Sisters of Providence family Colts connection
“Providence Hall just erupted!”
That was a text Sister Kay Manley sent to her niece following a touchdown during a recent Indianapolis Colts’ football game.
Sister Kay’s text had more meaning than the fact that she is a fan of Indiana’s National Football League (NFL) representative, the Indianapolis Colts. She and the other Sisters of Providence watching the game with her, including Sisters Mary Lois Hennel, Jean Fuqua, Carol Lindly, Joann Quinkert and Barbara Reder, were excited because the recipient of the touchdown pass was Jack Doyle. Sister Barbara had been working on a puzzle but paused during the commotion.
Sister Kay is the great-aunt of the Colts’ tight end. And she never misses a game.
Great-nephew on the Colts
Jack, an Indianapolis native, was taught by the Sisters of Providence at Holy Spirit Grade School in Indianapolis. He went to Cathedral High School where he was an all-state football player. His team won the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) football state championship in 2006. He also played basketball and rugby in high school.
“Jack’s high school football coach taught him a lot,” Sister Kay said. “He was a very good player.”
After he graduated from high school, Jack attended Western Kentucky University. In his four years there, he caught 162 passes for 1,769 yards and eight touchdowns. He was named to the first-team All-Sun Belt Conference as a senior and was a semifinalist for the Mackey Award – the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Award given to college football’s most outstanding tight end.
Jack was not drafted into the NFL, but signed a contract in 2013 with the Tennessee Titans. But the team waived him during final roster cuts. At the time, Sister Kay was ministering as a teacher at Guerin College Preparatory High School in River Grove, Illinois.
And she was a fan of the Chicago Bears.
In September 2013, the Indianapolis Colts claimed Jack. After climbing up the depth chart, the team officially named him their starting tight end in 2016.
So, Sister Kay switched allegiance and became a Colts fan. And who could blame her?
In 2017, Jack had a career-year, posting 80 catches for 690 yards and four touchdowns. He was named to the NFL Pro Bowl, becoming the first Western Kentucky University player to earn Pro Bowl status.
So far this season, Jack has caught 27 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns.
One year after not being able to visit with family during the holidays because of COVID-19, Sister Kay managed to see all of them, including Jack, this year at Thanksgiving.
“Other than (last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic), we get together for the holidays,” Sister Kay said. “Everyone wants to sit at the table with Jack and he is so family-oriented. I’m very proud of his whole family. They’ve taken all of this in stride. But he’s just Jack Doyle.
“It was wonderful to be there with all of them. We were all very happy to be together. It brought a lot of joy to us.”
Sister Kay said Jack has not forgotten his roots. When the Catholic schools that he attended in the Indianapolis area he grew up in have fundraisers, he donates something to them all, including those in the area of Holy Spirit School, where he attended primary school.
And every Sunday when the Colts are on television, Sister Kay is sure to be watching the game in Providence Hall with the many other sisters-fans, as they cheer for both Jack and the team.
And Sister Kay makes sure she is wearing the No. 84 Colts’ jersey Jack personally signed for her.