle served as Rome bureau chief of the National Catholic News Service, where he traveled with Pope Saint John Paul II, interviewing pontiffs in both English and Italian.

He was an information officer of the United States Catholic Conference in Washington, D.C., a lobbyist for the New York State Catholic Conference in Albany, director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C., and chancellor for public information for the Albany diocese.

He was pastor of Mater Christi Parish from 1992 until 2016 and as a sacramental minister for St. Thomas the Apostle in Cherry Valley, St. John's/St. Joseph's in Rensselaer and St. Mary's in Clinton Heights.

He served on many boards and committees throughout his career including St. Peter's Hospital Board of Directors, Vice Chairman of the Whalen Foundation, Inc., and Chair of the Albany International Airport Authority.